Argyll is never short of things to charm, inspire or tempt you. Whether it is regional whiskies, freshly caught seafood or gorgeous pieces of art. We are extremely lucky at Loch Melfort Hotel, to be surrounded by talented artists and designers and we endeavour to display a selection of their work throughout the Hotel.
One of the benefits of living in a gorgeous area such as Argyll, on Scotland’s west coast, is just how easy it is to get out of bed in the morning – after all, who wants to delay a moment longer when there are such beautiful landscapes to photograph. A natural landscape fashioned by geology, Argyll has everything from rugged shorelines, long peninsulas, narrow lochs and some of the roughest, rocky terrain in Scotland – plus all the wildlife that makes its home in such a diverse environment. Add to this some spectacular man-made structures, such as castles and hill forts, viaducts and walls, and numerous stunning gardens in bloom, photographers in the region are spoilt for choice.
It therefore goes without saying that Argyll attracts some extremely talented photographers and we feel fortunate to be able to showcase their work here within the hotel.
With over 20 years of experience, Bill Bailie is dedicated to his craft, capturing not only beautiful images of our hotel, but also stunning shots of the local area. Kilmartin Glen, for example, just a short drive from here is an area renowned for its natural, historical and archaeological treasures. Combine this with the perfect loch-side backdrop and you have the ingredients for a magical photograph. Visit Bill’s website (www.billbaillie.com ) to see some of the fantastic photographs he’s taken in and around Argyll, or if you’re planning to stay with us, try and spot some of them on the walls of the Hotel.
Art and Design
Hannah Tofts is passionate about art and design. Working through a variety of media, Hannah is inspired by the great outdoors – and the flotsam and jetsam that washes up onto the beaches. Through her creative approach to the way she looks at things, Hannah takes us on an extraordinary journey of colour, shape and texture, not only highlighting the global impact that waste plastic has on our world, but also producing some unique pieces of artwork. Learn more about Hannah and her artwork at https://www.hannahtofts.com.
On moving to the West Coast of Scotland, Karen Liversedge was inspired to train as a Bespoke Glass Designer and Maker. With a background in fashion design, and a strong understanding of light, colour, form and movement, Karen now brings her creative eye to designing and making amazing works of art in glass. As an experienced designer, Karen’s work is held in the permanent art collections of Broadfield House Glass Museum and Strathclyde University. Karen has also exhibited in many top galleries and with The Scottish Glass Society over many years. We are privileged to display some of Karen’s work in the Hotel (https://www.karenliversedge.com).
Painting and Printing
Working with a variety of media the artist is able to engage with their materials in unique and exciting ways. We have many beautiful examples displayed in our hotel and have been privileged to house artwork by Karen Beauchamp, Victoria Maxwell MacDonald and Kerrien Grant.
Karen Beauchamp has a passion for the alchemy of colour and space, and a fascination for the ever changing panoramas of texture, tone and contour within landscapes. This is reflected in her paintings (and prints) which not only showcase the often magical effects of bringing several pigments together on paper – but also tell a story (https://www.karenbeauchamp.com).
Inspired by the land, sea and sky, Victoria Maxwell MacDonald creates beautifully delicate yet atmospheric oil paintings. The West Coast of Scotland with its long sandy beaches, vast horizons, islands, mountains, lochs, villages and the changing weather provides bountiful opportunities to capture light and mood (https://www.victoriamaxwellmacdonald.co.uk).
Kerrien Grant enjoys experimenting with the textures and effects that she can achieve with oils. Her work is all about the feeling of movement and light – capturing the reality of battling the elements, here on the west coast! Like other artists in Argyll, Kerrien is inspired by the stunning Scottish landscape just outside her front door (https://www.coastwoodgallery.co.uk).
The environment, landscape and weather are the biggest influences for all of our local artists, and it is not difficult to understand why when you see the stunningly beautiful artwork they produce.
It is not just two-dimensional artwork that we display around Loch Melfort Hotel, but three-dimensional pieces too! Below we have chosen to mention just two of the many types of craft being designed and made in and around Argyll.
Felt is another wonderful material being made and used locally. Hazel Ewart-Mills (Hazel Made It) designs and makes individual felt pieces, e.g. scarves, cowls, hats and wall art – she also loves to make bespoke pieces for commissions. Inspired by the natural world and the ever-changing landscape around her, Hazel chooses techniques that showcase the blending of colours – creating a surprising intensity to her work.
With so many fabulous artists in Argyll, we are unfortunately only able to display artwork from a small number of them. We hope that all our guests enjoy the pieces on display around Loch Melfort Hotel, and that you will be inspired to visit some of the local artists’ studios the next time you are here.
Date for the diary: Artmap Argyll, Open Studios 25th – 28th August 2017
Artmap Argyll is an annual event where various local artists open their studios to the public. Now in its 10th year, it is a must-visit. Click here for more details: www.lochmelfort.co.uk/blog/argyll-artmap/