Author Archives: rosestrang

About rosestrang

Artist, Painter

New projects

Scottish Design Exchange

The rest of this year is going to be interesting, with a couple of new projects coming up, though I’m taking it fairly easy after a very busy few months which have resulted in strained elbows and shoulders and general wear and tear!

So unfortunately I’ve had to cancel the Lindisfarne workshop in September, which is physically quite demanding (carrying lots of equipment mainly, which I’m keeping to a minimum just now), but I can at least still paint.

In September I’ll be displaying a series of paintings at the Scottish Design Exchange; a not-for-profit arts retail and project space set up in Edinburgh’s Ocean Terminal. I’ll add more details once the works are installed there.

In late November there will be a group show at Edinburgh Art Fair at the invitaiton of the  Limetree Gallery.

I’m also excited about plans for November and December as I’ll be creating a new series of winter landscapes in collaboration with cellist Atzi Muramatsu, possibly also a poet, though I’ve not decided on anyone as yet.

The general idea is a project lasting 12 days in which every other day Atzi and I exchange music and painting in response to each other’s winter-related ideas – six paintings and six music pieces.

The idea is still taking shape, but will most likely include a preview evening at my studio with open fire and mulled wine to accompany the wintery theme. Also two open-studio days. This happens to coincide with my 50th birthday at the end of November( I almost can’t wait for winter to arrive!) But before then I think I’ll indulge in a sunny holiday abroad at some point, for a few days at least!

Pecha Kucha No. 37

Tomorrow evening Atzi Muramatsu and I will be presenting our work as part of the regular Pecha Kucha evening. It starts 6pm and the venue is the City Arts Centre in Market Street.

Pecha Kucha was first created by architects Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham,  the first one was presented in Tokyo and the events now take place all over the world. The Edinburgh version is run by architect Gordon Duffy.

Basically it’s a way to present ideas in a less formal setting, avoiding long (possibly tedious!) lectures – hence why the format restricts each presentation to 20 slides and 20 seconds per slide to talk, or in our case, for Atzi to play cello in response to my paintings which will be presented on slides.

Also presenting their work as part of the evening are a range of creative people from arts, business and music fields (info on link below)

What I’m looking forward to is sitting back and watching Atzi play without the hecticness of my exhibition openings – there may be Q&A after the presentation but essentially I can just relax for a change!

This link has all info about the event http://www.pechakucha.org/cities/edinburgh/events/59694eca3c70efce690007f3

 

 

Available paintings

The following paintings from Moonscapes: Isle of Harris, my recent 6-day exhibition at Whitespace Gallery, are available to buy direct from me just now – if you have any queries contact me at rose.strang@gmail.com

Of the 23 works in exhibition 10 sold, which I’m very happy with!

After two months, any remaining will be available through Saatchi art gallery online.

You can view the entire series on Gallery

Harris video – a journey in music and image

Photo: Sarah Bader

I spent most of yesterday evening creating a video montage of the Harris paintings and Atzi Muramatsu playing cello at the exhibition preview. (video below)

I think it captures a little bit of what’s so beautiful about our collaboration, and what people in the gallery respond to with such enthusiasm and emotion.

Gallery previews are quite hectic events, there’s a lot of stimulus, and if you’re the artist who’s also organised it, well, to be honest my heart is usually hammering – not anxiety as such, more excitement (you spend two or three months painting then your paintings are presented publically in a way that gives you a whole new perspective on how they work as a series, and you’re bombarded suddenly with friendly enthusiastic people talking about them, it’s quite a high!)

I find that Atzi’s performance gives me, and everyone else, a chance to slow down and contemplate, to remember why all these paintings are here in the first place. It’s an appreciation of being alive, it’s pretty much the meaning of life if you’re an artist in any form.

Exploring Harris. Photo by Donald Ferguson

Each time we collaborate I’m reminded anew of what’s so rewarding about the process: while I’m in the place I’m painting, and throughout the painting process, I’m constantly researching – reading, talking to people from the place, exploring everything about the landscape that makes it unique and compelling. Atzi’s response feeds that experience back and extends it, even if we haven’t discussed all the inspiration behind the paintings. I’ve learned to simply trust that he’ll ‘get’ it.

