May 17th 2019
The Pittenweem on the May exhibition’s hung! Jean (Festival chair) and myself (Bradley; website and brochure) went across on the May Princess on Sunday on a fantastic sunny calm day, mobbed by puffins. We had only the three hours on the island but we hastened to the lighthouse and hastened through the hanging of 30 works of art. Done, and it looks great.
Our thanks go to Natural Heritage and to our own infrastructure members Simon and Robert who transported the pieces from Anstruther to the lighthouse (up the hill), then carefully unwrapped them from the miles of bubblewrap.
The lighthouse is open weekends only May to end of July; open all week August to end of September.
First Gallery Entry
Strictly speaking, not true but it is the first complete gallery entry. The accolade goes to John Baker’s Artick Design Gallery & Studio. I’ve used as a sample the Cellardyke Harbour image as it includes our flat; not further identifying it as we’re popular enough already.
Regular artists & new artists
With the submission date of March 15th for artist registrations not too far off, we’re getting an increasing number of submissions; over 60 so far, creeping up to the final 130+ of last year.
Along with familiar names, such as Colin Jack (see January below) we welcome new artists, such as Madeleine Hand, to the Festival.
Pittenweem on the May
Nope, it had never really occurred to us to stage an exhibition on the Isle of May. We were therefore surprised and immediately thrilled when Sarah Eaton of Scottish Natural Heritage, who have responsibility for the island, approached us in January of this year with the proposal to host an exhibition in the May’s lighthouse.
The first consideration was, who would we exhibit? We realised that in the time we had available we couldn’t organise a solo exhibition: no artist could put together a show in just a few months. Mind you, artists we talked to, whose work we thought would be very suitable for the May, were very interested and enthusiastic.
The best idea was a group show which we decided to restrict to Pittenweem artists and galleries, giving them the remit to make their work link in some way to the lighthouse and the May. This has proved to be very successful with over thirty artists responding.
Sarah had said that we could have two adjoining rooms, so that was a nice way to break up the exhibition but we had to see for ourselves. Before organising the work we had to visit the May to see what the exhibition space would be like.
Previous visits to the Isle of May had been at more clement times of the year when vegetation and puffins abounded; January is a different matter. Undergoing any trials in the name of art, we set off in the Osprey RIB on what was a really mild and gently hazy day. The outbound trip was fine though coming back we got comprehensively soaked; we hadn’t realised that the Osprey could go at 60 knots an hour. (Okay, it felt like that and it slammed into the waves).
As you can see from the photographs, the island looks a bit craggy but when you visit in May onwards when trips are available, it’ll be greener, more active with wildlife and differently striking.
We’re really enthused with everything about this project and are grateful to SNH for giving us this opportunity to provide a unique outreach for the Festival.
We were accompanied on our trip by Pittenweem artist Dominique Cameron who has arranged with SNH to put on a solo show themed around islands, in 2020.
Isle of May and Moon
Lighthouse on approach
View from lighthouse platform
Artist Registration: first in
Colin Jack has long held the distinction of being the first exhibiting artist to submit his registration form and images. And this year he’s done it again. Many thanks Colin for helping out by getting this material in early.
Regular admirers of Colin’ work will notice that there’s a difference in style. It’s recognisably Anstruther harbour but done in the Japanese ukiyo style. Not everything has changed as the familiar style will also be on display.