City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Gardner Muirhead: Leitmotif, The Sutton Gallery - Art Exhibition Review


By Vivien Devlin - Posted on 16 May 2015

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Leitmotif - Gardner Muirhead
Show Details
Venue: 
Sutton Gallery

Since opening in 2012, Reuben Sutton and Colin Herd at Sutton Gallery have always sought to exhibit an eclectic range of artists offering distinctly different styles of work.

The creatively-crafted compositions by Gardner Muirhead are sure to enchant and inspire the viewer.

The word Leitmotif means a dominant, flowing theme, as in music or literature. Here, the recurring imagery centres around Muirhead’s interest in modernism, German cinema and mid-20th century popular culture.

Gardner first graduated with a degree in Tapestry Design and was then introduced to Japanese woodblock printing, Moku Hanga, ten years ago. His multi-media approach combines woodblock and lino printing, paint, posters, photographs, graphic imagery and text to create decoratively layered art.

As I arrived at the gallery, my eye was drawn immediately to an enigmatic work which reminded me of Andy Warhol’s iconic screenprints of Marilyn Monroe. "High Production Values" shows a duplicated portrait of a glamorous lady - (an anonymous 1930s-40s German film star) - tinted in soft shades of blue, pink and gold.

A richly textured Collage-Print, "Leitmotif" is composed of fragments of faces, a mini-silent movie in its mood, vintage style and aesthetic beauty. Another similar blend of images entitled "Who Says Romance is Dead" neatly co-ordinates a period sense of time and place.

The exhibition ranges from bold, abstract woodblock prints to dramatic scenarios using newsprint, banners and slogans, each with a story, a subtle subtext.

You cannot ‘speed-read’ these complex, quirky artistic narratives - so linger a while to capture Muirhead's cultural and political Zeitgeist, the spirit of an era.

The Sutton Gallery, 18a Dundas Street, Edinburgh
Leitmotif - 2 - 30 May, 2015

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