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Joys of spring virtually here with seasonal show of art

Tue 9 Mar 21

It would be a breath of fresh air at the best of times … but surely this celebration of seasonal art has never been more welcome. 

As days lengthen and hopes of greater freedom grow, it seems like the perfect moment to savour the work of artists who made their names sketching and painting outdoors. 

Spring-themed paintings by some of Scotland’s best-loved artists feature in a new online exhibition of work from the collection managed by OnFife (Fife Cultural Trust).  

The titles – among them, Broken Weather and Seashore Roses – echo expectations of brighter days; the subject matter – full of bursting buds and bracing views – reflects renewal and hope. Its range extends from Scotland’s coastal fringes to the edge of the Sahara.  

Eight of the 17 paintings in Spring Selection are by the Glasgow Boys – the influential group of 19th-century artists who represent the beginnings of modernism in Scottish painting. 

Among the eight works is an idyllic painting of a girl with her lambs by George Henry, a riot of spring flowers from E A Hornel and some delightful doe-eyed calves by David Gauld.  

Alongside them is work by fellow Glasgow Boys Edward Arthur Walton and Thomas Millie Dow, Scottish Colourist Samuel Peploe and acclaimed landscape painter William McTaggart. 

Also included in the exhibition are two favourite local paintings – Spring Moonlight by Fife’s own John Henry Lorimer and Links Fair, Kirkcaldy, painted by James Patrick in 1884. 

This is the third online show that OnFife has staged with cultural charity ArtUK since lockdown began and analytics suggest it is a popular format.  

Nothing beats seeing a painting in real life, but curators say going online frees them to present a show without having to consider the logistics of a conventional gallery show. Spring Selection also offers the chance to explore parts of the collection seldom seen on display.  

Curator Janice Crane says of the show: “Everyone’s desperate to escape the shackles of winter and this feast for the senses, full of famous names and lesser-known gems, can inspire them to rediscover the joy of the great outdoors  

“We hope this show will not only encourage people to get out enjoy the fresh air, but also spur them to revisit our galleries when the doors reopen. Favourites such as Spring Moonlight and Links Fair are still there, just waiting to be enjoyed.” 

Explore the exhibition at: http://bit.ly/2PFK3m1 

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