• Thu. May 30th, 2024

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Celebrating the Beauty of the North East: Alexander Millar’s “A Sense of Place” Exhibition

Contemporary impressionist artist Alexander Millar has a new exhibition at his gallery in Newcastle’s Grey Street which showcases his deep appreciation for the North East of England, a region he has called home for 44 years. The exhibition, “A Sense of Place,” features a collection of paintings that pay tribute to the picturesque landscapes and iconic scenes that have captured his heart and imagination over the years.

 Originally from Kilmarnock in Scotland, Alexander has become an adopted son of the North East, and “A Sense of Place” serves as a testament to the enduring love he holds for this vibrant and historic region. Each painting in the exhibition contains his trademark “Gadgie” and is a heartfelt tribute to the places that have left an indelible mark on his soul, drawing from his cherished memories.

“When I started painting landscapes some 10 years ago, I would include one of my ‘Gadgies’ in what was usually a city or industrial setting. This was my comfort zone, because growing up in that type of environment I instinctively understood the surroundings and the social interactions that formed these characters. As I began to paint more scenic landscapes, I turned to Highland scenes from childhood holidays, then to my local Northumberland coast, “he said.

One of the highlights of the exhibition is the painting “Where Angels Tread,” which depicts a stunning view of the iconic streets in the city’s West End looking down to the River Tyne with the long-gone chimneys of Stella Power Station in the background. Millar has masterfully captured the play of light and atmosphere in this timeless scene, showcasing it in both paper and canvas formats.

Another notable piece is inspired by a famous photograph of two individuals perched on a fence overlooking the Tyne Bridge at sunset, aptly titled “Tyne Bridge Sunset.” This work captures the beauty of the iconic bridge and the serenity of the moment. Moving towards the coast, other paintings include a study of Cullercoats and the imposing beauty of the Wallsend shipyards.

The exhibition also includes other captivating paintings, such as “Colourful Quays” and “Tyne Bar,” both of which encapsulate the charm and character of the North East, offering viewers a chance to reconnect with their own cherished memories of the region. The Tyne Bar is one of his favourite places to sit and people watch and soak up the fantastic atmosphere of the Ouseburn area and enjoy the views of the bridges across the river.

Alexander’s art not only pays tribute to the beauty of the North East but also serves as a reminder of the importance of art in people’s lives.

“As Picasso once said, “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life,” and I believe that it has a unique ability to nourish the soul and provide solace, especially during challenging times like the current cost of living crisis,” he said. “It’s nice when you can link in with the past as it refreshes your soul. My clients tell me that they often find it quite cathartic to have a piece of art in their home as it ouzes positivity even when you’re down as you can just look at it and it makes you feel better.”

Alexander’s love for Newcastle and the North East shines through in every brushstroke, capturing the essence and spirit of this vibrant region. His work is a celebration of the rich history and unique character of the North East, reminding us of all of the beauty that surrounds us every day.

“A Sense of Place” will run at the Grey Street Gallery until the end of October and in addition to the artwork on display, Alexander plans to engage with the audience by hosting live painting sessions where attendees can ask questions and witness the creation of art in real-time.