Tide Tables


            Caroline Hunter & Fiona MacRae

“Tide Tables”, an exhibition of works in, intriguingly, “oil, plastic, metal & rubber”, created by Argyll artists Caroline Hunter & Fiona Macrae, opens on Saturday 15 June, running until Sat 13 July 2024.

The show is predominantly comprised of table-top still lifes; a domestic genre, which Caroline and Fiona, however, imbue with qualities drawn from the shoreline, woods & hills of the Argyll landscape.

Fiona creates a dialogue across the picture plane using flat areas of colour, space, layering and mark making. Heavily influenced by flat winter island landscapes, in both colour and composition, she uses powerful tonal earthy colours - the symphonic greys of sea and sky rich browns, splashes of lichen yellow - counterpointed by the ‘brio’ of delicately wrought porcelain, ornaments, kitchen wares & textiles, all collected over years of beach-combing and rummaging in junk shops. The paraphernalia of a west highland kitchen: the skillet, colander and fish slice form pleasing shapes and rhythms across the paper, but also speak of a culture that is now fading. Her paintings resonate with a certain joy and quirky humour, reflected in sometimes surprising juxtapositions and her thoughtful and clever titles.

Although the presence of landscape in Caroline’s work is more literal in one sense - in that her still lifes are often set in front of an open window, a view of fields or sea as back drop –it is the ‘felt’ landscape that she seeks to convey: the wind and the light, moments in time.

This she does through her rendering of light as it bounces off waves, rakes across a distant headland at dusk, illuminates wild-flower heads or catches on the rim of a cup; the energy of her brushwork combined with a subtle tonality of colour imbues her work with an arresting vibrancy.

Her found objects, mussel shells, antlers, pebbles, gathered from the woods and shoreline around her home speak of the seasons and the timelessness of the natural world.

This body of work contains nothing formulaic or ‘churned out’; each piece is a dialogue in paint between the artists’ inner and outer lived experience, a poem in paint. A sense of the fragility of the places and culture that inform that dialogue is implicit.

This will be Caroline and Fiona’s fifth collaborative exhibition since the millenium, their mutual influence and development seems set to continue.