Gordon Forum for the Arts

Newsletter

Autumn 2011

Donview Studio

Donview Studio

Donview Studio is situated half way along the picturesque Lord's Throat. It first opened its doors to the public in 2005. Forestry ranger Jackie Cumberbirch was instrumental in the initiative, which involves five resident artists working in what used to be the old Bennachie Centre. Bennachie has always had a rich cultural heritage and as artists, we feel we are carrying on the tradition.

During our time at the studio our aim has been to create an open environment where people are encouraged come in and see what goes on in a working studio. Hopefully visitors leave feeling inspired to see more art work and maybe even have a go. Art is often a solitary occupation, so Donview Studio has not only encouraged artist engagement with the public, but also allows us to exchange ideas and inspire each other.

The Artists

Anne Campbell

Anne Campbell

Currently working as the dark room technician at Gray's School of Art and completing her MA there also, Anne Campbell works predominantly as a photographer and textile artist.

In contrast to the majority of contemporary photographers, Anne works exclusively with traditional dark room methods. Haunting ethereal West Coast landscapes are brought to life through Anne's mastery of pinhole and lith techniques.

Anne's subtle natural textile creations also use traditional techniques, such as spinning her own yarn. It is fascinating to see wool from a sheep transformed into a gorgeous scarf or a felted clutch bag.

Lorna Purvis

Lorna Purvis

Lorna Purvis finds Donview a great source of inspiration for her work. The landscapes and woodlands surrounding the studio and the rock pools and shore lines of her native Argyll all inspire Lorna's highly individual jewellery pieces. Lorna works mostly with silver forming organic and fairly abstract pieces. Her fine silver work often has exquisite detail acquired by impressing natural plants creating a surface texture. Semi-precious stones, in particular opals and moonstones, regularly feature in her work. As well as making original designs at the studio, Lorna frequently creates commissioned pieces. Lorna is a member of the Art Aboyne committee and is a popular tutor in the area. Her work can be seen throughout the North-East of Scotland and further afield.

Maggie Nickson

Maggie Nickson

Like Lorna, Maggie Nickson is inspired by the landscapes surrounding the studio and expresses this imagery through a variety of media such as acrylic, oil and watercolour. She is constantly experimenting with new techniques and subject matter, often including collage and mixed-media. More recently she has been developing her art in a more abstract form.

As well as regularly showing her own work throughout the North-East, Maggie is well known as a tutor, both in Aberdeen City and the Shire.

Margaret Delday

Margaret Delday

Margaret Delday finds inspiration working with the actual materials that create and are part of the landscape. Wood, stone and clay have all been used to create emotive pieces. For the past few years she has been using native sustainable hardwoods for her abstract, hand-carved sculptures. A piece of work develops over many months, even years, and is finished to a high standard.

She has recently moved away from her copper plate etching and collagraph prints and has begun to experiment building layers of colour onto a variety of surfaces. Originally from Orkney, Margaret has found that these techniques lend themselves to semi-representative seascapes. Horses are a life-long passion and they are often present in her work.

Susan Cassie

Susan Cassie

Susan Cassie makes books. From hand stitched bindings to mixed-media bolt books, Susan uses old books to make new ones. Some are meant to be used, others are sculptural pieces, and all have had a previous life.

The Loovre: probably the smallest gallery in Scotland!

The Loovre

Next door to the studio is the Loovre. This tiny gallery/toilet (165cm by 145cm) has been featured on Radio Scotland and in newspapers from the Inverurie Advertiser to the News of the World! The exhibitions and installations in the Loovre have always been an integral part of what we do at Donview with the aim of having as diverse a mix as we can. Exhibitions have ranged from thought provoking work by Ingeborg Bodzioch to Gothic Bling, a recycled light installation made by members of the public, and from basket weaving workshops to haggis hunting in the woods.

The Future

Donview Studio

Sadly for us, the Forestry Commission can't renew our lease so the studio will close in March next year. As is commonplace these days, cultural activity is the first thing to be cut when times are hard.

Gordon Forum for the Arts

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