Author Archives: rosestrang

About rosestrang

Artist, Painter

‘Iona, October Tide’ event

Video still from ‘Iona, October Tide’


I want to thank folks for coming along to my recent event Iona, October Tide (where we shared the first edit of our collaborative video). Most particularly thanks to  Donald Ferguson and Charlotte Robertson for a beautiful poem recital (Heine’s Questions – see text below) and a sensitive and moving music performance (instrumental – Is there anybody out there by Pink Floyd). This was Donald’s response to the recent collaboration between myself and poet/musician Chris Jupp that was in response to the Isle of Iona. (Video of Donald and Charlotte’s performance below).

Sincere thanks to Chris Jupp who has been an inspiration to work with – it deepened my response as an artist during the recent residency on Iona – it was a challenging and rewarding artistic process in many ways – I’ll update on future exhibitions or showings of the video early next year, at the moment we want to tweak several aspects of the video.

I enjoyed all the conversations at the event too and thank Alicia Devine and Scott Terris also in particular for their responsive presence.

Questions (Heinrich Heine)

By the sea, the wild, nocturnal sea,
Stands a stripling youth;
His breast full of woe, his head full of doubts,
And with bitter lips he questions the waves:
“Oh solve me the ancient riddle,
The cruel, ancient riddle
Upon which many heads have pondered,
Heads in hieroglyphic covered hats,
Heads in black birettas and turbans,
Peri-wigged heads and a thousand other
Poor, perspiring heads —
Tell me, what signifies man?
Where cometh he? What is his destiny?
Who lives up there beyond golden stars?”
The waves murmur their eternal murmer.
The wind blows, the clouds move;
The stars blink, indifferent and cold and cruel.
And a fool waits for his answer.



Iona, October Tide

‘North Beach, Twilight II. Isle of Iona’. Mixed media on 6×6″ wood block. Rose Strang 2018. £75

This Saturday I’m looking forward to an evening event at my studio where I’ll be showing Iona, October Tide – a short film showing paintings and footage from my recent artist’s residency on Iona, with poems and music by Chris Jupp.

It has been a most rewarding collaboration, and I’ll write more about that when I post the video here next week.

I’ve also created a few more paintings for the event! (see more below) I wanted to capture something of the mysterious atmosphere of the North beach on Iona at twilight …

‘North Beach,Twilight. Isle of Iona’. Mixed media on 6×6″ wood block. Rose Strang 2018. £75

‘North Beach,Twilight. Isle of Iona III’. Mixed media on 6×6″ wood block. Rose Strang 2018. £75







‘West Coast, Isle of Iona’. Mixed media on 10×10″ wood panel (unframed). Rose Strang 2018. £300

‘North East Coast, Isle of Iona’. Mixed media on 10×10″ wood panel (unframed). Rose Strang 2018. £300







Christmas Exhibition – Limetree Gallery

‘Edinburgh Snow (Arthur’s Seat and Royal Mile from Regent Road). Mixed media on 24×16″ found wood panel. Rose Strang 2018.

The Limetree Gallery in Bristol will be launching their Christmas Exhibition today –  29th November  – which will include several of my paintings.

I’m really delighted to be showing as part of this exhibition, which includes a range of works by artists such as Boo Malinson, Anna King, Michael G Clark and Steven Lindsay among others. View all works in the show on this link Christmas Exhibition

(Exhibition ends December 29th)

In keeping with the winter theme, my painting Edinburgh Snow (above) will be on show, as well as paintings from the Wells of Arthur’s Seat series, and my most recent Iona, October series, all viewable on this page Artworks

(If you’re interested in any of these paintings, please contact the Limetree Gallery with any queries at their contact page – Contact )

Edinburgh Art Fair

I’m delighted to be showing with the Limetree Gallery again at this year’s Edinburgh Arts Fair.

The paintings below (from my recent Isle of Iona series) will be on show, alongside work by other artists represented by the Limetree.

The Edinburgh Art Fair runs from 23rd to 25th November, you can also buy tickets for the preview night which always has a very lively buzz.

All info here …

Paintings …

‘October Sky, Isle of Iona’. Mixed media on 30×30″ wood panel. Rose Strang 2018 (£1400)

‘October Sky, Isle of Iona’. Mixed media on 10×10″ wood panel. Rose Strang 2018 (£400)

‘Marram Grass, Isle of Iona’. Mixed media on 10×10″ wood panel. Rose Strang 2018 (£400)

‘Sea Mist, Isle of Iona’. Mixed media on 10×10″ wood panel. Rose Strang 2018 (£400)

Margaret Tait – Demarco Archives Exhibition












This week I attended the opening of INTERIM EDITION: THE MARGARET TAIT POETRY ARCHIVE, showing at the Demarco Archives exhibition space in Summerhall, Edinburgh.

