Banff Castle

‘How the Light Gets In’ Exhibition

“Ring the bells that still can ring, Forget your perfect offering,

There is a crack in everything, That’s how the light gets in.”

Leonard Cohen,  ‘Anthem’

This year we have chosen to show the work of artists who use and diffuse light through their work, whether exploring the present moment, the past or the possible.

The Drawing Room

‘A Sense of Mystery’   Artist: Alison Simpson

It is very important to distinguish between a problem and a mystery.  The world is obsessed with problems and determined to allow no room for mystery. Problems can be solved and are all in the end soluble once one has found through research the right technique. But a mystery cannot be solved in this way because we ourselves are part of it.

“… there are those who want to resolve the mystery of God, teach it, preach clearly, spell out the facts. And there are those who instead of wanting to resolve the mystery, seek to deepen it…..they are not ashamed to get tongue-tied, to be silent and say ‘I don’t know’.”

The Rt Hon. Lord Runcie, M.C., D.D., 1999 address to the AGM of the Romney Marsh Churches Trust   I use my own handmade flax paper, which appears to be delicate and ephemeral. This work is shaped by my fascination with the sense of a single moment, light shining though the petal of a newly opened flower – impossible to hold on to, yet repeated over and over again. Buddhists use saffron to dye garments after stains have been washed away. For me the colour represents vividly the new moment when we step into fresh mystery…Saffron Vessels

Reception Room (Downstairs)

‘Keep This Leaflet. You May Need To Read It Again.’   Artist: Aminder Virdee

This piece is open to interpretation, one that incorporates the working mechanisms of a previous medical institutions X-ray light box that anticipates to shed light upon the misconceptions surrounding disability; including – but not limited to – media images, disability identity, the ‘disabled’ body and the individual. “I invite you to stare, and by doing so, I seek to violate the aesthetic distance between the viewer and the piece to claim the misconceptions surrounding the cultural process. The anonymity of the disabled individual(s) personal narrative is fractured and disguised through imagery that bluntly demands the diagnostic gaze.Aminder Virdee

By theatricalising the images associated with disability – that are used to diagnose a patient using the Medical Model of Disability – I accentuate the Social Model of Disability … attempting to abolish the line between the ‘able-bodied’ and the ‘disabled body’, the ‘permanent’ and the ‘temporary’, the ‘visible’ and the ‘invisible’, that is used as a directive to shelter social reality.”

The Dining Room

Artist: Shaun Fraser

Shaun’s work comments upon connections with ancestry, heritage, past, and identity. More precisely his work explores Highland culture and his process attempts to unravel and interpret the region’s character, drawing heavily from historic episodes in northern Scotland. Shaun FraserShaun says; “The Highlands & Islands are a constant source of inspiration. It’s where I’m from, it’s where I was brought up and it’s never far from my mind. There’s a certain sense of place which I attach to the Highlands, a sense of belonging. It’s raw and emotive. Including peat and local soils into my glass castings gives them an innate link to the landscape, something I believe to be very important, the ability to evoke that sense of place.

Upstairs at the Kelpie

Artist: Sarah Jamieson

“My work focuses on the idea of place through mapmaking and the language that maps deploy. I explore the idea of an ever-changing place using organic patterns, subtle colour changes and geometric shapes to represent the terrain. I create new boundaries in order to suggest a broader landscape and to represent the geography of the land. I represent the environment of a place through the objects and forms found there and what is created represents something about the physical experience of the world.”Sarah Jamieson

Drawing from Nature Workshop

  • Artist: Sarah Jamieson
  • Venue: 14 Upstairs at the Kelpie, Banff Castle
  • Times: Saturday 23rd 2pm – 4pm, Sunday 24th 12pm – 2pm
  • Cost: £3 per person (All materials provided)
  • Suitable for ages: All

Sponsored by Hamlyns

Inspired by the theme of light, this workshop looks at drawing both light and shadows, looking at the shapes, negative spaces and patterns found in objects. Using found items from nature such as twigs and leaves, we will look closer at the light and shadows created by them. This drop-in workshop is aimed at children and families who want to take a moment to get drawing.

East Pavilion (Upstairs)

Camera Obscura – Artist: Amy Davenportcameraobscura.

Photographer Amy Davenport will create a walk-in Camera Obscura, projecting a live view from outside. The Camera Obscura is a truly fascinating experience for every age.