Ruth Nicol, Holyrood 2014, Robert Garioch, 2014
acrylic on canvas
Ruth Nicol (born 1967, Glasgow, lives and works Edinburgh)
This painting shows the Scottish Parliament building nestled between the Salisbury Crags and Royal Mile buildings from the vantage point of the Commonwealth War Graves cemetery near Regent Street.
It is one of a number by the artist exploring the impact of place on poets. Nicol approaches landscape painting with a desire to invite questions about how environment influences imagination, both her own and that of Scotland's writers.
A particular inspiration for Nicol was Alexander Moffat's painting Poets' Pub and the role of Moffat (born 1943) himself in the arts as an artist and mentor. A fictional gathering of celebrated Scottish poets and writers, his painting conveys a Scottish culture characterised by connections across time and place, the importance of debate and a certain amount of camaraderie.
It was important to Nicol to depict the Parliament at a pivotal time in Scotland's history. The painting also explores the connection between Edinburgh and poet Robert Garioch Sutherland (1909-1981) who was born in the city and often wrote about it in his poetry.
Ruth Nicol graduated with a BA (Hons) Drawing & Painting from Edinburgh College of Art in 2010. Group exhibitions include RSA New Contemporaries and solo shows include exhibitions at Duff House, Banff, Open Eye Gallery, Edinburgh and Park Gallery, Falkirk.