James Lumsden : Slow Light

7 August - 1 September 2021

&Gallery is delighted to host the third solo exhibition dedicated to Scottish artist James Lumsden. Slow Light presents a new body of work developed by the artist over the last two years and showcases a new site-specific ensemble of thirty 30x30cm paintings titled Point Series – Slow Light, 2021.


Fascinated by light and movement, Lumsden pursues his investigation of the creative process. Working between Edinburgh and Point on the Isle of Lewis, James’ work constantly evolves. Although essentially abstract, the most recent works suggest a sense of landscape and place which has developed from living on the island. Time, space, light and colour are the elements which permeate Lumsden’s work. These are used and interact differently in every work, yet all the works share one feature: it is the viewer who, through the physical act of looking, interprets and responds to the different elements.


“I want to see something brought to life, struggled for, worked, a sense of it having its own history, of the time spent creating. I want to create something positive and affirming, which is filled with both light and moments of darkness, contrasts and possibly contradictions.”


Each painting of James Lumsden reveals its own space, light, colour, and time. Through a succession of different layers of colour applied with brushes, and pulled, dragged or skimmed using various tools, traces, variations and motion begin to appear. The artist uses a range of acrylic paint and gloss or matt mediums and it is the process of repetition, layer upon layer, that brings the painting to life. When facing a painting, the viewer can look back through the layers and unfold the history and sense of the time involved in its creation.


The final layer is usually the most important as it often bears the mark, possible gesture and colour which is the most prominent visually, and through which the preceding layers are read. Because of the fast-drying nature of the acrylic paint used by Lumsden the last layers also can bring a sense of panic and anxiety or, on the contrary, a sense of elation when the painting follows the artist’s desires.


“My recent work sees the development of a cooler northern palette and the use of interference and opalescent pigments, reflecting the shifting iridescent light seen from the Lewis studio. Yet more vibrant colour possibilities are also explored within new work from the ongoing Resonance series, paintings which draw more upon a tradition of monochrome and reductive painting and relate to concerns in my work over the past two decades”.


James Lumsden was born in Inverness in 1964. He lives and works between Edinburgh and Point on the Isle of Lewis. A professional member of the Society of Scottish Artists, he has received several awards, and undertaken various residencies including The Banff Art Centre in Canada, and The Ballinglen Arts Foundation in Ireland. He is represented by galleries in Scotland, Canada, and the USA and was recently part of the exhibition Beneath the Surface at the City Art Centre, Edinburgh in 2019-2020.