 

Everyone travelling to the Isle of Harris tells you that you must visit the turquoise seas and white sands of Luskentyre on the west coast, and so you must, it’s beautiful, almost incredible visually! But I was also reading about the islands – (I recommend Bill Lawson’s Harris in History and Legend) the origins of people, the possible meanings behind the stones of Callanish on Lewis (particularly the significance of the moon in its formation), the music, poetry and of course the tough lives of the islanders who lived there over thousands of years through constant challenge and change.

You find it in the place names; echoes of Viking culture – Gaelic and Norse combined, you see it in the ruined houses, abandoned crofts or fishing piers, or the long, black seams of peat (the sole source of fuel in past times) cut into rain and wind-lashed hilltops. Ordinary people here certainly suffered at the hands of land owners’ whims – the ever changing, or failed, industries, the Clearances of course and not least the hard rocky ground and wild winter weather that made farming this land so arduous. They’re still here though, the Scottish Gaelic language survives, as does the humour, the story-telling, art, music and poetry.

Much of all this is there in my paintings if you’re looking for it. Atzi Muramatsu’s cello playing brings it back to life for me. When I heard these three music pieces in the gallery I was transported back to Harris, re-experiencing the darkness and light I discovered there.

Music lovers will hear a bit of everything, from playful Scottish reels to the darkly Baroque, then avant garde dissonance, but also wonderful expression and interpretation absolutely unique to Atzi.

And remember, all of this is improvised response!

 

‘Moonscapes: Isle of Harris’ launch

Last night’s launch of Moonscapes: Isle of Harris was a great sucess and most enjoyable. There was a good mix of people, familiar faces and new – many interesting conversations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rose Strang, photo Maria Doherty

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Atzi Muramatsu’s performance was magical as always. I will be posting the videos here soon. His response to Harris Moon 4 was suitably sombre and dramatic; it’s quite a dark, stormy and mysterious piece, but my favourite was probably the piece he played in response to a series of smaller works, it was evocative of being on Harris, driving along the winding coast roads watching the landscape unfold in shimmering light.

Atzi Muramatsu, photo Sarah Bader

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Edinburgh organisor of Pecha Kucha, Gordon Duffy, enjoyed the combination of music and paintings and has invited us to present our work at the next Pecha Kucha on the 27th of July, which will be a pleasure (all info on the ‘Pecha Kucha’ link above). I’ll post more about that in a few days.

I’ll be in the Whitespace gallery every day from 12 noon to 6:30pm until Thursday, so if you are in Edinburgh drop in for coffee and a chat! (map and directions etc Here)

Many thanks to Catherine Strang for hosting and sales, to Donald Ferguson for helping with set up (and for his excellent company on the trip to Harris earlier this year) and to Atzi for another excellent performance – this is our fifth year of collaboration and friendship and as Atzi said last night ‘it gets better and better’. Also thanks to Leigh Chorlton (artist and manager of Whitespace) for his friendly support, it’s a lovely space and a delight to show there!

Harris paintings day 13

‘Traigh Luskentir, Harris. 4’. Mixed media on 30×30″ wood panel.

Finishing touches today on the largest version of Traigh Luskentir, Harris, which concludes my paintings for the upcoming exhibition – Moonscapes: Isle of Harris

All paintings in the series can be viewed from the top of the gallery page – Here. One painting has already sold – you can buy a painting now if you like, it will be marked ‘sold’ at exhibition then when the show ends on 20th July I will post it to your address (any queries to rose.strang@gmail.com)

This is always the busiest time of year, and with a ten-day session of house decorating in addition to painting I’m pretty exhausted! All I have to do now is have all paintings professionally scanned (for limited editon prints), frame the aquatint Leaving Harris, hang the paintings on Friday and order wine/glasses for the preview.

As always, I’ll make a live recording of Atzi Muramatsu’s cello performance to post here along with photos of the paintings in the gallery and the launch night.

Hope to see you on Friday 14th, 7pm (all info on Moonscapes link above)…