CURRENT EXHIBIT: Catherine Fraser: Spirit of Place
Opening January 18, 2019
Artist Statement: “ Spirit of place : Isle of Iona”
The Isle of Iona is a small wind swept island that lies in the Scottish inner Hebrides, steeped in history, and Celtic mythology, it is known as one of the worlds “thin places” where the sacred and secular meet. For centuries, especially since the 1800s, artists, painters, poets, musicians, the religious and the spiritual have been drawn and inspired by the Isle of Iona.
The work in this exhibition was compiled from four different visits to the island from 2009-2015. On each visit I felt I had a job to draw, paint, sketch, be creative and listen to my “still inner voice”, not only as part of my own journey, but also to bring a little bit of Iona to others. I discovered that each trip had its own invitation, exploration and new beginnings.
Iona calls to me energetically, there is a sense of replenishing and renewal, a heightened sense of energy that moves me artistically. When I am there I do not feel the need to sleep and feel like my body is being rocked and wants to be creative. My work is informed by the beauty of nature and the nature of spirit found on the island.
I paint plein air (outside), in my room overlooking the Abbey and in the tiny, ancient Chapels, trying to capture the essence of the experience. My artwork done on Iona ranges from photography to watercolour, to oil touch drawings and veil paintings. While there, my perspectives are altered and I have moments where I truly pay attention and translate the experiences that infuse me.
Iona is an extraordinary place of geology, archeology and spirituality. The air in Iona is different, other worldly and timeless, full of paradoxes, simple/complex, present time/timeless, meditative /energetic, silent/noisy. I look forward to my next visit….. and new artistic expressions.