Sierra

Foreward

Over many years, Barbara Rae's quest for creative and visual stimulation has taken her far and wide - the West Coast of Scotland; the Lammermuirs; Italy; South Africa; New Mexico and Arizona; Ireland and France. A common thread discernible in all her source material is her awareness of man's long-term relationaship with a particular landscape, be it field patterns in the West of Ireland or Native American cave paintings and rock carvings.

In the late 1980s she also found a wealth of material in the resonant dilapidation of the once thriving port of Leith. Last year, she returned to the dockland theme, inspired by a series of visits to Aberdeen harbour. These explorations of another dockland landscape, in which harbour artefacts become an analogue to the land, forged closer links between the painter, the city and the University of Aberdeen resulting in the creation of a special screenprint for the University. This screenprint in turn formaed part of a lagre exhibition of Aberdeen Harbour moonotypes, shown by Barbara last year at the University's beautiful restored Town House in Old Aberdeen.

The current exhiition, Sierra, sees another return, this time to the Alpujarra region of Andalucia in Southern Spain. Ancient olive groves, almond trees and long-tended vineyards clinging to precipitous slopes are transformed into paintings of brilliant colour and inspired design. This is an outstanding contemporary artist whose complex but accessible work continues to give endlass pleasure and visual insight to a wide range of Scottish and world audiences. It's a great pleasure to commend her new body of work to those who attend this year's Edinburgh Festival.

Professor C. Duncan Rice
Principal and Vice-Chancellor, University of Aberdeen