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Exhibition: Sam Ainsley, An Tobar, Mull
16 September 2017 until 25 November 2017
Sam Ainsley has chosen An Tobar Gallery in Tobermory as the venue in which to present her first solo exhibition in Scotland for thirty years. Her images are an exploration of the human relationship with the world and with the experience of living. Notions of human existence are scrutinised and re-formed visually through multiple themes, nature, landscape, the human body, politics and feminism, in an ongoing process that she has described as “emotional mapping”.
The intimate nature of An Tobar’s gallery lends itself to artists presenting exhibitions of multiple two-dimensional works, enabling them at the same time to occupy the space to form a single installation. Taking full advantage of the gallery’s high walls, what the artist gives us here is a unique painted environment. This will include shaped and grouped canvasses climbing from low to high across the room and a red painted wall with a five metre square drawing that imagines islands which reference Madeleine de Scudery’s ‘Map of Tenderness’. A map of an Arcadia where the geography is all based around the theme of love.
Artist, teacher, curator and advocate for Scottish art, Sam Ainsley taught for twenty-five years at the Glasgow School of Art, including five years in the groundbreaking Environmental Art Course. Subsequent to this she was the co-founder of the GSA’s Master of Fine Art course with Roger Palmer, Sandy Moffat and John Calcutt. The list of alumni for her time as head of the MFA course could be seen, to a large extent, to define Scottish contemporary art. In addition to time served in education, she has continued to work as an artist, exhibiting internationally.