Lifelines

3rd Oct - 3rd Nov

‘Barely a twelvemonth after
The seven days war that put the world to sleep,
Late in the evening the strange horses came.’

So begins Edwin Muir’s poem ‘The Horses’ – a post-apocalyptic vision where the inhabitants of the earth are learning to return to that earth for their survival. And this is perhaps a good starting point for thinking about Alison Auldjo’s latest collection of work.

Dark, muted canvases are now populated by ethereal animals and figures – recognisably of this world but also very much part of another.  At no point are we certain whether it’s dream or nightmare we’re witnessing, whether hunter or hunted.

That the images are shot through with fragility is clear, but they’re also savage and unsettling – from a different time and place. A place like the one in Muir’s poem perhaps, scrubbed clean by some unseen event and ready to start again.

Making your way through this strange new land, you might not be surprised to see these images looming out from some long-forgotten cave wall, but whether they were painted there as invitation or warning, you can never know – and that is why they will haunt you.

Sarah Jane Robinson, Freelance Writer
07828 637 217

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...

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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.

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Alison Auldjo: 'Lifelines'

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Reviewed by Rhys Fullerton

The Stare

For many contemporary artists, getting their work exhibited can often by the hardest part of the process. Owning your own art gallery should make it easier, but for Alison Auldjo, owner of the Union Gallery, this is her first exhibition in three years. Auldjo is an artist in her own right, but running a thriving contemporary art gallery in central Edinburgh can be time-consuming and leave little opportunity to paint. Lifelines is well worth the wait.

Auldjo’s ability to paint landscapes is clear and seems to be second nature. The relationship between the artist, the environment and nature is evident in every painting on display. One of the highlights is one of the smaller paintings on show – ‘Rural Mysteries’. The bleak landscape is scratched into the canvas and the setting sun is almost insignificant, its light and heat won’t be able to win the fight against the changing of the season.

When Auldjo combines nature and people in her landscape paintings, we learn more about the artist and see a deeper thought process.

Child's Play - No Chuckling Matter

MaryArchibald

‘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

meetingonabeach

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

Tadeusz

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

 

From The Blog

Press Release: James Newton Adams

 

‘AYE EYE’

FIRST EDINBURGH SOLO SHOW FOR SKYE ARTIST JAMES NEWTON ADAMS

Aye-Eye

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

WORTH THE WALK… UNION GALLERY CELEBRATES FIVE YEARS

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.

PLAY TIME!!

Woo Hoo!!!...

childsplay1

childsplay2

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.