GORDON MITCHELL RSA RSW RGI
Gordon Mitchell (b.1952), trained at (ECA) the Edinburgh College of Art (1970-74). Following a career in teaching, Mitchell took the decision to enter a career in full time painting in 1989. He was awarded RSW (1997), RGI (1998) and RSA (2005). Described as a surrealist, he rejects this, mis-describing himself (in a typically tongue-in-cheek fashion) as an ‘Abstract Expressionist’. Mitchell produces wonderfully detailed visual puzzles, which make you work to unpick the humour or subject. In doing so he engages you with ‘double entendre’ enjoyable journeys where there is, perhaps a female shape, subtly embedded in the more obvious wall. Mitchell is playing with us, leading us to the point of realisation, inviting an inevitable smile !
MICHAEL CLARK RSW PAI
Michael Clark (b.1959), trained at (ECA) the Edinburgh College of Art (1979-1983). Clark has had significant exposure within our show framework and has always proved a popular artist. He has a lovely artistic style. Having had a career in the BBC and as a Freelance Art Director before turning to full time art, he took some of the principles of media communication into his art – ‘pared-down, the necessary information only, bring the audience into the visual illusion’. A Francophile and lover of all things French, Clark embraces the romance of France – the buildings, the lifestyle elements, the symbols that identify a simple enjoyment of the pleasures of life. Clark is an exceptional talent.
Ryan Mutter (b.1978), trained at (GSA) the Glasgow School of Art (1996-2001). He creates powerful, evocative records of our social history with his monochromatic shipbuilding studies that celebrate the success of a great industrial age. Many ‘safety-specialists’ reject his work because it is too black and white and ‘I couldn’t have that in my wall’. These are the very reasons to buy his work – for Mutter is exhibiting a brave ‘originality’ in terms of ‘thought’ and ‘device’, counter-intuitively using his underpainting technique as his finish, which powerfully and cohesively reinforces his communication to us, giving us a real sense of the people, the period, the character within a working community and the harshness of the work conditions and environment. In doing so, he marks out his brilliance and his appeal.
Scott Naismith (b.1978), trained at the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, Dundee (1996-2000). Naismith has a modern take on landscapes. He considers the metaphysical properties and uses new technology (drones) to educate his alternative ‘higher-plane’ perspective. You need to see his work in the flesh as it does not translate well in photo images. Naismith is a young genius. His personal intensity is rewarded in his magical compositions. It is always a pleasure to see the reaction of people who spend time with his paintings and watch the process of their conversion to his fan club.
Cecilia Cardiff (b.1966), trained in graphics and illustration between (1983-1987). In 2012 she ventured into full time art, following a career in graphics and advertising. Cardiff is one of our most popular selling artists. Not hard to understand her success as she paints counterpoint to the mundaneness of everyday life. Instead she bring us delightful café style, light humoured voyeuristic, people watching observations about the characters we see in bars, cafes and restaurants – the dishy waiters and waitresses, while we enjoy the warmth of the sunshine, chatting and relaxing and enjoying the break from work. A bit of visual self-indulgence combined with the pleasures of a cold drink, cake or ice cream. The warmth of Cardiff’s character is reflected in her confident, humorous and engaging style.
Hanna Kaciniel was born in Poland in (1978). Taught to draw and paint as a young girl by her Grandfather, she went on to train at the College Koszalin (Poland 1993-1998). Kaciniel has rejected the volume genres of landscape and figurative, in favour of her favoured still life. She has also re-positioned from classical form to a pop art form, carefully developing the appeal of her subject matter to engage with a modern-minded audience. It has been a pleasure to watch her be so brave and work so hard to successfully re-position. Her (slightly tempered) hyper-realism has produced some wonderful, very impressive results. We hope that you enjoy Hanna’s insights as much as we do.