This winter, the Stirling Smith Art Gallery & Museum is pleased to present an art exhibition three years in the making: Painting the Polar Landscape by Lesley Burr.
In 2019, Lesley was selected by The Friends of Scott Polar Research Institute as the Arctic Artist in Residence. The residency took her onboard cruise vessel, Resolute to Nunavut, the remote Canadian Arctic. She was instantly struck with the vibrant and varied colours of the Polar North – a place many associate with vast whiteness. During her residency she saw five polar bears, several whales, numerous sea birds and seals. A keen dog-lover, she was struck by the sight of huskies living isolated on remote islands. Lesley said, ‘During the summer months many of the Inuit take to their boats and the dogs are left alone, literally as wild creatures, except being fed once a week.’ One of the highlights of her trip was meeting the Innuit community and viewing their artwork at the Kinngait Art Studios.
Painting the Polar Landscape is the result of Lesley’s arctic journey. The artworks chronicle the fragile beauty of the Polar North as it rapidly transforms due to climate change. While some paintings reflect the barren aspects of the arctic landscape, others capture the lives of those that call it home. These images of the people and wildlife remind us of the impact and importance of protecting and preserving these vulnerable environments.
Lesley Burr is a graduate of Glasgow School of Art and Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art. She was part of the 1990s artist group the ‘Glasgow Girls’ who continued the female artistic traditions of the original Glasgow Girls of the early 19th century. Exhibiting widely across the UK, Lesley is a multimedia artist working primarily in painting, drawing, and printmaking. Painting the Polar Landscape is her first solo exhibition at The Smith.
The exhibition is accompanied by the release of catalogue: Painting The Polar North: Arctic Paintings, published by Samson and Co. Words to accompany Lesley’s paintings are provided by Colin R Greenslade, Charlotte Connelly and Alison Harper. Catalogues are available for purchase during the exhibition.