• Gulls by Laurie Campbell

    Painted Wings



05 August 2021 - 19 September 2021


Free entry


10am - 5pm Thursday - Sunday


Waterston House, SOC Headquarters
A joint exhibition by Helga Chart, Claire Harkess and Derek Robertson

"Painted Wings" brings together the work of three established Scottish artists recognised in particular for their mastery of watercolour media. All three are elected members of RSW (The Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour). While their work is rooted in the observation of nature, it invariably captures other things: a moment in time, a sense of place, a deeper concern for the world and our place in it. 

Helga Chart was born in Edinburgh and studied at Edinburgh Art College. A couple of years ago, Helga travelled to St Kilda and the Baltic Sea, places she had long wanted to visit. Much of the work in this exhibition is inspired by these trips. Birds are a constant source of inspiration, not least for their symbolic and folklore significance, and they help Helga create the sense of place that is at the heart of her work.

Claire Harkess
grew up in Ayr and studied at Glasgow School of Art. An early residency at Edinburgh Zoo was the start of a twenty-year path observing the natural world, visiting remote and fragile environments such as Antarctica, Svalbard, or the Galapagos. Claire explains the inspiration for the work in this exhibition: “In 2020, lockdown walks exploring my urban environment became routine and a good starting point for many paintings and ink drawings executed on a variety of fine Chinese papers. It was also the opportunity to re-imagine memories from times spent further afield.” In 2017 Claire was awarded the Wildlife Artist of the Year prize by the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation.

Derek Robertson was born and raised in Fife. Since graduating from Duncan of Jordanstone College in Dundee, Derek has become an internationally acclaimed and multi-award winning wildlife artist. The work in this exhibition is inspired by local places such as the Isle of May or the Tay Reedbeds, but also draws on his current project, “Testaments of Loss”, which portrays the small-scale environmental losses that he has observed at first hand over the past 30 years. 

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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.