NHS Lothian provides a comprehensive range of primary, community-based and acute hospital services for the second largest residential population in Scotland.

We believe creativity, arts and design should be woven into all our work as there is good evidence that these have a positive effect on wellbeing and health.

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Drystone Wall and Post

by

James H. Fairgrieve

DrystoneWallandPost
Drystone Wall and Post by James H. Fairgrieve
Oil on Board
1980
40 x 40 cm

Reg. Number: NHSL01633

In the NHS Lothian collection.


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James H. Fairgrieve made a series of paintings of winter landscapes between 1975-1980. The composition shows a landscape from an unusual perspective; roughly two thirds of the painting is sky. There is a partial view of a field or a hill obscured by the top of a wall. Talking about his Still Lives, he says 'The paintings have associations, for me, of places, memories and family, and attempt to create a sense of poise, presence and calm, using acute observation and balanced formal arrangements'.

Here, a few stones at the top of the wall and one vertical post are presented almost as though they are objects in a still life. The eye is drawn to the post which is off centre and turned at an angle. Each marking on the wood has been closely observed and recorded. The post seems to point up towards the large expanse of sky. At first sight the sky appears to be a flat block of dark grey but there are subtle textures and tones within the grey. The shape of each stone and the gaps between them are emphasised because they are shown against the backdrop of snow. Each stone is placed in a dynamic relationship with the stone next to it and this is the skill of the dry stone waller. Colour has been restricted to a limited palette of greys and browns and the cold white of snow.

James H. Fairgrieve was born in 1944 in Prestonpans, East Lothian. He studied at Edinburgh College of Art from 1962-1968. After spending some time in London he returned to Scotland and joined the Edinburgh College of Art staff, teaching Painting & Drawing from 1969-1998. He lives in Gordon, Berwickshire in the Scottish Borders with his wife, 3 children and 6 grandchildren.

James says 'I paint Still Life paintings in acrylic [and oil] using a variety of objects collected from the beach and riverbank over many years - often incorporating fruit and vegetables (mainly from my own garden). The paintings have associations, for me, of places, memories and family, and attempt to create a sense of poise, presence and calm, using acute observation and balanced formal arrangements'.

James's landscape paintings are based on the remote countryside and the open hills close to his home. Nature features strongly in his work, which is held in many Collections, and he exhibits widely. He has been elected to RSA, RSW, SSA (former President), A.R.S.A and received several awards. With thanks to RSW.
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Since 1991 our charity has been assembling one of the largest and most prestigious Collections of original Scottish art in the country. These artworks are uniquely available for display in hospitals and other healthcare settings.


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NHS Lothian provides a comprehensive range of primary, community-based and acute hospital services for the second largest residential population in Scotland.

We believe creativity, arts and design should be woven into all our work as there is good evidence that these have a positive effect on wellbeing and health.

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