A Life in Colour: Norman Gilbert

3 - 7 October 2020

This five-week exhibition, A Life in Colour celebrates the life and works of Norman Gilbert (1926-2019) .  Tatha Gallery’s 3rd solo show of Norman’s work.


Norman Gilbert’s legacy lives on.  Norman always said that he had spent a lifetime devoted to painting; people, places, patterns and plants. But his work is much more than that. Each and every incredible painting by Norman tells us a rich and colourful story of relationships where love and time is interwoven within a painterly jigsaw. If Norman were here, he would probably just smile at this in wonder and say that he just liked to paint.Throughout his career he came across many pitfalls along the way, the life of an artist isn’t easy, but Norman’s vision was resolute, his tenacity strong and we thank him for that. The 30 paintings on show at Tatha are a testament to his care and dedication to his subject and ideas and a celebration of Norman, a gentle and humble man.  He conjured beautiful and moving moments with interlocking colour that find both rhythm and form. His vitality and originality shine through in every piece and we are taken on a visual journey of vibrant delight. Norman’s work brings joy and energy to all those who experience it.  


Through his courageous seven decades as an artist Norman experienced different degrees of success. In the early days he was rejected by the Glasgow School of Art for not treading the same fashionable path of the day, he was deemed unteachable.  Later in the 1957 he had some success in London showing alongside Jacob Epstein, David Bomberg and Christopher Nevinson in the prestigious Leicester Galleries. W Gordon Smith produced a Scope documentary on BBC Scotland in 1974. It was in 2018, when he was 92, that Norman’s name hit the papers and became an overnight global social media sensation. His show at Tatha meant that years of previously unseen work could now be celebrated and the BBC Scotland Loop programme made a film about his life and works. Both his shows at Tatha Gallery sold out and his work and legacy lives on and is being in enjoyed in many countries all around the world.