Earthly Delights: Exhibition of Linocut Prints

by Linda Farquharson

Open Eye Gallery, Edinburgh

Until 23rd November, 2015

Image © Linda Farquharson 2015
Linda Farquharson’s stunning new collection of linocut prints takes inspiration from Celtic mythology and from John Milton’s epic poem, Paradise Lost; whilst drawing on the artist’s deep connection to landscape and her love of nature.
Richly textured in colour, tone and mood, the pieces are striking and animated. ‘Song of the Goddess’ features Blodeuwedd, a goddess from Welsh mythology who was made of flowers. The forest in which she lies is depicted on her body, covered in an intricate black-and-white floral pattern. A unicorn and a deer, which also seem to wear the landscape, look over her sleeping form. The black-and white in this image, as in others, is offset by a splash of red; in this case on the goddess’ lips. There are elements of the Oriental here, in Blodeuwedd’s finely ornamented eyelids and the swirls above her brow, reminiscent of the henna painting used for Indian brides.
The works show Farquharson’s characteristic playfulness and sense of joy in her encounters with nature: the animals and humans breathe life. Their poised stillness captures a moment. In ‘Temptation’, Eve is about to take that fateful bite of the forbidden fruit, as the serpent looks on. ‘Paradise Lost’ shows Adam forlorn at being driven out of the Garden of Eden. But Eve appears indifferent, almost happy as she rests her folded arms above her head. The abundance of loss is made clear by the swirl of fish beneath a bird-filled sky, the tree black and drained of colour. In the foreground, the two beings stand upon a black void on the edge of paradise.
The flower-pot prints, taking still-life to another level, chart the seasons with a spectrum of colours. ‘Spring Bouquet’, with its deep-blue background, pink flowers and white birds, is a fine contrast to ‘Autumn Posey’ and its bright oranges and earthy tones. Birds and butterflies adorn some of these pieces – one can sense the very edge of decay, the passing of time before it passes.
On that note, the exhibition runs until Monday 23rd November. Be sure to catch it while you can!
Text © Nalini Paul 2015