Born in rural Lewis in 1926, Donald John Smith was – wrote Gray’s School of Art Principal Ian Fleming in 1958 – ‘the outstanding student of his year … unquestionably a man of great ability as an artist.” He would go on to be exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy, Society of Scottish Artists, Aberdeen Artists, An Lanntair and elsewhere. His painting acknowledged movements in Europe and America, but remained resolutely local in its subject. From his studio on the West Side of Lewis from 1974 to his death in 2014, his intense, lyrical images of Island fishermen and women celebrate the indomitability of the human spirit. A landmark exhibition.
The exhibition also features the artists studio easel and workstand with pallete and paints in Gallery 1 upstairs. In Gallery 2 downstairs the artist’s sketchbooks are displayed in a case and also as a slideshow on the screen along with excerpts from contempraneous Super 8 film of Stornoway harbour by Annie Macdonald from the FAODAIL | FOUND collection.
Accompanying the show is ‘Donald Smith, The Paintings of an Islander’, published by Acair. Richly illustrated with drawings, paintings and portraits, along with insightful essays in Gaelic and English. This superb publication is available in the shop priced £16.95.
A symposium examining the past present and future of art education in the islands will be held at Taigh Chearsabhagh on Saturday 23 November 9.30am – 3.30pm. More information here