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Breathing Space | Eric Cruikshank and Michael Craik

 

BREATHING SPACE

ERIC CRUIKSHANK & MICHAEL CRAIK

22.04.21 – 29.05.21

 

To coincide, just like the last rays of light at dusk and the first moonbeam at night coincide, in an instant that it is neither day nor night, where limits blur and a whole world of possibilities is all that is left. Eric Cruikshank and Michael Craik’s spectrums, hues and shades coincide thusly, turning colour into a universe in itself and inviting the beholder to become part of it.

 

Both artists meet, once again, in this exhibition where colour and light undeniably prevail. Since their paths crossed in Edinburgh’s artistic circles, they have been seen collaborating together several times.  By means of their artworks, stylistically more and more refined, they re-establish the dialogue with each other in a previously unexplored way: Craik with acrylics on wood, Cruikshank with oils on linen and paper. Different languages that share many sensibilities and bear witnesses to a long, refined and meticulous creative process, where the application and removal of paint, like the ebb and flow of tide, gradually moulds the picture plane.

 

Born and settled in Scotland, the influence of landscape plays an important role in the conception of their works. Eric Cruikshank is inspired by the emotive qualities of place and the changes of light he perceives filter through his brushstrokes. Michael Craik’s process, in turn, shares a relationship with the rise and fall of the sea and the geological erosion resulting of it, a continuous toing and froing that finds expression in his repetitive and meditative creative process. Trails of the Scottish landscape that reverberate through the different tonalities of the paintings, in their chromatic fades and their emanating light.

 

It is not only the chromatic feature that captivates the viewer, but also the universe concealed within. If we approach the artwork, if we observe it from different perspectives, we will discover new hues, new shades. Like a latent being, awaiting the beholder’s gaze to catalyse its interpretation, to breathe life into it. Michael Craik and Eric Cruikshank invite us to become part of the work, to make it our own and let it embrace us. They want the audience to have an absolute freedom to read it and therefore try to free it from any narrative reference. Thus, each viewer becomes the owner of their own artistic experience, and consequently every painting will mutate according to the eyes that observe it.

 

The artists encourage us to read their artworks out of the quietude and stillness that radiate from these creations resulting of several months of work. A visual rhythm that dispels the everyday frenzy and invites us to set aside rush, to take a deep breath and commit a few minutes to observation and introspection. Ultimately, to recover “seeing” and not only “looking”.

 

Alba Alarcos Veiga

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