AboutThis new body of work by Andrew Mackenzie comprises paintings and silver-point drawings of Scottish waterfalls, rivers, woodland and lochs all subjects encountered in the artist's daily experience, in research trips taken to specific locations, and in the history of landscape painting.
Embedded within, and superimposed over, the rich, layered drawn surfaces of the paintings are abstracted geometric line drawings, reminiscent of architectural diagrams of built space. They simultaneously support and subvert the illusion of depth, gently drawing attention to the construct of art and landscape without denying a sense of wonder in the face of nature.
All the work in the show will investigate the edges present in landscape, both metaphorical and physical. They represent viewpoints from the edge standing on the edge of the road, the edge of a loch, the edge between different habitats, the edge of woodland, the edge of a river.
Mackenzie's work is concerned with relationships between nature and culture, between made and unmade worlds, between the figurative and the abstract, between romanticism and modernism, between the surface and the subject, between strength and subtlety.
These relationships are expressed initially through a direct response to the particularities of place. He always begins a work, or a series of works, by a site visit or a field trip; sometimes a chance discovery, and sometimes through careful deliberation. He spends time exploring, touching, collecting, observing and making notes, quick drawings and photographs.
He responds to the objects, rhythms, patterns and ideas provoked by this first-hand sense- experience, combining them with an awareness of the cultural framework implicit in the very act of being there and viewing the landscape. The work develops slowly in the studio, resulting in a delicate balance between apparently contradictory formal elements.
Mackenzie is also making for this show a new series of 4 drawings in silverpoint on paper, as part of a collaboration with the Scottish poet, Ken Cockburn. These drawings (entitled Into Ettrick in response to five poems written by Cockburn) follow a research trip taken together up the Ettrick Valley in April 2014 - a remote area in the Scottish Borders rich in literary and artistic associations through the writer James Hogg, and the artist William Johnstone. The title of the show is taken from one of these poems.