Scottish artist enthralls his audience
// 09 February 2016 //
A SCOTTISH artist of world reknown delighted Ayr Sketch Club members and guests when he delivered a fascinating presentation on his life and work.
Adrian Wiszniewski engaged his audience from the off, with his open and friendly manner, providing anecdotes of his early Glasgow School of Art years, delivered with a gentle, subtle wit.
Here was a heavyweight of the Scottish artscene as raconteur, yet making political points and social comments in works which contained many layers of meaning to which he went to great lengths in explaining the thoughts and ideas behind them.
He is a figure who embraces the human spirit and you could see from his work that there is evidence of a celebration of diversity. He is a master of line and colour, and can hold his own with any past masters of the last century.
Although Glasgow born, he is now Renfrewshire based. He studied Architecture and Fine Art Painting in the early 1980s, and then saw a meteoric rise to fame, through his connection with the New Glasgow Boys – Stephen Conroy, Ken Currie, Peter Howson and the late Steven Campbell – which brought them all to national and global attention. Since then, with many international awards under his belt, he has carved out a successful career, taking on projects as varied and challenging as neon-lit signage, tapestry rugs, civic sculptures, scripting plays for Glasgow's Oran Mor and doing a spot of novel writing, resulting in being shortlisted for an international book prize.
Proof enough that he is an artist in the fullest sense, an artist who is prepared to cross different disciplinary boundaries in the pursuit of his craft. He has involved himself in book illustration, printmaking, public and environmental projects; benefiting hospitals, cafes, nightclubs, churches and inner city recreational parks. It is not an exaggeration to say this is creative genius on display, of the sort seen in Picasso and Matisse, who worked with ceramics, murals, and stained glass.
His work is recognised throughout Europe, Japan and Australia, and his work hangs alongside the best of Western art in the Library of Congress in Washington and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. It can also be found in the permanent collections of many of the best galleries and museums in the world. At this present moment he is exhibiting in Berlin.
Through his talk, it was easy to ascertain that here was a man who enjoys what he is doing, is adventurous, relishes a challenge, and with an ever-present awareness of mortality, is at pains to cram and do as much as he possibly can in whatever time he has been awarded.
Adrian shared with everyone present, that he is producing a set design in collaboration with a company for their ballet Parade, the 100th anniversary of the first performance of an Erik Satie production, which will be seen at the Edinburgh Festival in 2017.
He also has a two-month residency on the horizon at the House for an Art Lover, in Bellahouston Park, Glasgow, where he will work on some monumental paintings. Also in the pipeline is an excursion to tour Scotland and New Zealand, courtesy of a Creative Scotland Award to depict national identity through landscape. A subject which is not a familiar one in the back catalogue of Adrian Wiszniewski.
At the end of the evening, everyone accorded Adrian their thanks and went back home, bolstered by being in the company of a living, creative giant.