'Ethereal Basket', by Scottish artist Grace McDonald Cameron depicts the universal image of the circle, which symbolises the never ending cycle of life; and the woven basket, a domestic container used by ancient people. The basket is a product of life and human ingenuity, and a symbol of human endeavour in the face of an eternity of years. The circle can also represent unity or wholeness, the interconnectedness of all things and points in history and the continuity from the past to the present. Grace's painting harkens back to the past while referencing our ongoing connection with it and the generations before us and after us. There is surprising intricacy in her depiction of the weave of the basket. What at first appears to be a simple, minimalistic image in fact turns out to be nothing of the sort on closer inspection.
Her utilisation of printing techniques expresses the "feelings and depth of the land through a mixed media of colours and images". Indeed, the varied mediums reflect the complexity and depth of history which influenced the artist; and yet, the image also retains a strong element of timelessness. While inspired by the past, it is not in itself indicative of any particular time or place. Like the never ending cycle of life which it partly represents, the image appears to be placed in eternity, ever-present and continually fresh and relevant.
Grace McDonald Cameron was born in Dundee and trained and worked as a nurse for 15 years before leaving the profession to concentrate on her painting. She studied at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, Dundee and graduated in 2000 with a BA (Hons) in Fine Art Printmaking. This work is part of a series of early paintings she produced around the time of her graduation inspired by ancient rock art and Celtic history, as a direct result of which she was awarded the Angus Council Commission in 2000. While studying at college she was the recipient of the John C. Low scholarship in 1998, which enabled her to go to Canada for an exchange year and experience the Canadian landscape. Although she was attracted to the wilds of the Canadian Rockies during this period, her work focuses predominantly on Scottish landscapes and scenery. She is inspired by the colours, textures and patterns of Scotland, and her work is an attempt to capture such details and atmosphere. She works mostly with acrylic paint, using palette knives, hake brushes and her fingers to achieve the desired effects.
With thanks to the White House Gallery for artist information
With thanks to the Holroyd Gallery for artist information
With thanks to the Morningside Gallery for artist information