With travel restrictions at the time limiting visits to the West Coast, and heavy snowfall confining Simpson to his immediate vicinity, ambitious winter scenes from around his home in Clovenfords comprise the heart of the exhibition.

Reflecting on the time spent at home in 2020, Simpson said “To be able to work satisfactorily I find I need physical and metaphorical space around me. I was now seeing my more immediate surroundings afresh, particularly, and conveniently, just at my back door”.

The subjects ‘Home’ and ‘Away’ are divided between the rolling hills of the Scottish Borders and scenes from the north-west of Scotland, creating an exhibition of two distinct halves. While the West Coast subject matter usually dominates Simpson’s work, in ‘Home & Away’ dramatic coastal scenes of Achiltibuie, Mull and Iona become the foil to snowy and domestic scenes from Clovenfords.

This contrast will be presented as separate groups of work when hung in The Gallery, highlighting the interplay between warm and cool tones and demonstrating Simpson’s skill and subtlety as a colourist.

Simpson’s works reflect the landscape around him, full of the details of nature; a moving cloud as it crosses the Sound of Sleat, or the abstract forms of fields and fences. His own notes on his works are full of the names of the plants and birds he depicts.

Included in the exhibition will be a series of never before seen watercolours, created to illustrate two children’s books. These joyful works on paper offer a fascinating counterpoint to Simpson’s work in the landscape.

Tommy Zyw, Director at The Scottish Gallery commented, “Charles Simpson is a painter who approaches the landscape with his eyes wide open. Only through looking, with patience and familiarity, might a moment, however fleeting, materialize as something that he has never seen before”.

Also at the Scottish Gallery in February 2022, a mixed exhibition of letter cutting in stone, ‘Impressions In Stone’, will showcase the work of two Scottish sculptors, Mary Bourne and Gus Fisher, alongside artists from all over the UK: Martin Cook, Gillian Forbes and Zoe Wilson.

This will be accompanied by a vintage exhibition of the works by David McClure, Scottish artist and lecturer and contemporary of James Morrison, best known for his paintings of still life, interiors and figurative scenes as well as his landscapes of Scotland. This exhibition which has been curated by his son Robin McClure, will focus on the artist’s early work from his travels in Sicily.

Title Chris Simpson: Home & Away
Exhibition Dates Thursday 3rd – Saturday 26th February 2022

Location The Scottish Gallery, 16 Dundas Street, Edinburgh, EH3 6HZ