Have you ever visited Cowal? Bound by Loch Fyne on the west and the Firth of Clyde to the east, this peninsula extends, through a rolling landscape of hilly peaks, forestry, and sheltered coves, down to the Kyles of Bute. The minute you turn south of the A83, you realise why the area is often referred to as Argyll’s secret coast

It’s a quietly beautiful landscape, to whose qualities Jane Hunter has responded in her new solo show at Tighnabruaich Gallery.

Many of you will remember Jane from our Inspired by Islay collaboration. Hush is the culmination of 15 months intensive research, thinking, making, and brilliant creative enterprise, which marks an interesting new direction in Jane’s work. In Hush, Jane has interrogated a wide range of different ideas about geology and earth science; about the forces and forms of the Cowal landscape; about the relationship between land and water; about navigation by boat or foot; about the very substance of the place – before remaking, re-thinking, re-representing Cowal through her own creative medium of tweed and stitches.

In the Kyles of Bute, Sheared, Jane takes one of the area’s most familiar and iconic views, and invites us to look at it anew.

While in Loch Striven, Shimmer (above) a remote and often gloomy sea loch (where Barnes-Wallis’ bouncing bombs were tested, and which is perhaps still most often associated with military activity) comes alive with light and colour. There’s a real economy of form here, and Jane deploys this evocative less-is-more approach to equally great effect in the elemental bands of Kilbride Bay, Study 1.

From day trippers on the PS Waverley to the skiffs and kayaks that ply the coastline, Cowal is a landscape that is often seen from the water. In some of my favourite pieces in the show, Jane’s is working through ideas of navigable landscapes.

I particularly love the diptychs, which bring together extending compass roses inspired by 1970s books about geography and natural history, with overhead perspectives of the maritime shelter that the bays of Kilbride, Kilfinnan and Auchalick afford.

I love the carefully-chosen palette of Jane’s new pieces.

And I love the texture too. (In Burnt Isles and Narrow Channels, Jane’s freehand embroidery through layers of tweed almost quilts the landscape into being)

I think there’s a quiet confidence and poise about all the pieces in this exhibition. Its just so clearly the work of a talented artist who is doing her own thing really bloody well.

Jane’s opening was yesterday.

So we went along to celebrate! (That’s Jane, Jane’s partner, Sam, and me; Tom is of course lurking outside the window)

Hush will be on show at the lovely Tighnabruaich Gallery until September 2nd – and I highly recommend a trip to to see it. If you are unable to make the journey to the Cowal Peninsula, all the work included in the show can be viewed on the gallery website here.

Congratulations on a wonderful exhibition, Jane.

31 thoughts on “Hush

  1. So beautiful. I enjoyed your previous post in which you called readers’ attention to Jane’s work, and I was so pleased to see this one as her work is just gorgeous. So thoughtful, inventive and visually striking. Thank you for sharing it!

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  2. These amazing pieces feel strangely
    evocative, a mystical journey of discovery.

    Jane possesses a remarkable ability to
    capture this wonderful landscape

    Thank you for supporting and chatting Katie
    I learn a lot from your blogs

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  3. The artwork is amazing, thank you so much for sharing. I love your sweater, too. It looks like another colourway of Coinneach. Is it a pullover rather than a cardigan?

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  4. It is indeed a wonderful exhibition, and a delight to see more of it. I visited Cowal on my last exploration of Scotland before moving back to Australia and it’s wonderful to see the stunning landscape rendered in Jane’s inimitable style. It’s making me all the more determined to get back for a visit though!

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  5. Just back from four blissful days around Kilbride Bay and Tighnabruaich. Missing it more than words can say. A little patch of heaven.

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  6. I live in Tinny and only purchased your Carbeth Kit on Friday! (first jumper). A few of us get together once a week in an amazing self built cabin at the back of my friend’s garden overlooking the Kyles. We will be sure to pop into the Gallery to see Jane’s work.

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      1. Carbeth is a must to do.
        More than 50 years ago we used to walk 3 miles to Carbeth over the moors. Kids, no adults. Tap water in a bottle and “a piece ‘n’ jam.” Great memories!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. WOW ! What magic can be wrought with “simple stuff ” – fibers, fabric, wool, all from Mother Nature herself to depict Her majesty. Jane Hunter has an eye and a depth to her art which seems to evoke the emotion the place itself.

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  8. What an amazing exhibition. My first thought was that they were a bit plain. Then I looked closer and felt closer as well. I’m not entirely sure how to describe it, but those pieces sing to me. I love them. As someone who has never been further North than Manchester, they make me want to drive 13 hours up there just to go and see the landscapes they come from. (might have to do that soon) Thank you for showing us this.

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