The Romance of the Garden: Fragments and Memories

The Romance of the Garden: Fragments and Memories

Dawson and Liz Murray
Sat 19 May 2018   -  Fri 13 Jul 2018
11:00-18:00 (not open Mondays) (Tues-Sun)
Romance of the Garden
Silent Garden, Dawson Murray

Hortus, Liz Murray
_ Venue: Sciennes Gallery

Join us for the exhibition launch on Friday 18th May 2018 at 18:30.

Married for 51 years, Dawson and Liz Murray share a great passion for plants and have spent the twenty-one years since they moved to Fife designing a beautiful garden which provides a constantly changing source of inspiration for their work.

Although sharing a studio, their work on the theme of the garden is very different and extremely individual in interpretation.

Dawson, a graduate of Glasgow, works mainly on a large scale concentrating on the movement of light as it affects form and colour in the garden, interpreting this in fluid marks. He is showing work in acrylic, watercolour and etching.

Liz, a graduate of Dundee, likes to weave stories around her painting and in this instance all her work relates to a fictitious French botanist and plant-collector of the early 20th century. Drawn, painted and collaged, these delicate works often incorporate actual found objects.

Dawson Murray  RSW ARE RGI

Dawson Murray studied at Glasgow School of Art from 1961-66. After his post-graduate year of study a number of awards permitted him to spend two years in Italy where he studied under Giuseppe Santomaso in Venice. He then moved to Sicily where his painting reflected the heat and fertility of the north coast. Returning to Scotland he spent 35 happy years involved in art education. He now lives in North East Fife and is married to the painter Liz Murray.

Of his subject matter Dawson says ‘my work has always been about light and for many years has been based on the notion of the garden. I am particularly drawn to the ambiguities caused by the movement of light across the garden as it appears to both reveal and contradict the underlying forms and structures.’ His passion for watercolour painting sprang from the innate volatility of the medium, the constant vigilance required when painting wet-into-wet and the critical scrutiny necessary while watching paint dry. The advance in severity of his MS has necessitated a change in direction to accommodate this condition, a challenge which he has embraced with characteristic boundless enthusiasm. All his recent work has been about interpreting those fluid marks associated with watercolour painting in the form of etching. He has personalised a ‘sugar-lift’ technique which allows him to create similar atmospheric qualities in his prints.

Liz Murray RSW

A graduate of Duncan of Jordanstone, Dundee (1965) in Fine Art, Liz Murray is a professional member of the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour and of the Scottish Society of Artists. She has exhibited widely in Scotland and her work has been shown in America, Poland, Malta, France and Italy. She has many works in public and private collections.

Artist’s statement:

I enjoy weaving stories around my work; fragments of old letters, documents, journals, faded remnants, found objects; all these provide an imaginary glimpse into past lives.

I interpret these ideas using watercolour, a variety of layered papers (sometimes stitched), occasionally incorporating actual objects.

The garden for my fictitious friend Albert de Bois is the Jardin des Plantes in Paris, situated near  the Latin Quarter where he shared an apartment with his great love Solange Dufresne on the Rue Mouffetard. A renowned botanist and plant-collector of the early 20th century, Albert travelled widely to bring seeds and plant samples back to the gardens. He was also invited to visit Kew Gardens in England. You will find a biography of ‘Albert’ in the exhibition.

Not an imaginary garden, the Jardin des Plantes, 57 Rue Cuvier Paris is the main botanical garden in France.