Inverness Art Gallery

Inverness is a lovely city to visit especially when the sun is shining which it was for us. The capital of the Highlands. It is a city of spires with some wonderful medieval and nineteenth century architecture, which the town planners haven’t completely obliterated with their sixties and seventies concrete edifices. The only Loch Ness monsters hereabouts are these concrete blocks.

Inverness Museum and Art Gallery, 1963

Unfortunately the Art Gallery & Museum is one of them, but the inside is a veritable gem, and a great pleasure to visit.

The Inverness Art Gallery and Museum is open to visitors and the curators have presented it as a great view of local history despite the restrictions. The first floor presents Inverness from geological to medieval times. Apparently a tsunami c7200 years ago, caused by a massive rockfall off Norway, nearly destroyed all evidence of human habitation. Brilliant how these archaeologists can piece everything together centuries later.

The Jacobites, of course, take pride of place in the second exhibition upstairs, with their failed but justifiable claim to the English throne. After bringing Inverness into the modern times the museum gives way to an art gallery.

John Small, Inverness Waterfront, 1887, Inverness Museum and Art Gallery.

The highlands feature very much in the small permanent collection, really only to act as transition between museum display and the exciting temporary exhibitions.

Lynne Strachan, Cobwebs, Inverness Museum and Art Gallery 2020.

Lynne Strachan has a small exhibition of her highly charged monochrome works featuring photogravure prints of derelict buildings. She says “Old decaying architecture intrigues me, the textures and patterns remind me that everything is impermanent.”

Peter White, Flowers 1, oil, acrylic wax, Memorial, Inverness 2020.

Peter White’s work fills the main gallery. White is a Scottish artist who works on memory using paint and beeswax. A feature of this exhibition entitled, Memorial, again, is the limited palette which he works with striking effect. There are numerous large paintings interspersed with small images of people painted on wood or stone tablets found across the Highlands.

Peter White, Books, oil acrylic wax, Memorial, Inverness 2020
Peter White, House, oil on stone tablet, Inverness Art Gallery, 2020

The Inverness Museum and Art Gallery was a really captivating visit and both these exhibitions seem a fitting tribute to the efforts made by the staff to open in very trying circumstances. We enjoyed our visit here and Inverness immensely.

… just so you know – photogravure is a printmaking process whereby a copper plate is grained and then coated with a light-sensitive gelatin tissue which had been exposed to a film positive, and then etched resulting in a high quality plate that can reproduce detailed continuous tones of a photograph.

…also – this is the first stone Peter White painted in memory of his father. The stone was picked up on Cul Braeg summit, a mountain his father regularly walked. The fascination for stones took off but he does admit he will return them all one day.

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