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Painting of a man driving a red tractor and trailer of peats, with a stone wall in the background.

Dùthchas: Tro lèirsinn a’ pheantair

Dùthchas: through the Artist’s Lens is a new body of work painting from cinematic archive film ‘stills’ of 1960s and 70s Berneray captured by Ann and Bill Scott, transcribed anew by painter Yasmin Davidson.

Please join us at the Finissage for the exhibition, Yasmin Davidson in conversation with Andy Mackinnon, on Wednesday 1st May, at 7pm.  Free and all are welcome.

Davidson’s work holds a depth of narrative often portrayed through the use of strong colour and expressive mark making. Davidson’s work displays both humour and poignancy in equal measure, straddling the familiar and alien simultaneously. 

What makes photography a strange invention – with unforeseeable consequences – is that its primary raw materials are light and time.”  John Berger

In recent years Davidson’s work has evolved through photographing familiar island subjects in the landscape then developing these into new visual imaginings with oil paint. The transcription of photographic stills from Scott’s 8mm films, recently presented within the documentary film Dùthchas, is a fresh departure and has brought as Berger signals ‘unforeseeable consequences’.  Selected compositions are charged through Davidson’s distinctive colour palette where painted realities float on exotic coloured grounds. 

Berneray has been scrutinised and celebrated by photographers and filmmakers over many years. Yasmin Davidson’s paintings are a valuable new addition to this archive offering a reflection on the past through the lens of contemporary painting.

Text edited from a longer article by Keith McIntyre, RSA, Professor Emeritus in Fine Art at the UHI, available in a newly published pamphlet on Yasmin Davidson’s paintings from Taigh Chearsabhagh. 

Yasmin Davidson was born in Dundee in 1990. She grew up in the city and studied Fine Art at the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art graduating in 2013. Davidson has lived in Canada and travelled extensively across the United States. She moved to North Uist in 2019 and now lives and works on the Isle of Berneray.  Yasmin Davidson regularly exhibits work with the Uist Arts Association and in galleries across the Western Isles.

Image credit: Yasmin Davidson