Great outdoors inspires inside job

Artist James Barr
Artist James Barr

THE great outdoors has always been a profound influence on Jamie Barr – and the young Jedburgh artist is showing off the results of that inspiration in his pre-degree show this week, writes Mark Entwistle.

Jamie, 21, is a final-year BA (Hons) painting student at Robert Gordon University’s Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen. The budding artist and 16 of his classmates are showcasing their final-year work in an exhibition organised by the students, entitled Seventeen, at Art’s Complex in Edinburgh until March 4.

The event is an opportunity for the students to take their work out of the studio and present it in a public gallery space.

The art being exhibited by the students reflects the wide range of painting currently being practiced at Gray’s and showcases a broad range of personal interests being developed by the students.

Jamie, who currently lives in the Granite City, has drawn on his experiences walking in the Scottish countryside to create atmospheric paintings with a sense of place.

He told us: “I’ve always had an attraction to the outdoors and enjoy exploring the countryside around the city, including Loch Muick in Royal Deeside. Through my paintings, I look to examine our relationship with the natural environment we inhabit and how it can hold a power over our lives.

“I’m really excited about exhibiting our work to a new audience in Edinburgh. It will be great to see my painting in a different light and to also gauge the public’s reaction to it.”

Keith Grant, subject leader in painting at Gray’s, said the exhibition was an excellent opportunity for the students to present their work in a professional gallery space and to learn from it ahead of presenting a comprehensive body of work at the degree show in June.

“Bringing the show to Edinburgh presents us with the opportunity to show the diversity of work and talent that is being nurtured here at Gray’s,” said Mr Grant.

“It will hopefully give the public in the Central Belt a taste of the quality of work currently being produced at Gray’s and in the north-east of Scotland.”