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James Lumsden

Artist Biography

James Lumsden is a painter living and working between Edinburgh and the Isle of Lewis, Scotland

My work is primarily concerned with the creation of an illusion of light – building multiple translucent glazes of paint until an atmosphere and sense of light and depth is achieved. I create paintings where perception and the experience of viewing are primary. My working process involves the application of multiple (up to 40 or more) thin glazes of acrylic paint and gloss medium on a fine gesso ground. Each layer is dragged, pulled or squeegeed with various implements – the process being repeated layer upon layer until the final painting begins to emerge. Arrived at by both chance and deliberation, this final painting reveals varying chromatic strata, which can be seen through the translucence, pentimenti and depth of the work. The series Liquid Light continues the formal compositional simplicity of my earlier work, yet the restrained minimalism of these earlier works has given way to paintings of greater richness and depth, to seductive surfaces rich in incident. I am interested in how the depiction of light and space, depth and feeling can be rendered purely through process, controlled chance and accident within the application of paint. I aim to make paintings which are luminous, seductive, sensual and atmospheric. I am fascinated in how the basic materials innate to the medium – stretcher, linen, pigment suspended in medium – can be turned into something poetic; an object filled with light, feeling, and emotion. The struggle lies in attempting to reach that stage.

Selected Exhibitions 
Solo Exhibitions

2018    Paul Kuhn Gallery, Calgary, Canada

2017      Sarah Myerscough Gallery, London 

& Gallery, Edinburgh

2016    MS Gallery, Morges, Switzerland

2015      Paul Kuhn Gallery, Calgary, Canada

Sarah Myerscough Gallery, London

2013    & Collective, Bridge of Allan

Sarah Myerscough Gallery, London

Edinburgh Art Festival / Scottish Arts Club, Edinburgh

2012      Paul Kuhn Gallery, Calgary, Canada

Rhue Art, Ullapool

2011    Sarah Myerscough Fine Art, London

An Talla Solais, Ullapool

2010      Paul Kuhn Gallery, Calgary, Canada

2009      Sarah Myerscough Fine Art, London

2007      Amber Roome Contemporary Art, Edinburgh

2006      Atticsalt, Edinburgh

MAC, Birmingham

2005      Sarah Myerscough Fine Art, London (with Andrew Mackenzie)

An Tuireann Arts Centre, Isle of Skye

2004      Sarah Myerscough Fine Art, London

2003      Oriel Capsule, Cardiff (with Eoghann MacColl)

2002      Sarah Myerscough Fine Art, London

2001      Triskel Arts Centre, Cork, Ireland

2000      The Loft Gallery, Glasgow

Aalborg Trienalle, Aalborg, Denmark

1999      Gracefield Arts Centre, Dumfries

Pump House Gallery, London

1997      Collective Gallery, Edinburgh

Inverness Museum and Art Gallery

1996    Compass Gallery, Glasgow

1993      Collective Gallery, Edinburgh

1992      Merz Contemporary Art, London

Selected Group Exhibitions (since 2000)

2018      WASPS 40th Anniversary exhibition, Kirkudbright

3 person exhibition, Tatha Gallery, Newport on Tay

2017Connection, & Gallery, Edinburgh

More Alchemy, Tatha Gallery, Newport on Tay

Edinburgh Art Fair (with & Gallery)

Summer show, Paul Kuhn Gallery, Calgary, Canada

Inception, & Gallery, Edinburgh

Collective, MS Gallery, Morges, Switzerland

2016      Society of Scottish Artists Annual (Invited Artist), Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh

Focus 16, The Design Centre, London

Collective, MS Gallery, Morges, Switzerland

Manmade, Holly Johnson Gallery, Dallas, Texas, USA

The Room, An Talla Solais, Ullapool

2015RSA Open, Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh

Society of Scottish Artists Annual, Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh

The seed of it’s opposite, Kelvin College, Glasgow (curated by Jai Llewelyn)

Summershow, Paul Kuhn Gallery, Calgary, Canada

Art Paris, Grand Palais, Paris (with Sarah Myerscough Gallery)

London Art Fair (with Sarah Myerscough Gallery)

2014    Society of Scottish Artists Annual, Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh

Re-Define, Dallas Contemporary, Dallas, Texas, USA

Art Paris, Grand Palais, Paris (with Sarah Myerscough Gallery)

London Art Fair (with Sarah Myerscough Gallery)

2013    Paper Planes, Stow Arts Festival, Scottish Borders (curated by Andrew Mackenzie)

Art Paris, Grand Palais, Paris (with Sarah Myerscough Fine Art)

Society of Scottish Artists Annual, Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh

London Art Fair (with Sarah Myerscough Fine Art)

2012RSA Open, Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh

Cabinet Paintings, Compass Gallery, Glasgow

S.O.F.A, Chicago, USA (with Sarah Myerscough Fine Art)

Toronto International Art Fair, Canada (with Paul Kuhn Gallery)

Sense of Place, Linenhall Arts Centre, Castlebar, Ireland

Black & White, Sarah Myerscough Fine Art, London

2011      RSA Annual Exhibition, Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh

            Perception, Rhue Art at The Dovecot, Edinburgh

2010      RSA Residencies for Scotland Award – New Work, Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh

Abstract Matters, Open Eye Gallery, Edinburgh

2009Strata, Sarah Myerscough Fine Art, London

2008      Toronto International Art Fair, Canada (with Sarah Myerscough Fine Art)

Shared Ground, Harbour Arts Centre, Irvine

Preview, Sarah Myerscough Fine Art, London

2007      Lemon Street Gallery, Truro, Cornwall

Toronto International Art Fair, Canada (with Sarah Myerscough Fine Art)

Equinox, Sarah Myerscough Fine Art, London

2006    Society of Scottish Artists Annual, Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh

2005      20:20, Gracefield Arts Centre, Dumfries

Paul Kuhn Gallery, Calgary, Canada

Damaged Collateral, Context Gallery, Derry

2004      Images from North Mayo, Ballinglen Arts Foundation, Co. Mayo, Ireland

2003      Illusions – Pip Dickens, James Lumsden, Tomoya Matsuzaki, Sarah Myerscough Fine Art, London

2002      Aphelion, Art.tm, Inverness

ARTfutures, Contemporary Art Society, London

2001      Beneath The Surface II, Sarah Myerscough Fine Art, London

2000      ARTfutures, Contemporary Art Society, London

Nordjyllands Kunstmuseum, Aalborg, Denmark

Primed, Bellevue Gallery, Edinburgh

Selected Awards and Residencies

 2016 Edinburgh Printmakers Prize, Society of Scottish Artists Annual Exhibition

Invited Artist, Society of Scottish Artists Annual Exhibition

Elected Professional Member, Society of Scottish Artists

2015    B.A.I.R Residency, Banff Arts Centre, Banff, Canada

2011    The Scottish Arts Club Award, Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh

Visual Arts Award, Edinburgh

2010 Royal Scottish Academy Residencies for Scotland Award

2009 Visual Arts Award, Edinburgh

2008    Scottish Arts Council Creative Development Award

2007    Ballinglen Arts Foundation Residency, County Mayo, Ireland

2006      Hope Scott Trust Award

2003      EVAC Award, Edinburgh

Scottish Arts Council Professional Development Award

Ballinglen Arts Foundation Fellowship, County Mayo, Ireland

2002      Scottish Arts Council Professional Development Award

2001      British Council Grant

2000Artist in Residence, Aalborg Trienalle, Aalborg, Denmark

EVAC Award, Edinburgh

The Arts Trust of Scotland Award