Monday, 12 March 2012

Tighnabruaich travels to new Glasgow Art Show

Tighnabruaich Gallery 
@ Glasgow Art Show
23 - 25 March 2012
The Grand Ballroom, Thistle Glasgow
Cambridge Street, Glasgow, G2 3HN
March 7, 2012
Alchemists in an Industrial Landscape by
Heather Nevay. On sale for £4,800 with
Tighnabruaich Gallery at Glasgow Art Show

The Argyll-based Tighnabruaich Gallery is bringing the work of artist Heather Nevay back to her home city for the new Glasgow Art Show, after her critically acclaimed solo show in Miami, Florida.
Heather, who has a second home in the village of Tighnabruaich, has developed close links with the gallery in the last couple of years.
The artist’s recent hit exhibition, Flesch and Blood, at Miami’s 101/exhibit gallery featured her signature rose-toned Flemish-style pre-teen figures engaged in sinister childhood games. More than half the work was reserved by the time the exhibition opened last month.
Heather’s highly collectable work was a regular fixture at the Glasgow Art Fair, which took place annually in the city’s George Square until 2010. 
Her distinctive paintings, collected by fans worldwide, now routinely sell for four-figure sums. 
The Argyll-based gallery is bringing two of Heather’s sought-after original oil paintings to the all-new Glasgow Art Show; one called Alchemists in an Industrial Landscape and the other Belovd.
The Tighnabruaich Gallery is one of 41 galleries selected to exhibit at the brand new Glasgow Art Show, which takes place in the Thistle Hotel, Glasgow from March 23-25.
As well as Heather’s work, the gallery will be bringing the work of sought-after Scots artists such as, Gordon Wilson, Charlie O’Sullivan, Ingeborg Smith, Tommy Fitchet and Kevin Fleming.
They will also be showcasing the unique watercolours of Northumberland-based artist, MJ (Matt) Forster. This will be the first time this self-styled ‘Überpainter’ has been shown in Scotland.
According to Matt, Überpaintings are ‘designed rather than painted’. 
“An Überpainting cannot be created within one painting,’ he adds. ‘They have to be developed. This can take weeks to achieve a satisfactory image.”
Penny Graham-Weall of the Tighnabruaich Gallery comments: “We are delighted to be exhibiting at the first ever Glasgow Art Show. It’s vitally important for galleries like ours to be able to bring our artists to a bigger audience and this offers a great opportunity for all concerned.”
Tighnabruaich Gallery, Argyll, PA21 2DR
Tel: 01700 811681
Glasgow Art Show opening hours:
Thursday 22nd March 2012: 18.30 - 21.30
Preview Evening & Wine Reception Ticket Only 
Friday March 23: 11.00 - 18.00 - £6 Concessions £4
Saturday March 24: 11.00 - 18.00 - £6 Concessions £4
Sunday March 25: 11.00 - 17.00 - £6 Concessions £4
Tickets available on the door
Admission price is for a weekend pass allowing unlimited access to the show
Finding Peace by Charlie O'Sullivan. On sale with Tig Gallery
at Glasgow Art Show for £1,795 

This is Western Isles (watercolour) by MJ Forster, price TBC

Daisy Diver by Ingebjorg Smith - £330  (25x29cm)

For further information or images please contact: 
Penny Graham-Weall on 

Monday, 5 March 2012

Heather Nevay


Here at the the Tighnabruaich Gallery, we are very lucky to be able to exhibit the work of one of Scotland's most sought after painters, Heather Nevay. The way Heather paints is so detailed and exacting that producing work is a highly charged creative yet labour-intensive process. So, when paintings come to the gallery, they don't linger for long.

Heather has an army of faithful fans who collect her work.

She recently had a hugely successful exhibition in Miami, which was almost sold-out by the time it opened.

Heather and her partner John have a house in Tighnabruaich and are frequent visitors. A welcome addition to the lively social scene in this beautiful corner of Argyll...

Up until now, Heather's work hasn't been available in print form, but we have been working with Glasgow-based design company, Deadly Digital, to produce a stunning set of affordable digital prints. Also on sale will be a limited edition 'black book' of Heather's work. It's priced at £60 and it's a thing of beauty. A keepsake to last a lifetime...

Please contact the gallery for more information.

