Stirling-based artist, Iona Leishman, will be one of over 50 artists exhibiting at Dundee Art Fair next month (24-26 May 2019).
Iona has become known for depicting historic events in her painting since her artist's residency at Stirling Castle. For four successive years, she exhibited in the Castle's Chapel Royal with her castle experiences in 'A Sense of Place'; in 2013 she marked 500 years since the catastrophic Battle of Flodden, going on to recognise the 700th anniversary of Bannockburn in 2014. In 2015, her exhibition 'And Yet It Stands' celebrated the 500th anniversary since the birth of Marie de Guise, mother of Mary, Queen of Scots.
Since then, Iona’s paintings continue to be seen at Stirling Castle in the Unicorn cafe and she is the proud artist of ‘The King at His Fireside’, which is the only painting on show in the whole of Stirling Castle. It hangs in the Princes Tower and depicts James V, a glass in hand, the shadowy figure of a woman behind him. The rich tapestry of the Hunt of the Unicorn drapes the wall and the stone carving of the mermaid-like creature was drawn from the Queen's Chambers in the Palace at Stirling Castle.
With a modern edge, Iona’s work is historic and dramatic. With inspiration taken from her time at Stirling Castle, where she was Historic Environment Scotland’s first artist in residence, she turns history into life and adds interest with colour and texture. Commenting on her work, the Perth-born artist said: “My best painting is when I'm quiet and I listen for the energy and frequency of past peoples and events. I allow the materials to suggest stories and patterns, feeling my way into the colour and textures of the time."
Commenting on her work, she said: “My best painting is when I'm quiet and I listen for the energy and frequency of past peoples and events. I allow the materials to suggest stories and patterns, feeling my way into the colour and textures of the time."
Dr Neil Oliver, TV presenter, historian, archaeologist and author, is a fan of Iona’s work: “I have loved many of Iona’s paintings over the years and, as a resident of Stirling, I especially enjoy catching fresh glimpses of places I know, seen through someone else’s questioning and pondering eyes.”
He enjoys Iona’s work so much that he had a painting, ‘A Stirling Story’ (above), commissioned by her. On receiving his painting, he said “a joy, pure and simple.”
Come along to The Dundee Art Fair to meet Iona in person and see some of her fantastic work. Iona can be found at Stand 1 over the weekend of the Fair.
Dundee Art Fair takes place between 24 and 26 May 2019.
For more information or tickets, please click here.