• Dragon

  • The way to the studio

Margaret Shillan

From Scotland to India

Last August I was artist-in-residence in Scotland in Pishwanton Life Science Centre, a piece of special land which is an education centre. I had the chance to use a huge studio with no electricity or water, which meant I was thrown into very close contact with nature. I had to walk there each day through mist, rain and sun, observing all the contrasts. Great sweeps of golden fields of barley; flooded lanes with dry stone walls either side;  and the wild geese flying overhead honking.

Then in January I went to India to visit some friends who have an artist’s ashram in South India. I have been there many times before but what a contrast to Scotland!  It was early spring there and the lilac jacaranda trees were just coming into flower. But I was much more interested in the mythology and festivals than nature. The image of Makara, a kind of dragon with a lotus coming out of his mouth; or the festival belonging to him where for one day the light falls onto the sacred stone in the temple through the horns of Nandi, the sacred bull. In India everything is full of life as you can see from the Syrian cross which includes the rainbow, the four sacred rivers of paradise and the flowering and budding cross itself.

Some of these images are in my open house exhibition this May 2019, so do come and see them. I will be exhibiting in the Kemptown Arts Trail, AtTheCoachhouse, 22 Walpole Road Brighton as part of the Artists Open Houses (AOH) festival.