This painting, Alchemists in Industrial Landscape, is coming with is to the new Glasgow Art Show, which is taking place at the Thistle Hotel in Glasgow on the weekend of March 23-25. Keep reading this blog and checking our website, facebook and twitter accounts for more information over the next few weeks.

New Alchemists in Industrial Landscape byHeather Nevay (this painting will be on sale at our stand at Glasgow Art Show from March 23-25 - see for more details)

The following feature by Jan Patience appeared in Homes & Interiors Scotland magazine a couple of years ago.

This Life: Heather Nevay
As seen in issue 62 of Homes & Interiors Scotland magazine
By Jan Patience

In Heather Nevay’s work, every picture tells a story. In her maker’s mind, the characters and the story are clear-cut, but for the beholder, each painting it is an open book, waiting to take on a life of its own. 

Given the finely tuned sense of composition, colour and design inherent in Heather’s paintings, coupled with a fantastical imagination at work, it is no surprise to find her eyrie-like flat across the top floor of a Glasgow tenement throws away the modern interior design rule book, yet works in the most spectacular fashion.

Heather and her partner John Burke have lived in the same building in Glasgow’s west end for over 20 years, but 11 years ago, following a fire in the roof top flat a few floors further up when six student occupants had to be airlifted out by helicopter, they decided to make an offer on it and move up in the world.

“We knew that the landlord would not be able to let it out again for health and safety reasons,” she explains, “so we decided to make an early offer.

“I needed more room to work and we loved living in the area. It’s close to great shops, bars and restaurants in the west end and within walking distance of town. The views out over the rooftops to the Campsie Hills are special too.”

When the couple moved in, they had their work cut out. Not only had the interior been fire-damaged, but years of neglect and abuse had taken its toll on the fabric of the L-shaped apartment, which Heather thinks may have been used originally as servants’ quarters when the Victorian tenement was first built.

“It was dark and gloomy,” she adds. “There were horrible smelly carpets in the bathroom and the kitchen and there was no heating at all. 

Early on, we had to decide what room was what as all four rooms had been used as bedrooms. 

“Initially, the room we now use as a little sitting room was a dining room, with the large lounge as the place we tended to sit in the evening.

“I also had my studio in the room which is now our bedroom, but a few years ago, we swapped things around and my studio is now at one end of the large room we had as a bedroom. I love to base myself around a window and that works as I paint at one end and we use the other part of the room as a guest bedroom.”

The flat has been a work in progress since they moved in, with the couple playing to their own individual strengths. As a civil engineer, John was able to deal with practical structural challenges, such as when they knocked through a wall in search of a chimneybreast and exposed more wall to the world than they had intended. 

To tie in with Heather’s aim of ‘not having a fitted kitchen’, he created and customised the cabinetry in the kitchen. An old wardrobe has been painted and fitted with mouldings from B&Q to create more storage space. Elsewhere, on the wall connecting the hall and the lounge, he has installed a small porthole bought in a chandlery. Around the recess window’s, he has built shutters to preserve heat.

Heather likes to be surrounded by things not found in homes up and down the land. “There’s nothing wrong with buying furniture from IKEA, it’s just that it’s not for me,” she says. “We couldn’t afford to buy really expensive one-offs, so our leather sofas in the lounge, for example, were bought for next-to-nothing from classified ads in the local paper.

“I found the small green and white floral sofa and chair in the sitting room on Great Western Road in Glasgow, about to be lifted by the cleansing department. I called John to come back from work at lunchtime so he could lift it up to the flat with me. 

“He’s very fastidious and was literally holding it at arms length because it was in such a disgusting state, but it was so jaunty I knew if I cleaned it up, had it reupholstered and covered, it’d look fantastic. And it does.”

Heather, whose degree from Glasgow School of Art, was in printed textiles, has honed her interior design eye over the years to master many new skills, including plastering a fireplace surround and mixing wallpaper paste and yellow paint to create a vivid backdrop for the lounge and the hall. 

Her talent as an arranger of seemingly disparate objects is always to the fore, be it in the clever use of painted wooden chairs half way up the kitchen wall as extra shelving, or her humorous take of plonking her friend’s mum’s wedding tiara atop the bust of a little boy salvaged from a chemist where he’d been used as part of advertising campaign. In the lounge, hanging on a wooden screen on the living room, she has a pair of exquisite Chinese watercolour palettes she picked up in a market in Islington. She has customised the upper part of the palette with circular digital copies of two of her paintings. 

