ARTIST's OWN STUDIO
TRISH BELL, HEBRIDES CRAFT-ZING - Glass and ceramics
Coming from Stoke on Trent, home of Wedgwood, Doultons, Spode at 16, I went to work in a laboratory for a company producing colours and coatings for the ceramic industry. For over 30 yrs my relationship with colour, clay and ceramics grew. I took a degree in ceramics at Staffordshire University, studied painting at the Burslem school of art then pottery techniques at Spode. I thrive working with a variety of materials, paint, textiles, ceramics, glass and anodised aluminium. I love combining mixes of materials to create interesting objects but my main passion is glass.
My love of glass comes from visiting Stourbridge and Mdina in Malta, watching the glass makers I was fascinated with the media of glass and working with fire. Exploring how I could work with glass I found Lampworking. No, not making lamps as the description suggests, but a technique working glass using a hot flame torch. Working with molten glass is exciting, intriguing, I find it magical like alchemy. I love working in my studio overlooking the Atlantic, using inspiration from nature the movement of the wind, the sea, the flowers and the stars in the big beautiful dark skies that we have here in the Hebrides. Here on the Isle of Lewis I have fulfilled an ambition to live and work in a place where there is unlimited inspiration around me.
ARTIST's OWN STUDIO
NICOLA STEVENSON - Artist
Nicola Stevenson is a contemporary landscape painter from Ireland, she graduated in Art & Design and later completed a post-graduate in Computer Applications in Art & Design. She worked for many years as computer graphics technician, graphic designer, also managing the Gallery at the Alnwick Playhouse.
Over the past five years she has returned to developing her painting again, exploring new mediums and ways of working and progressing her ‘plein air’ pieces on a much larger scale. Working mainly in oils, acrylics and glazes, Nicola’s aim is to capture the beauty of the coastline, allowing the viewer to step inside the paintings and feel surrounded by the stunning landscape.
Instagram - @nicolastevensonart
Facebook - Nicola Stevenson Art
ARTIST's OWN STUDIO
RUPACHITTA ROBERTSON - Artist and Sculptor
I am a bit of a Jack of all trades. A painter, sculptor, designer, a Gaelic teacher, gardener, shed builder, photographer, Buddhist etc. My interest moves about, responding to the resources and stimulation of the different places I have lived. I studied Fine art at Glasgow School of Art, specialising in sculpture.
The environment has always been central to my work. This first found expression working on the Clydeside docks as they were being filled in, marking the transition from an industrial era to another. I made window displays in London, designed shops throughout Europe and was a buyer and designer for an international gift company.
Back in Scotland I became a Gaelic teacher and started to pick up the threads of my own art practice. The heavy engineering works near me in Alness kindly let me take materials from their skips to be welded into art. When I moved to Lewis in 2014, after many years visiting here with my Gaelic medium pupils, I was drawn to be part of a Gaelic speaking community.
I work in paint, recently experimenting with oils, I sculpt using clay and I make patchwork quilts in Harris tweed.
The ever changing light and colours of the landscape inspire me and then I wrestle with materials to try to express my response to that. Most recently I have been focusing on portraiture both in 2D and 3D. I love to sit and sketch people, sometimes working these up to paintings or clay sculptures. This is a rare chance to spend time with local people, hear about their lives and discuss the changes they have seen as more and more incomers like myself come to live on the islands.
Currently I am working on a commission for two Harris tweed patchwork quilts and am happy to do commissions in any medium.
ASHOKASHRI - Textile Art
From my studio at Shoreside and being in the Lewis landscape, I soak up atmosphere, inspiration and feeling responses, and collect fragments of materials that attract me. I am drawn to the basic elements; earth, stone, metal, water, and to bone, wood, plastic, fabric, seaweed … These become the raw materials for my work, transforming sometimes by design and sometimes with unpredictable results.
My work develops like a kind of alchemy, through the interaction between ideas, material and the process of making. Working intuitively using a variety of print and dye processes – including screen and mono print, wax resist, botanical dyeing and rusting - to create textured backgrounds. More recently I’ve begun to print with earth pigments using a soya milk binder, as it doesn’t involve any pollutants. I then add and subtract through collage, fold, stuff, cut, stitch, distress, bond, further marks until the idea, the materials and the process come together. Working in both 2 and 3D I build up multiple layers to make sense of the world, inner and outer.
Ashokashri@gmail.com Ashokashritextiles.wordpress.com Instagram @ashokashritextiles
Gallery with parking available for 4 cars. Nearest toilet facility is at Reef Beach about 4 mins drive.
DAVID KNIGHT - Artist
David's drawings and paintings are a response to living on the west coast of the Isle of Lewis. Whilst abstract in essence, the tide, rocks, beach, sea, weather, light are the subject matter of his work. Paint is encouraged to run, drip, flood, wash, move across the surface and against collaged edges in the same way that water behaves as it washes over the beach surface or pools around rocks. Lyrical in nature, the paintings aim to form an experience of the landscape and are not a literal interpretation. It is hoped that, through the working process, the paintings eventually form an integrity and identity of their own.
MARGARET UTTLEY - Artist
Margaret aesthetically responds to the relationship between the vast sky and the Atlantic ocean, which leaves one feeling vulnerable and microscopic in one's own existence. The drawings and paintings aim to deal with this feeling of scale and synergy within figurative forms. The atmospheric elements interchange within her work in order to form a lyrical, environmental cohesion.
The tactile surface textures found in nature entice Margaret to explore the dexterity of the painting and drawing materials, in order to suggest these varied surfaces and growths. Recently she has been working with clay, another beautifully expressive medium, making modest vessels and bottles that echo the coastal environment of Uig.
SONJA WITTS - Artist and Printmaker
Sonja Witts is an artist using the mediums of printmaking and drawing, with her early career including ceramics and sculpture. Her art practice has always had a connection with the sea, revealed through concerns with island culture, migration and vessels as means of travel and transportation.
In 2020 in a gap between lockdowns, Sonja moved from Edinburgh to Lewis. Exploring her new home, as individual and through the lens of motherhood, has been the platform for her recent body of work - a personal perspective of the figure within the landscape - the effect of this ancient land on the child; creating work that celebrates the joy, the wildness and exhilaration felt at being in the natural world - but also betrays senses of danger, fears for the fragility of the human body and the peril of our ecological environment. Her subjects are domestic and elemental.
Sonja has a visceral and intuitive approach to image making - a drawing may begin with a portrait or from observing nature, but she revels in the mutability of imagery, will bring in ideas from memory or folklore; the work will materialise from acts of chance, yielding and experimentation and her innovative processes naturally produce work in multiples or as a series that reveals it's evolution.
You will find Sonja's studio in the lovely village of Valtos.