palimpsest: a manuscript or piece of writing material on which later writing has been superimposed on effaced earlier writing. In colloquial usage … an object made or worked upon for one purpose and later reused for another
This exhibition of 40 paintings by Lennox Dunbar at An Lanntair comprises rich, complex works that depict landscape as a continually re-worked surface. It references archaeology, the history of the land and how it changes through layering, paring away and adjustment: How things evolve, how it changes through time and how different generations view and value it.
Drawing primarily from the North East of Scotland, the work reflects a sense of place, not through representation but through empathy for what exists and underlies the land. Constructed from many parts and references it has the potential for perpetual discovery. The journey each painting goes through involves several changes, variations and altered states. While the layering, juxtaposition and interaction of parts – cut up, assembled, re-arranged and modified – owes much to the language of collage. In addition, the physical application of paint and the awareness of edge embraces the idea of painting as object. Titles give clues to each idea, and although each has its own identity, they have a signature that suggests a sense of where they were made.
Lennox Dunbar is Emeritus Professor of Fine Art at Gray’s School of Art, Aberdeen. He has been visiting artist at many universities and workshops worldwide and since 1999 has conducted annual workshops at Printmaking Center Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA. He has won many awards including Prize of the Municipal Art Museum Gyor, Hungary, International Print Biennale, Varna, Bulgaria, Shell Premier Award, major prize for the Cleveland Drawing Biennale and the Whyte and Mackay Award, Society of Scottish Artists and several major awards at the Royal Scottish Academy. He has exhibited widely in Europe and the USA.