Friday, 28 March 2008

Creative Scotland Awards

The Scottish Arts Council Creative Scotland Awards are amongst the richest arts awards in Europe. They reward, honour and celebrate established and leading artists in Scotland and raise the profile of the arts and their contribution to Scotland.

To learn more about these artists and to discover the range and diversity of these amazing lottery-funded projects, visit the Creative Scotland website at

Clouds, Mighty Without Movement

Renowned Italian artist Alberto Bertoldi’s original oil paintings are fascinating and beautiful since his subject, the sky and the clouds, is equally fascinating and beautiful. Alberto explains, “I was flying on a plane, and as it broke through the clouds, I experienced a most incredible moment. While I was looking out of the window, the plane seemed to hang between the sea and infinity, between sky and earth. With extreme emotion I watched what humans three thousand years ago could only imagine.”

He adds, “When I reached my destination, I dared to watch the horizon again, now from the tiny beach of St Vincente, and I realised for the first time the clouds, mighty, without movement or speed, act like curtains. I witnessed how this curtain of clouds hid the endless universe and its sound.”

Alberto Bertoldi was born in Torino in 1955, and now lives and works in Piacenza, northern Italy. He has prepared over 30 personal exhibitions across his homeland together with having beautifully illustrated books published about himself and his work. Now for the first time, he has been introduced to the UK through Artery Gallery, based in both St Andrews and Crieff.

Alberto started painting from an early age and besides a brief spell at the Academy of Arts in Brera, is largely considered a self taught artist. He held his first exhibition at the age of 18 though shortly after suspended his painting for a long period of time. Upon reaching his early 30’s, Alberto returned to his work, in complete solitude, with intense work and studying various subjects. Now, differently to his earlier subjects, he looked towards the ancient artists of Northern Europe that were closer to his propensity for landscape painting and, in general, for the aesthetic of sublime.

Alberto's cloud paintings have proved very popular with many pilots becoming collectors of his work. One pilot from RAF Leuchars in Fife recently purchased a painting by Alberto, and stated "It's like looking out of my office window!”

Thursday, 27 March 2008

Lora Leedham - At The "Venetian Heart" of British Fashion

Lora Leedham’s silver, Venetian glass and gemstone jewellery is capturing the British fashion world!

Lora Leedham is an independent jewellery designer from the Midlands. She had initially intended to be an interior designer, but found her passion for jewellery design while studying design at university.

After setting up ‘Jewellery by Lora Leedham’ in 2006 she has made an impact on the British fashion world, exhibiting in London Fashion week, designing jewellery for stars, celebrities and even royalty – she created jewellery for Camilla Parker Bowles, which Camilla wore on live television. She has worked with different fashion designers, in international fashion houses, created jewellery for charity auctions and was featured in a March issue of ‘Grazia’ magazine.

Her current jewellery designs feature Venetian glass hearts in rainbow colours, captured in handmade silver wire cages. She also creates gemstone studded ‘willow’ rings, using only ethically sourced gems such as tourmaline.

Artery Gallery has a selection of jewellery from different ranges in her collection.

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

The Surreal Deal - Andrew Baines

New works by Andrew Baines are now on exhibition at Artery Gallery in St Andrews.

Andrew has exhibited extensively in Switzerland, the US and Canada as well as around Australia and has proved equally collectable in Scotland, since being introduced by Artery Gallery three years ago

One time illustrator and sign-writer, Andrew Baines has risen in recent years to become one of Australia’s top contemporary artists. In the last four years alone, he has been a finalist in no less than twelve competitions, two of which have been for the Australian National Portrait award.

It has been as a figurative painter that his reputation has been established. With a strong resemblance to the work of Belgian surrealist Rene Magritte, the majority of Andrew’s work depict suited businessmen, not necessarily floating in the sky, but lined up along the shallows of a golden beach, reminiscent of the beaches near to his hometown of Grange, South Australia.

With other huge influences being Andy Warhol, David Hockney and Prohart, the inspiration behind Andrew’s paintings are more direct and pivotal to his own experiences and personal decision to become a painter.

"When I was 14, my parents took me back to England to visit the relatives," says Baines, who had emigrated from Colchester when he was just one year old. "One morning we caught the Underground. I went down onto the platform and I was greeted by a sea of formally dressed, bowler-hatted men, holding their umbrellas and briefcases. It just looked so incredible, because they were all clones and they all looked lifeless ... waiting for their train to come in. That stayed in my subconscious for years and years."

When Baines got his first job at 17 at a department store, these images resurfaced. He adds, "I'd be on the bus with all these commuters and think to myself that this is exactly the same as the bowler-hat men – but much more Australian, more casual. I used to think their lives were already spelled out for them. I thought to myself, 'I don't want to be like this'."

