6 September 2016 Vivien Devlin
UNIONGallery, 4 Drumsheugh Pl, Edinburgh
Exhibition continues until September 12
Open Monday to Saturday 10.30am – 5.30pm
UNIONgallery is owned and managed by contemporary artist Alison Auldjo. Originally opening on Broughton Street in 2009, the stylish new premises at the West End has the ideal space and design over two floors to show solo exhibitions, mixed collections, crafts and sculpture. The emphasis is on showing work from established painters who do not exhibit in Scotland, to exciting new Scottish and international talent.
Jenny Matthews studied at Edinburgh College of Art under Elizabeth Blackadder DBE, John Houston and Ann Oran, graduating in 1986. Since then, she has earned a fine reputation as an accomplished watercolourist, exhibiting in the UK and abroad.
Stepping into the Uniongallery to see her new solo exhibition, ‘Sapphire Skies,’ is like taking a stroll across country meadows and along the seashore, so tangible that you can almost smell the fragrant flowers. The soft shades of pinks, mauve, coral red and corn yellow, capture their natural beauty and texture, from beautifully arranged vases and bouquets to land and seacapes and decorative still life compositions.
Here are the first buds of Spring and Summer gardens, a flourish of sweet peas, irises and parrot tulips, as well as pretty thrift and lichen sprouting along the rocky shore at St. Abbs. The artistry is exquisite, meticulous botanical drawings, detailing each petal, stamen, puffs of pollen and green leaf, enhanced through the subtle tone and translucent quality of watercolour.
As Jenny Matthews describes her work:
“My paintings are almost like portraits. I’m interested in the character of the flower, like a portrait of a person. In this show, I am also beginning to paint flowers in their context as well as painting studies of them.”
This year, she was selected to exhibit at the 4th Biennial Marche d’Acqua in Fabriano, Italy, and the Salon International de l’Aquarelle, in Saint-Yrieix-La-Perche in France, which clearly shows the wide international acclaim for her work.
Since this exhibition opened in mid August, many of the paintings have been sold and now wonder – so do get along to the Union gallery soon before it ends on Monday 12 September.
“I admire her skill, her discipline and her eye. Her integrity manifests itself in the work” . Alison Auldjo