4th Sept - 1st Oct

Union Gallery is proud to be hosting James Newton Adams first solo exhibition in Edinburgh.

"This collection of new paintings and wrought iron sculpture is an invitation to look and, as the show’s title suggests, see, through the eyes of the characters in a created world.  Many of the paintings begin as compositions of elements in an environment, be it landscape, cityscape, or interior, from which the characters and their stories develop as the paint is laid on.  Sometimes as the story evolves, a feedback occurs in which the elements of the painting need to be moved around the canvas, so that the final work comprises successive layers of underpainting of which only ghosts remain.

In my recent paintings I have been working with a wider range of colours and textures to give life to a specific memory be it of moonlight, lamplight or daylight.  I use white paint to build up textures so that the world I am creating sometimes appears frosted, highlighting the isolation of the figures and the presence they evoke in an unspecified space.

The sculptures are about connections; emotions are expressed in hard steel by joining the pieces together in simple but evocative ways.  Steel is a direct but also a very demanding medium; through the processes of forging, welding, riveting and grinding, emotions are reduced to an elemental state in the finished work.

Many of the works are about difficult or intimate moments but at the same time this is leavened with humour and sympathy."

James Newton Adams, August 2014.

The Gallery

UNIONgallery on Broughton Street, Edinburgh

Established to bring the very best of the contemporary art scene to the public view, and to offer the finest service to buyer and artist alike, Union Gallery is a gallery with a...


These are just a few of our forthcoming exhibitions. Click on the titles to find out more, or visit the Exhibitions page to see what else is coming soon.




Child's Play - No Chuckling Matter


‘Kill'em! Strangle'em! Don't let go! Kill'em! Kill'em! Kill'em ALL!!’

So says Chucky in the 1988 horror film Child’s Play, capturing rather neatly the dark territory children enter alarmingly often and quickly with unfettered imagination.

Play can be profoundly creative and amoral. It gives licence to the violence of make-believe. It sets few bounds. It rarely apologises. It is the kitten's enjoyable rehearsal of a kill.

Something of that liberating darkness pervades much of the new work at Union Gallery, a group exhibition by seven artists invited to respond to Child’s Play as a theme by gallery director Alison Auldjo.

I am new to the work of Mary Archibald, and pleasantly unsettled by the rumpled, rottten-potato quality of her effigies. ‘Ma Hoop’ and ‘Ma Ba’ recall the feral qualities of Archibald’s own childhood. She speaks of ‘bringing to life’ these pieces, of letting her inner ‘bad girl out to play’. I found 'The Christening' (above) absolutely terrifying.

Earth, Sea & Skye


Skye-based James Newton Adams’ paintings in his solo exhibition at the Union Gallery are mostly of people and places in the Hebrides or west coast of Scotland. 

They are rendered in a style which looks, at first glance, rough, childish and unconsidered. A second look, though, soon reveals some very subtle brushwork and a more complicated approach: a process of paring down, refining each scene until what remains is a kind of irreducible narrative essence.

What emerges could be about a longed-for meeting on the beach, the concealed loneliness of an individual or the contested, shifting spaces we share with others. At their best, Adams’ works simultaneously map geography, action, economy, appearance, climate and the unseen threads of spirit and community which link them.

All this, in wonderfully thick, textured, gneiss blues and Atlantic greys, rust reds and lifejacket orange. Here too are the nicotine browns of bars, sombre Presbyterian greens, and the energising white of sea spume, cloud and marauding gulls.

Bunch of Fives

Thursday, 10 July 2014


The Union Gallery celebrates its anniversary this month with a group exhibition featuring work by some of the artists who shown here over the previous five years.

No particular theme prevails, although there’s a general lightness of touch which matches the season and the sunshine-flooded premises.

What follows is a selection of personal favourites, from which others are omitted mostly for reasons of space or some difficulty in photographing them adequately. More images will follow later in the month.

First up is Tadeusz Deregowski’s postcard-sized oil, in which he has reached by his own circuitous route a quickening of texture which reminded me of Cathy Campbell's ‘Afternoon Spider Plant’, shown here last year


Really, Nothing is Black & White

Friday, 6 June 2014

Black & White

The Union Gallery this month features the first ever joint showing in Edinburgh of work by husband and wife Jim McCutcheon and Linda Downie.

Really is an exhibition of strong contrasts and subtle similarities, of memorable images which often raise as many questions as they answer. If there is one thing of which one can be certain here, it is that reality, in Really, defies definition, and can certainly not be relied upon.

Perhaps the most obvious starting point is McCutcheon’s ‘I didn’t do it’ and ‘It wasn’t me’: identical figures of naked boys leaning awkwardly, uncomfortably, against the wall, their gaze cast up, hands tucked behind, elongated chests and genitals exposed and vulnerable.

They are distinguished only by the colour of their ‘skins’ and ‘irises’.

From The Blog

Press Release: James Newton Adams





The exhibition will open on September 4th at the Union Gallery in Edinburgh. With a selection of new paintings and wrought iron sculpture, James invites viewers to look and, as the show’s title suggests, see, through the eyes of the characters in his created world. Using his distinctive and very direct style, the artist reflects on his own experience of life in the Highlands and Islands.

Walking on Sunshine

The Stockbridge Edinburgh website has a lovely article about the five year birthday


Jun 24, 2014

AlisonAuldjoIt’s five years since a 31-year old artist took a leap of faith and decided to open a gallery on Edinburgh’s Broughton Street, just when the country was in the grip of a recession.

To mark the Union Gallery’s fifth birthday, owner and director Alison Auldjo is welcoming back many of the outstanding artists who have exhibited with her for ‘Now We Are Five’, a spectacular mixed exhibition which runs from 4 until 29 July.

The exhibition features artists such as Philip Braham, Annette Edgar, Patsy McArthur, Dylan Lisle, Graham Flack, Norrie Harman, Joyce Gun Cairns MBE, and Audrey Grant to name a few.

The gallery has forged a formidable reputation for showing the work of contemporary artists that other galleries might consider non-commercial in terms of too challenging or too provocative.


Woo Hoo!!!...



Now We're on Video

A wonderful wee video, courtesy of Summerhall TV all about the 5th Birthday show, Now We Are 5! You've only got a few days left to see all of these brilliant works all in one place! (and that place is UNIONgallery of course...) I look forward to seeing you!!

Huge thanks to Summerhall TV and Art in Scotland TV for the video.