Cromarty Trees 30th July -14th August
Sublime Adventures 25th June - 14th July
Browns Gallery is delighted to host this exhibition of new works by Matthew Draper. We have been showing his work for a number of years now. However, this is the first time we have had the opportunity to bring such an exciting group of new work together, for his first one man show in the Highlands.
Matthew has been living and working in his adopted home city of Edinburgh for more than 22 years. In recent years he has been drawn to the Highlands, visiting and returning again and again to the same places, to further explore and familiarise himself with these dramatic landscapes.
Sublime Adventures is a collection of work inspired directly by the Highlands, by places visited as he ventured out from the city in search of Scotland’s wilder places. It also reflects his deep affection for the city itself, still fascinated by its constantly changing light and moods, as evident in his Polluted Haar series.
It may perhaps be an obvious thing to say but it’s important to experience Matthew Draper’s work first hand. To encounter his large scale pastels first time around is a memorable experience most people are not quite prepared for — stunning and arresting with a distinct presence. Then once our eyes have adjusted, there is a subtlety of colour and tone that a photographic image just cannot convey. As we explore them further the sheer beauty of what he has presented begins to sink in. Our eyes enjoy mixing colour and focusing on details that closer inspection of the surface appears to contradict. A surface that reveals very little of the complexity that exists when you step far enough away. In Matthew Draper’s hands, pastel seems the perfect medium to capture the ever changing source of light as it sweeps across the landscape. Mist seems to move just as you have acknowledged and accepted it. The elusiveness of the image matches the elusive nature of the artists process. Delicate layers of pigment carry the viewer back and forth across panoramic vistas, almost effortlessly. These are drawings full of atmosphere beautifully executed by an artist at the very top of his game.
Gordon Brown, May 2018