In every corner of this apartment, from kitchen, to bathroom to lounge and hallway, there is something to hold your attention. Heather admits she is not keen on cupboards, so her world is on display in what feels like a living, breathing very well lived-in theatrical set. It’s not everyone who could get away with having a salvaged statuette of Jesus on a velvet-draped plinth with some nice artificial flowers on his head, but here, it works.

Everything in this house, be it artefact, icon, ornament, foliage, painting or stuffed animal in a glass case (of which there are many), has its own story, from the first ever stuffed animal she bought – an early Victorian version of the King Charles spaniel – to the most recent purchase; an antelope with impossibly twisted horns dating back to 1922.

Currently sitting on a chair in its glass case, Heather says she is unsure of the perfect position for this once wild beast, and it is this approach which sets her home apart from other interiors, where such a feast of detail would become simply a guddle in need of a good dusting.

The couple don’t have children of their own, but Heather’s sister’s children ‘love coming up here’ she declares. “They head straight for the stuffed animals. What they like – and what I love too – is the fact that normally you wouldn’t get so close to them. I mean, where would you normally see a badger? The other good thing is that they’re not difficult pets!”

As well as the stuffed animals, Heather and John also share their home with a pair of life-sized plaster sheep, made by the acclaimed Scottish sculptor, Angela Hunter. Heather and Angela swapped work a few years back and one stands in the lounge by a window, while its mate is in the couple’s bedroom, seemingly gnawing on a piece of foliage hanging above the bed.

As you would expect, the walls groan with original art, most of it by Heather, spanning the 20 years since she left art school. There are early figurative paintings in acrylic as well as the more recent unsettling oils of vignettes of children at play, and several examples of her exquisite hand drawn figures on paper.

In the lounge, she has work by other artists, including an original Jack Vettriano. A few years back, Heather exchanged work with the Fife-born painter, whose work now routinely sells for five figure sums. There is also a small painting by Glasgow-based Peter 

Thompson, with whom Heather recently exhibited at Glasgow’s Mansfield Park Gallery alongside Thompson’s wife Helen Flockhart. The specially commissioned painting of a Celtic/Rangers football match in Peter’s distinctive highly detailed style was a 40th birthday present for John – an avid Celtic fan.

The hub of the house is Heather’s studio, which like all artists’ spaces is highly personal. Postcards, posters and tear sheets from magazines of figures or faces cover the wall around the inset window. Many are from the Italian Renaissance era, a period that continues to be a constant inspiration in her work. Heather is often to be found in here until late at night, with Radio 4 or a Talking Book for company as she paints. 

To the outsider, this space might seem like an essay in ordered chaos, but to Heather it provides constant inspiration – a window on her alternative universe.
• I’m always rooting about in antique shops and auction houses. My favourite ones are Great Western Auctions and Authentics in Glasgow’s west end and The Thrie Estaits in Edinburgh. If any of them have something they know I’ll like, they call me.
•  The Mexican painter Frida Kahlo has been an inspiration for many years. Some people have drawings their kids have done on the fridge. I have a picture of Frida.
•  The Renaissance period in painting fascinates me and informs my work. I particularly like the work of the German painter Lucas Cranach and Hans Memling, a 15th century Flemish painter.
•  The flat is crammed with stuffed animals, but my favourite has to be the first one I bought – the wee King Charles spaniel, with his jaunty red bow and impossibly tiny jaw. Though I do like my otter in the studio. 
 As soon as I spotted a wood carving of a seated figure folding its arms to its chest in the Thrie Estates, I knew I had to have it. It dates back to Tudor times and it’s my favourite object in our house. We keep it in our bedroom.
•  If we ever have any time out, we head to Tighnabruaich, which is a couple of hour’s drive away from Glasgow. 
•  Our favourite restaurant and bar is Stravaigin, which is just a walk away from us on Gibson Street, in Glasgow’s west end.
•  I love New York, but Italian cities inspire me in every way. John’s mum is from Naples, so that is a great excuse to visit – and we love Italian food.