Artist Rebecca Styles is ‘Finding Lewis’ on inspirational tour of the islands
A visual artist from Bernera is touring the Western Isles seeking inspiration for works which will feature in what will be her first solo exhibition.
Rebecca Styles is currently on a two-week tour of many places as possible in Lewis and Harris for her island residency ‘Finding Lewis’.
She’s already halfway through her journey, having completed the Harris leg, and is now exploring Lewis, collecting earth samples for paint making, learning about the history of the island and noting inspiration from places visited in sketchbooks and her online blog.
The results will be used to help create a series of paintings and installations that will make up a solo exhibition supported by An Lanntair, at Tall Na Mara Gallery, Harris, opening in November 2022.
Rebecca said: “I hope to collect earth pigment material from various locations around the island to take back to the studio for the purpose of paint making. Painting landscapes with the landscape is an idea I find intriguing and will be experimenting with further in future work.
“My aim for this journey is to find a connection to the land, explore new ground and engage with fresh eyes the colours, patterns and palette of my new home, making time to connect to a place that I hope to root to creatively for many years to come.”
Her tour of Harris took her down to Rodel in the south, from where she travelled east along the Golden road and back to Horgabost on the west coast.
Rebecca then spent some time at Luskentyre Sands, describing the area as “overwhelmingly beautiful and a real challenge to represent artistically”.
“I did my best to sketch out some ideas before we took to the road and headed back past Tarbert and on to the island of Scalpay,” she said.
“The drive to the Scalpay bridge took us through some impressive mountain scenery, the suprise came as soon as we landed on the island because Scalpay has a style all of its own.
“My first impression was of cosy harbour villages, smugglers coves, flowers, ferns, gardens and personality, quite a contrast to much of the main island’s style.”
Then it was on to north of Harris and Loch Seaforth and Aline community woodland, before a short trip home to Bernera due to the mist making any sight-seeing impossible for a while, and then across to Uig and down to one of her favourite places, Mealista.
“Spending the afternoon here foraging the vast pebbled beach, I found three different soft stone pigments to use for paint making,” she said. “What a find – that made my day.”
You can follow Rebecca’s blog of her tour on her website
The resulting work from her travels will provide the inspiration for a series of ten ‘Finding Lewis’ landscapes that are planned to be exhibited at Talla na Mara, Harris, from November 1, 2022, to February 28, 2023.