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  • Scotland's Bird Club

    Kindred Spirits Exhibition


Kindred Spirits

22 FEB 2020 - 1 APRIL 2020

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Waterston House is currently closed to the visiting public. However, we can still be contacted by email.

This group exhibition, focusing on African wildlife, brings together work by Carol Barrett, Graham Catlow and Frances Richardson alongside sculptures by Carol Read and Richard Ballantyne. The title of the exhibition, ‘Kindred Spirits’, refers to the strong bond that the artists feel for the animals they depict. All three painters are also connected with Edinburgh Zoo, either as former artists in residence or former member of staff.

The work in the exhibition encompasses watercolours, pastels, lithographs, ceramics and aims to convey the awe felt by the artists for majestic animals facing great environmental pressures.

Carol Barret has been a professional wildlife artist for over 30 years. A fascination for African wildlife, particularly elephants, grew from an initial visit to Kenya in 1990. She lives and works in Edinburgh while travelling regularly to Africa. She is a committed conservationist, indeed some of the proceeds from this exhibition will support the Cheetah Conservation Fund, Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and Giraffe Conservation Fund. The work exhibited was inspired by trips to Zambia, Namibia, Botswana and Kenya. Carol relies on these field trips to sketch and take photographs that she develops as paintings in her studio working in a range of media: watercolour, acrylic and pastels. She was Artist in Residence at Edinburgh Zoo.

Graham Catlow, is a self-taught artist, whose artistic inspiration stems from working with and caring for animals in Zoos, in particular during a long career at Edinburgh Zoo.  Graham’s particular insight into the behaviour and individual personalities of the animals he worked with, is what influences his work most. He aims to capture their individuality and thinks of himself as producing portraits of the animals often using pastels as his favoured medium.

Frances Richardson was born on a farm on the edge of Exmoor. She has always drawn animals and is at her happiest in their company. Frances was awarded the Andrew Grant Travel Scholarship to study with indigenous artists in Kenya where she has returned to draw ever since. Indeed, the work in this exhibition was produced on recent trips to Kenya. Frances works directly from life, drawing and painting in watercolours, aiming to capture the energy and spirit of her subject. She lives in East Lothian where she also draws regularly the local farriers and the life on local farms. She was the first Artist in Residence at the Edinburgh Zoo.

Carol Read and Richard Ballantyne have been collaborating since 2013 to create ceramics sculptures inspired by wildlife. The work is made using the Raku technique, an ancient Japanese way of firing ceramics, which produces unpredictable effects in crackling the glazed surface of the ceramics.

The exhibition runs from Saturday 22 February until Wednesday 1 April.  Waterston house is open daily 10am to 4pm. All welcome, free entry.


SOC brings together like-minded individuals with a passion for birds, nature and conservation through a programme of talks, outings, conferences and via the Club’s quarterly journal, Scottish Birds.