Curated by Dr Sarah Neely and coordinated by Fernanda Zei (exhibition curator/archivist, Demarco Archive), it’s part of the larger programme  celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of poet/filmmaker Margaret Tait (info here – )

Watching her films, I’m most affected by the way she seems almost to focus on the peripheral while capturing the essence of things. It’s visceral in effect but also poetic (she often described her films as ‘film poems’) and evocative. (Links to short films by Tait at the end of this post).

There’s also what I’d describe as faith or belief in the images – her short films aren’t presented or edited in a way that offers explanation, plot or conclusion, which sounds as though it could be either surrealist or documentary-like but is neither, and of course her editing is deliberate. In a poem from ‘Origins and Elements’ she describes the way that filming fed her way of seeing (apologies for blurry image, these are my photos) …





It was a creative approach that excluded her from conventional success in many ways, partly  due to her being female in an area led almost exclusively by men in those decades (though she was to some extent part of a circle that included poets such as McDiarmid and Sorley MacLean). Her motivation was purely creative though, and it didn’t matter to her that at times a lack of income meant sleeping in her car (a fact the press focused on at times, to her bemusement).

She resisted labelling of her work, not from any wish to be unique but more from her personal understanding of the nature of her own life and creative reality (text from exhibition) …
















The opening of the exhibition this week included beautiful poetry readings by actress, singer/song writer and poet Gerda Stevenson, who’d appeared in Tait’s feature-length film Blue Black Permanent. Also brief presentations by exhibition co-ordinator Fernanda Zei, and curator Dr Sarah Nealy.

Dr Sarah Nealy had explored the Tait archive to collate work for the larger centenary celebration of Margaret Tait, and she spoke about the recurring instances of support by Richard Demarco over the years, evidenced in numerous letters  (Richard would have attended and co-presented the opening but is currently abroad).

This letter offers an example of his admiration and support for her work. I’ve no idea if there was follow-up from actor Sean Connery, a supporter of the Demarco Gallery during its early days in the 1960’s. (I include a transcript since my photo is blurry!)…





Dear Sean,

I am sending you a very important little brown envelope, containing a personal letter from Margaret Tait, my favourite Scottish poet and filmmaker. You will remember that marvellous book of hers that you bought from the gallery ‘Origins and Elements’.

Margaret Tait wants to make a feature film and she has given me some idea of it and I feel that it could be of great importance, as she says, the film is about the sea, about poetry, about Scotland, about communication and about some people. She wants to you to act in it. She sees you in two different parts. She has also written to Liz MacLennan who knows about her films (she saw them at my summer school showing).

You know already how highly I regard Margaret Tait and her work. She is a classic example of a first class Scot living here and being ignored, with something significant to say to the whole world about Scotland.


Richard Demarco

Gallery Director


As always I recommend a visit to the exhibition in person – it’s rich in material about her life and work –  ideas, poetry, photos and articles. I felt moved by it, and in some small way emboldened – her creative courage is an inspiration.

INTERIM EDITION: THE MARGARET TAIT POETRY ARCHIVE runs from Thursday 8 November to Sunday 6 January 2019 at the Demarco Archives exhibition space at Summerhall.

A few links to Margaret Tait’s films:

One is One –

Tailpiece –

Biography –

October Tide

‘October Tide. Isle of Iona’. Mixed media on 30×30 ” wood panel. Rose Strang 2018

The last painting for the Limetree Gallery, and the October Iona series, finished today!

I will await my return to Edinburgh to blog more, since each of these posts takes around 2 hours due to slow connection!

The next two days will be holiday time, but I’ll be posting much more about my stay here when I return to Edinburgh on the 5th November, including photos and info on Iona, the hostel, studio space, and about the lovely people (John, Mark, Chris and Maddie) who make this place an oasis for countless people in summer, and for artists throughout winter. It has been absolutely rewarding.

Thank you!


October Iona series, day 6

In progress, mixed media on 30×30 inch wood panel

Almost finished with the largest painting (above, 30×30 inches) of the Iona Series, for the up-coming Limetree Gallery exhibitions. All details below …

‘Pisces Moon, Isle of Iona. Mixed media on 10×10″ wood panel. Rose Strang 2018

‘Sea Mist, October, Isle of Iona. Mixed media on 10×10 ” wood panel. Rose Strang 2018

‘Ochre Rocks, North Beach, Isle of Iona. Mixed media on 10×10″ wood panel. Rose Strang 2018

‘Marram Grass, North Beach in October. Isle of Iona’. Mixed media on 10×10″ wood panel. Rose Strang 2018

Ifyou’re in Edinburgh this November, drop in to see the Edinburgh Art Fair, where the Limetree Gallery will be exhibiting all five paintings at the top of this post, as part of a group show.

The Edinburgh Art Fair runs from the 23rd to 25th November, all details here ..

On November 29th, The Limetree Gallery, Bristol, launch their Winter Exhibition, which will also include some of my Iona series as part of a group show.

If you’re interested in any of these paintings (above) you can contact the Limetree Gallery through their website, on this link ..