- This event has passed.
Remembered Lands – Iona Leishman
June 2, 2023 – July 3, 2023
Iona Leishman has been selected as the artist of the month at Logie Steading, a cultural centre located in Forres, Scotland. From 2 June to 3 July 2023, she will be showcasing her new work entitled ‘Remembered Lands’ in the Square Room Gallery at Logie Steading. The exhibition will be open to the public, providing an opportunity for visitors to view and appreciate Iona’s artistic creations and the themes explored in ‘Remembered Lands’.
‘Remembered Land’ carries themes from my life of painting – my own ancestral connection to north eastern Scotland coupled with a knowing and a familiarity with land born of long Scots lineage. This will be a special exhibition for me as it marks my 60th birthday that falls on 11 July 2023. During the show, I’d really like to be around to talk with people about my work if that’s possible.
I feel an emotional heft in my response to this Moray land; in its shapes that speak of ancient knowledge, the particular smell of trees, water and turf. This place is now my home and from my working art studio in Kinloss, I bring in my first hand knowledge of the feel of the wider Scotland, from the Pentland Hills of Edinburgh, the Highlands, Western Isles and Cairngorms. A Scots artist for sure, Scotland carries whispers and reminders of what I know on a soul level.
Instead of formal art schooling, I chose a long and robust apprenticeship in en plein air painting. With an excellent teacher in Orcadian artist Peter McLaren and a bunch of intrepid companions, I explored the limits of cold, wind and rain in the pursuit of delicious colour, texture and mood to describe the River Spey, Glencoe, Orkney and Perthshire. It was and is an utterly compelling activity and I do hope my enthusiasm and love of this Scots land is conveyed to you in this body of work.
Engaging with art in this way over a long period of time enabled me to parent my family of four, making me a better parent as a result because I was attending to my own creativity.
My affinity with history and past lives was given free reign with my year-long residency at Stirling Castle. By invitation of Historic Environment Scotland, I was the first resident visual artist based there and from my studio within the castle walls I engaged with the lives of those who had lived and died, struggled and fought there. The energy flowed through me in a torrent of images. In the years following my residency, I was invited by HES to produce work marking key anniversaries in Scotland’s history, exhibiting each time in the Castle’s Chapel Royal.
Harsh, mesmerising and enchanting in equal measure, I return to Scotland’s western seaboard where as a child growing up in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Argyll, its wild beauty affected me deeply. As a young adult I drew and painted on the Hebridean Island of Canna where I lived for a couple of years, commissioned by The National Trust for Scotland to produce images of this wondrous place.
Once again connecting with the National Trust for Scotland, my work was chosen to mark the opening of the NTS flagship Battle of Bannockburn Centre in Central Scotland.
I am a visual artist with more than 25 years’ experience of studio and en plein air drawing and painting. I delight in the luscious depth and colour that oil paint extends and often add ink, pastel and charcoal to change pace and create texture. A seasoned outdoor painter, I am drawn to use unexpected colour in my trees and expanses of water and sky, understanding nature’s extensive colour palette. Art tutoring and creative workshop leadership has made up an important plank of my working life for many years, and I continue to deliver both in my working studio in Kinloss, Morayshire and for Moray Art Centre, Findhorn.
A profoundly inspiring experience was my appointment as Historic Environment Scotland first Artist in Residence at Stirling Castle which led to a long and fruitful relationship with repeated invitations to exhibit to an international audience in the Castle’s Chapel Royal.
A native Scot schooled in Glasgow and Edinburgh, I have north east connections through my mother and delight in the opportunity, at last, of living and connecting creatively with Moray.