Island exhibition puts Gigha in the frame
FOUR Ayrshire artists are holding an exhibition of their work on Gigha next month.
Sandra Ratcliffe, Gillian Park, Bridget Hunter and Irene Walker spent a week last summer painting on the island, and their work is returning with them for the opening of the twomonth exhibition on August 6.
Around 30 oil, watercolour and acrylic paintings will reflect the beauty of Gigha – the white beaches, turquoise waters and stunning wild plant life.
Rothesay-born Sandra Ratcliffe, who has had two solo exhibitions on the island, said: ‘I love Gigha and have painted there for several years. I raved about it so much to the others that we decided to go and paint as a group last summer. We were lucky with the weather and the island is so inspirational.’
Sandra has also held solo exhibitions in Spain and – two years ago – in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates to raise funds for Syrian refugees in memory of her brother, James Ratcliffe, who tragically died after being a hostage as part of Saddam Hussein's infamous ‘human shield’ in 1990.
Gillian Park graduated as a graphic designer from Glasgow School of Art in 1993 and, after working in the industry for 11 years, started her own design business. She said: ‘ The need to paint became too much and in the summer of 2000 I picked up a paintbrush for the first time in almost 20 years, and haven’t stopped since.’
She is now a full-time artist working at her studio at Irvine Harbour.
Landscape artist Bridget Hunter added: ‘Paint is the language I use to record the environment around me. I loved our painting week on Gigha and am very excited about our exhibition.’
Irene Walker studied at Gray’s School of Art, Aberdeen, before embarking on a teaching career for 37 years. Since her retirement in 2010, she has been painting in her Ayr studio.
The Gigha Girls exhibition opens on Saturday August 6 at 2pm at the Gigha Gallery and runs until October 4.
Left to right, Sandra Ratcliffe, Gillian Park and Bridget Hunter, holding works inspired by Gigha.