An acclaimed exhibition of large watercolour paintings evoking the great libraries of Scotland and beyond arrives at the Old Town House on the High Street of Old Aberdeen this week.
Enlightenment – the library paintings of Hugh Buchanan comes to the elegantly-restored 18th century Town House on the University of Aberdeen campus direct from the Francis Kyle Gallery in Maddox Street, London, where it was voted London's top exhibition this winter by The Times.
The Aberdeen exhibition will also feature a number of completely new works by the Edinburgh-based artist Hugh Buchanan, described as arguably the greatest watercolour painter working in Britain today. The new Scottish works will include an atmospheric depiction of the gothic bookcases of the Divinity Library of King's College.
Looking forward to unveiling his new Scottish works in Aberdeen, Hugh Buchanan said: "It is appropriate that Scotland, being the birth place of the Enlightenment, should have some of the largest and most elaborate libraries.
"But that in itself presents challenges. How best to describe these huge spaces? While working in many of them, I have chosen to reject the general in favour of the specific, searching for the telling details that best evoke the spirit of place - and so it is by the buckram bindings, the electric sockets, the scuffed floorboards and the triangles of light that I have chosen to describe them."
Professor Christopher Gane, Vice Principal for Culture and Communities at the University of Aberdeen, expressed the University's delight in hosting the acclaimed exhibition with new works of special relevance - and at a particularly appropriate time - saying:
"We are delighted to welcome these impressive artworks to our venue, and to offer these extraordinary depictions of great libraries to art lovers across northeast Scotland and beyond. The atmosphere and spirit evoked by great libraries have a special resonance for us as we embark on construction of the new University library.
"The ice and light of the north, which this dramatic building is designed to evoke, will touch visitors throughout our communities, who will be welcomed in to enjoy new exhibitions and educational opportunities showcasing the University's treasures from over five hundred years of collecting."
Enlightenment – the library paintings of Hugh Buchanan is on show at the Old Town House, High Street, Old Aberdeen, from 20 March – 30 May 2009, open Mon-Sat 9am -5pm, admission free.