In this time of uncertainty brought about by pandemic, bereavement, Brexit and climate change, we stand, as individuals, as bubbles, as communities and as nations in states of isolation.
In lockdown we have turned to many forms of comfort and consolation to cope with anxieties or to alleviate boredom and for many of us isolation has been made tolerable or perhaps even pleasurable by the splendour of nature. We have become used to deserted streets and empty landscapes without the overlay of human activity and these environments have come into their own in ways we could not have imagined. Changing moods and seasons have burst upon our consciousness with shifting colours and textures, enticing smells, vibrant light and movement; environments alive with life forms other than our own of earth, sea and air which many of us have previously barely had time to notice, acknowledge or appreciate in our busy lives – lives which have, paradoxically, often locked us away from the natural world.
Since time immemorial artists have attempted to capture, interpret and translate nature in pencil, paint and print, laying it before us to find meaning in the natural world. This selection of works from the Highland Council’s permanent collections celebrates and rejoices in our relationship with nature, whether long-standing, reaffirmed or newly discovered.
Image: Barbara Rae, Stone Pier, oil on canvas, 1980
10 October – 31 December 2020
Main Art Gallery