I was a student at art school when I first visited Tain. There was an antiques shop in the town, which had a sign in the window offering to buy paintings. I managed to sell them some of my work, which was great because I was struggling to survive on my student grant. So it was in Tain that I saw my own work hanging on the walls of a gallery, for the very first time.
Of course there have been artists living and working around this area for a long time. Opening the gallery simply brought a much-needed focus to what had previously gone unnoticed. My ambition was simple - to show the best work being produced in the Highlands, and to make this work accessible to all. As an artist myself, I also wanted to make it easy for the artists I worked with to get on with doing what they did best.
I quickly noticed it was the contemporary work - more than the conventional Scottish landscapes - that was catching the eye. So that’s where I focused. To this day, I strive to present current work, art that challenges the imagination. Surprises and confronts, at times. For me, it’s always been about connecting the artists with the people who walk through the door. Hopefully the rich variety of work on the walls offers something for them all.