Bonhoga exhibits Bain

BONHOGA Gallery is hosting an exhibition of work by Shetland artist Maxie Bain.

The show, entitled A Closer Look, is a wealth of watercolours portraying Shetland in sunshine and showers, and work relating to the very different landscape around the artist’s home in Salisbury.

Maxie was educated in Shetland and left the isles to attend Grays School of Art in Aberdeen in 1960. He headed further south thereafter and, for 30 years, taught illustration and graphic design at Salisbury College of Art.

In his early days as an artist Maxie was best known as a portrait painter, but each summer he returned to Shetland, and he became associated with a distinctive style of Shetland watercolours.

His last solo show at Bonhoga was over 10 years ago and was one of the most successful exhibitions shown at the venue.

More time spent in Shetland recently, where he has been extending a holiday home, is reflected in Maxie’s recent work. Rainy days, with the hills a blend of soft washes in greens and blues, contrast with boats moored in the Small Boat Harbour in Lerwick, on a glorious Shetland summer day when all is right with the world, capturing the many facets of the Shetland landscape.

Flowers have always been a feature of the artist’s work and studies in this show feature tulips, snowdrops and sea pinks, with water meadows at Salisbury, painted in colourful splendour.

Maxie says: “Meadows of wildflowers, long waving grasses, gently flowing burns and endless sunny summer days form nostalgic early memories of a sparkling landscape, and of an idyllic childhood spent in these islands.”

By contrast, he continues: “Today, in a different life, glorious woodlands and river valleys of another environment provide a richness of colour and detail that are equally inspiring.”

Maxie will be attending a preview tonight at 7.30pm to which everyone is welcome. All the work is for sale.
Bonhoga Gallery is open from 10.30pm to 4.30pm Tuesday to Saturday and noon to 4.30pm on Sundays.

Meanwhile, an exhibition highlighting the work of the late Adam Robson will go on show tomorrow
in Da Gadderie at the Shetland Museum and Archives.

Mr Robson (1928-2007) was a man of many talents: an international rugby player, teacher, writer and prolific artist who exhibited widely.

Born in the Scottish Borders, he had close links with Shetland, especially Yell where his mother was born. He regularly visited the isles, latterly making the trip every summer, allowing him plenty of time to pursue his passion.

This exhibition focuses on his Shetland pieces. Working in a range of media, he captured the light and atmosphere of the islands. What is clear in the pictures was his skill and attention to detail, his eye for composition and his enthusiasm for his subject.

Shetland Museum had a fantastic response to a local appeal for Mr Robson’s art works to hang in the exhibition, showing just how popular his paintings are in Shetland. Their contributions have helped make this a unique and comprehensive exhibition of his talent, featuring more than 150 of his paintings, the majority of which are locally owned.

Exhibitions officer John Hunter said: “We would like to thank everyone who responded to the appeal for Adam’s pictures, which has resulted in a huge exhibition of his work.

“What struck me when helping to curate this exhibition was not just the quality and subject matter of the paintings but the stories that connect them with the owners and the artist.

“These pictures are cherished and often hold rich memories; I think there will be many more interesting stories retold as people view this enthralling exhibition.”

As part of Mr Robson’s estate there will be paintings for sale.

The exhibition opens at 10am tomorrow and runs until 11th August.

Mr Robson’s daughter Shona will be at a special event in the museum on Sunday, 13th July to mark the exhibition.


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