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Open Light

Eric Cruikshank and James Lumsden

Open Light is an exhibition of new and recent paintings by Inverness born painters Eric Cruikshank and James Lumsden.  Both share an interest in the creation of a sense of light, space and depth emanating from within their work, which although influenced by minimal, abstract and reductive painting, is rooted in landscape and a sense of place.


© Eric Cruikshank

Taking landscape as a starting point, Eric Cruikshank’s paintings are not about literal presentation, but focus on the emotive qualities of place.  Using an objective palette tied to the Scottish landscape, colour acts as a vehicle to reveal the underlying points of reference.  Meticulous colour layering creates an ambience of calmness and serenity that requires quiet contemplation.  The passage from one colour to the next is blurred and effusive without any visible recess, just like an immaculate sunrise.  His work oscillates between opacity and translucency, between representation and abstraction, exploring notions of colour and light in a painterly space while investigating the process of painting itself.  In the absence of imagery or narrative the panels are left open to interpretation, as an almost blank plane, to reflect the viewer’s own emotions and ideas.  The viewer is encouraged to readdress notions of their surroundings where the familiar is opened up and made full of possibility.


© James Lumsden

James Lumsden works between the Isle of Lewis and Edinburgh, developing separate yet related series of work in each studio.  Rooted in considerations of light, depth and mark – although essentially abstract – his paintings allude to landscape and a sense of place which has developed from living on the island.  Building multiple thin layers of translucent colour, each painting is imbued with an internal light; not a depiction of light but the search for a sense of light emanating from within the painting.  His aim is to create open paintings which are positive and affirming, something brought to life, struggled for, with a sense of it having its own history.  With titles that often relate to music he hopes that the viewer will respond to the paintings as they would to a piece of music, without the need for words.  As with music he hopes that the work instils some sort of feeling in the viewer.

6 April – 27 May 2024
Main Art Gallery