(Above: It is luminous without being fierce. Living Mountain Series. Rose Strang 2021).
Exhibition launching on Monday the 17th of April at the Heriot Gallery, Dundas Street, Edinburgh – The Living Mountain: Dreaming a Response
The paintings will be on exhibition and sale from the 17th to 23rd April at The Heriot Gallery and are now available to view and reserve from this link – The Living Mountain Series
“A stunning series of images – a symphony of subtle essences, distilled experiences, fleeting memory fragments and deep, heart-felt lingering impressions.” *****
Giles Sutherland, the Times, 21st February 2023
This series was very special for me; commissioned by the Folio Society London for their 2021 publication of Scottish literary classic The Living Mountain by Nan Shepherd, the paintings were created between December 2020 and April 2021.
I had already read The Living Mountain several years before and I was honoured to be chosen to paint a response to Nan Shepherd’s beautiful book, which expresses her response to the Cairngorm plateau in the north of Scotland.
When I first read the book, I felt a thrill of recognition; Shepherd observes as a mountain walker, but also as an artist – vividly describing the colours, moods, flora and fauna of her beloved Cairngorms.
Her approach was to explore the mountain’s effect on all of the senses, and this is a sensual work in the true sense of the word – also visionary and spiritual. Shepherd’s words have inspired many writers and artists, myself included, because through her experience of the mountain she explored what it is to be human. She questions the loss of innocence that can take place in our effort to conquer life through will and intellect; she was partly influenced by Buddhism, but the Cairngorms were her teacher.
As an artist, I related to this quest to communicate how landscape affects us. Nan condenses a lifetime of understanding and wisdom into this book, her shortest and, at first, her most overlooked work.
To paint this series in response was a daunting challenge, but one that I welcomed wholeheartedly. I’m very grateful to The Limetree Gallery and the Heriot Gallery for presenting this series – they have been wonderful to work with and I’m looking forward to seeing the exhibition in April.
Along with the Living Mountain series, there will also be additonal paintings created in response to the project and a short film inspired by the project as a whole, with specially commissioned music by Atzi Muramatsu.
If you are interested in the paintings or would like to reserve one before the exhibition launches on 17th April (two have already been reserved), please contact The Limetree Gallery (who are working in collaboration with the Heriot) with any queries on their website Limetree Gallery
The entire series can be viewed here – Gallery