Art In Mind: The great thing is, all the artists said yes! No-one hesitated. No one said they would think about it or get back to me. Not one!
Organiser June Carey’s initial idea was to ask 12 or 15 friends to paint vases for sale to raise money for mental health. In the event, an extraordinary group of 46 high profile contemporary RAs like David Mach, Adrian Wiszniewski, Barbara Rae and Joyce Cairns, RSA President; Sam Ainsley, Ade Adesina have created their own unique image on a ceramic vase. “The project grew arms and legs,” says Carey. “Mental health is an invisible illness, yet almost every family is touched by it, and the pandemic has made things worse. Luckily more celebrities are now speaking out about their problems. This is helping reduce the stigma, but it is extremely difficult to get help when you need it. Funding is very poor.”
Many vase images are totally characteristic. Paul Furneaux, known for his subtle Japanese influenced modulations, features geometric abstraction while Rosemary Beaton uses strong colour for her reclining nude. Outstanding are Helen Flockhart’s Garden of Eden with Lilith, (supposedly Adam’s first, less submissive wife) surrounded by her posse of wild beasts, and Murray Robertson’s intensely detailed ‘Caoilte’s Rabble’
He explains, “In Irish mythology, a ransom demanded by the High King of Caoilte Mac Rónáin for the release of his liege lord Finn Mac Cumhaill was, like Noah, a pair of every creature that inhabited Ireland, all together in the one place.” Robertson’s beautiful fish and fowl, twin deer, hare and badger, has achieved that all on one memorable vase!
There are surprises, Author Ian Rankin plays nought and crosses, Jennifer McRae’s Mexican day of the dead crowd their carnival, Gordon Mitchell’s blithe girl skips across her surface, Heather Nevay is all eyes, Janes McNaught all mystery.
All vases (donated by Cafe Classico of East Kilbride) are glazed inside with the plain white outside surface “lovely to paint on with ‘anything -oil, gouache, acrylic, pen, pencil – even a sharpie.”
Carey is a fine artist in her own right, especially known for etchings and graphic imagery. Her new secret international project is launched in July.
This outstanding collection of artworks is on exhibition at Glasgow Print Studio till 29 May. They are on silent auction at Lyon & Turnbull Auctioneers, till 30 May. A once in a lifetime chance. Sure to be snapped up, so register asap.
All proceeds donated to the Scottish Association for Mental Health, (SAMH).