EdinReport-GillMath-5As  a former long-term colleague of the artist’s partner with the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service, the author was privileged to attend the private view of Gillian Mather’s exhibition ‘LOVE: The Souls of Men as Polar Bears’ at the Arusha Gallery on Dundas Street.

Gillian studied at Edinburgh College of Art and the Royal College of Art, where she was awarded The Henriques Prize for the best woman artist during her tenure at the RCA.

The Royal Academy also rewarded her work with the David Murray award for Landscape Painting.

EdinReport-GillMath-4Her work is influenced by cave paintings and ‘naive’ art, using bold colours to capture the basic shape of – polar bears in the current show – and defining the details of eyes, nose, ears, etc with simple brush strokes. Her aim is to “capture the fundamental character and essence of a being within a naive form and to convey the essence of love”.

The current series is hung in the gallery against black painted walls, which is particularly effective in emphasising the strong colours.

The artist goes on to say that she would like her paintings to give pleasure to people who were not normally interested in art.

Speaking with the artist’s partner, Dr. Peter Foster, he related that the gallery works had been chosen from over 90 polar bear works which had, temporarily, taken over one of the rooms in their Edinburgh home, with another 100+ paintings ‘upstairs’.


SSA Member, Gillian Mather will exhibit at the Arusha Gallery from 29 April – 8 May, 2015.

Arusha Gallery

13a Dundas St


10:00-17:00 Mon-Sat. 13:00-17:00 Sun.