His early surrealism was largely ignored. Since he lived by the beach and had always done so, it was suggested to him that he began interpreting the environment closest to him.

He says he had avoided painting the beach because he wanted to be different. The beach was too obvious. But the beach was a hit with the art market and Baines' exhibitions were sell-outs.

With his paintings taking of commercially, Andrew mixed this style with his original vision. Now his beach shallows and rolling hills are populated by circus performers, herds of cows and wooden chairs! "They've still got that nice aesthetic mood but then you've got my underlying, self-conscious feelings on life coming through," he says. A post-modern landscape.

Surrealism has dwelt in his mind's eye throughout his painting years and it is a genre to which he returns, rather than begins. With this amount of success as an artist, Andrew Baines has become the real deal.


Friday, 14 March 2008

Renowned Sculptor Exhibits in St Andrews

Heralded by many in the art world as the next Henry Moore, Alexandros Arabatzoglou’s sculptures have been sold to private collectors all over the world, and demand for his work has been such that he has not exhibited in a gallery for nearly nine years, despite offers from some of the worlds most prestigious galleries. However, after striking up a relationship with Artery Gallery, Alexandros decided to end his gallery exile by exhibiting one of his hand carved sculptures in their St Andrews branch.

Born in Heraklion, Crete in 1970, Alexandros came from an artistic family and has therefore been involved in art since a very early age, beginning with designing and creating his own unique jewellery. It was during this period that he was chosen as “Finest Modern Greek Artist” by the BBC. Later he discovered his passion for harder materials, and started to work with bronze and different kinds of stone, clay and glass. After many years of work and experimentation forging these materials together, Alexandros invented his own style of modern sculpture – a unique ability to craft bronze and stone into a single organic form. Every piece is a one-off and can take up to four months to create. There are no moulds or copies and each comes with individual certification from the Greek government.

"The Golden Fish” sculpture was commissioned especially for Artery Gallery to be displayed at their St Andrews branch and is seen as a coup for the Scottish gallery. Jason of Artery explains “After meeting with Alexandros in Crete last year, I was amazed at his drive, passion and enthusiasm for his work and his art. For him, creating his sculpture is like breaking down to the bare bones of his inner soul, using his hands to carve into the stone and creating an extension of himself within each individual sculpture”. He adds “Here at Artery Gallery, we are always looking to expand on the superb catalogue of talent we exhibit, and inviting Alexandros to join us, knowing of the interest he has gained, is exciting for the gallery, for St Andrews, and for world art exhibited in Scotland”.

Artery Gallery at 43 South Street, St Andrews (01334 478221)


Wednesday, 12 March 2008

National Galleries of Scotland Art Competition for Schools 2008

The annual National Galleries of Scotland Art Competition for Schools 2008 is now open for entries. Please send your entries to Linda McClelland, National Gallery of Scotland, The Mound, Edinburgh, EH2 2EL.

This year there are six categories for entry, each with a different theme:

Category A Nursery Schools (Theme – Birds)
Category B Primary 1-3 (Theme – Can you see the music?)
Category C Primary 4-7 (Theme – Sit in Splendour)
Category D S1 and S2 (Theme – Art to Wear)
Category E Special Education Schools (Theme – Come Closer)
Category F Group Work (Theme – selected from any of the above)

Pupils are asked to view selected works from the Online Collection of the National Galleries of Scotland and to make their own personal response on paper. The closing date is Friday 9th May 2008.

An awards ceremony will be held at the National Gallery of Scotland in June 2008. Prizes include digital cameras for schools, art materials, art workshops and gallery visits.

If you have any questions regarding this year's competition telephone 0131 624 6534 or email

Friday, 7 March 2008

Spring Exhibition at Artery Gallery

January and February are often grey and miserable but thankfully we are now into March, and Spring will soon be on the way.

Here at Artery Gallery we thought we would celebrate by bringing in some Springtime Colour!

We are proud to introduce two new artists whose work is awash with colour, character and sheer vibrancy.

Lancashire born, self-taught water-colourist Kelvin Burgoyne and former restoration architect John Wetten-Brown from Glasgow.

Recent art graduate John Wetten-Brown has gone from restoring Scotland's Historic monuments, to painting some of Scotland's most interesting treasures. His subjects range from historic fishing villages like Crail and Pittenweem, to the landscapes of Skye, Mull and Sutherland with great sweeps of mountain, moorland and sky.

For many years Kelvin Burgoyne searched for the balance between English landscape and Mediterranean colour, an almost impossible arrangement. However, whilst drawing over moorland in August 1999 on a fabulously hot summer day, he experienced what most outdoor activists encounter. A sudden blackness, stillness and a chill brought on by a heavy summer storm. At its deepest, inexplicably, he saw the countryside bathed in vivid colour and the buildings almost white, mentally capturing the moment he has continued with this vision and works exclusively in the search for watercolour splendour.