A Thurso artist presents a solo exhibition of paintings at an exhibit at the North Coast Visitor Center (NCVC) and incorporates a copy of the Caithness Courier into a striking triptych.
The exhibition of Willie Wallace’s work opened on November 2 and is the first exhibition presented in the new gallery since its reopening.
Willie grew up in the Western Isles and received a BA (Hons) in Fine Arts, Drawing and Painting from Gray’s School of Art in 1990. He was mentored by William Connon, Sandy Fraser and Joyce W Cairns and during his years Art College was influenced by the works of Willie Gillies, William Littlejohn, Scottish Colorists and Cubism.
He has been teaching art since 1991 and in recent years he has decided to work part time to allow him to spend more time creating his own work.
“I was delighted that I was asked if I would like to be the first artist to have an exhibit in the newly renovated North Coast Visitor Center,” said Willie. “I have tried to incorporate a number of different approaches that I use in my work. I love working with a variety of mediums including using found objects, plaster, cardboard, resins and inks, but my first love is oil painting. “
Willie has recently painted a number of great figurative oil paintings: The Next Chapter shows the different sides of professional snooker Ronnie O Sullivan; Halloween in the Japanese Garden combines traditional Japanese costumes, with their elegant flowing lines often full of symbolism, unlike Western costumes used on Halloween; and Life’s Journeys contains a number of personal items, as well as images of flights and travel, of men returning from the First World War. His own family is pictured in the center of the latter, but in Edwardian clothing.
Willie adds, “Each of these paintings uses both storytelling and symbolism. This is also true in my historical commemorative painting of the Iolaire disaster in 1919 (8ft x 4ft), currently on loan and on display at Lews Castle, Stornoway. many other works on the theme of war which are presented in this exhibition.
“My still lifes often have different points of view, with certain objects placed so that they can be seen both in front of and behind the object next to them, thus allowing the viewer to choose how they wish. interpret the image The Japanese art of origami paper birds is very present in my still life work, often transforming into more realistic birds.
“Landscapes tend to be painted more directly from life, outdoors. I have also included more abstract works that only use form, texture and color, these three visual elements are repeated extensively in all my work. “
Willie says he’s recently evolved his creative output with more ideas and a variety of themes rather than limiting himself to just one type of art.
Cathy Shankland, High Life Highland Exhibitions Manager (which runs the NCVC), said: “The exhibit is well worth a visit and is a great place to spend time with your Christmas visitors or to take the time to do the shopping. Christmas shopping – and don’t forget to drop by the NCVC Shop and Cafe while you’re there. ”
The show ends on January 8, 2022 and is free. The gallery is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
NCVC is located on High St in Thurso and was formerly Caithness Horizons.
PHOTOS: New visitor center on the north coast of Thurso prepares for opening day