Published on 18/04/2018
WE ARE DELIGHTED that renowned Australian artist, Ian Mastin, returns to Tolquhon on Sunday with his first solo exhibition in the UK since 2013. Ian Mastin paints in the classical still life tradition and he has developed an international reputation.
It was a nerve wracking journey for Ian and his wife last month as they carried 30 unframed paintings in their hand luggage from Australia to the UK. Then they had to get them safely to Aberdeenshire for framing while wintry weather was making road conditions tricky — conditions they are not used to on the Queensland coast. But they made it safely and the results can be seen in the gallery over the next four weeks.
There are 35 paintings in total in the exhibition which Ian has called ‘Intimations of Life’. He celebrates the beauty of everyday objects and everyday food and drink. The bloom on a grape, the sparkle of whisky in a crystal glass, a freshly cut loaf — all such details he closely observes.
Ian Mastin has a large fan base in the UK and Australia and he has regularly featured in Art Fairs world wide including London, New York, Amsterdam, Hong Kong and Singapore.
He paints in a highly detailed realist fashion, following in the tradition of 17th century Dutch and Flemish masters. He said, “In still life painting I am expressing both a passion and an obsession. I am fascinated by the relationship between inanimate objects and our origins. I wonder at the lives of those who created and used these items, no doubt lives of hardship, struggle, love, frustration, anguish and joy, of precious relationships and powerful emotions.”
Ian Mastin did not begin to paint seriously until he was in his thirties. He lived in Scotland for a number of years, with his Scottish born wife, before returning to Australia. He had never previously picked up a paintbrush but while in Scotland he began to paint. When he discovered still life and acrylic paints, he was hooked.
He spent a year studying old masters and practising fundamental techniques until he felt confident enough to commit himself to painting full time. It is hard to believe that he is self taught but he has remarkable discipline and dedication.
We have shown Ian’s work regularly at Tolquhon since we first spotted him in an Edinburgh exhibition in 1998 but this is his largest exhibition at the gallery to date. We were concerned we would lose him when he moved back to Australia in 2001 but he has continued to exhibit with us ever since. He is one of our most popular and successful artists and we are thrilled that he has chosen us for his latest show. His subjects are transient and unremarkable in themselves, but Ian Mastin makes them timeless.
The exhibition runs from 22 April to 15 May 2018.