A CHIP OFF THE OLD POP!
Moray Art Centre is proud to present the best of Highland Pop Art, from 8th April - 30th April 2023.
Pop Surrealist, Michael Forbes, and Pop Portrait Painter, Leah Davis, have joined forces to bring you an eccentric exhibition filled with energetic colours, and quirky concepts that celebrate expressing your authentic self.
If you like Pop art and popcorn, this opening event is not to be missed (Saturday 8th April, 5pm - 7:30pm at MAC).
Learn more about the artists
Michael Forbes is an almost entirely self-taught Pop Surrealist artist, who lives in an isolated area in the north of the Scottish Highlands. He worked as an assistant to Pop artist Gerald Laing in his youth, from whom he “learned more from than any art school education could provide.” Michael’s paintings are an extraordinary visual record of his thoughts and dreams, often journeying into the subconscious. His work shows a magical and playful, dream-like world laced with humour and pop culture.
Michael can count a number of celebrities as fans of his work, including Ricky Gervais and Terry Gilliam who are both collectors. Michael was selected to paint the Millennium poster for the London Underground, which is on show at the Museum of London Transport. He was also selected to represent the future of animal painting in the 2007 Blue Cross exhibition ''Animals in Art'' opened by the Queen. This show allowed Forbes to exhibit with every major British artist from Gainsborough to Hockney at Sotheby's.
He has shown alongside all the major Pop artists, including Warhol, Lichtenstein and Indiana at the Opera Gallery exhibition ''In the Mood for Pop'' on New Bond Street London. His work is currently on show in New York at Pop Gallery in Manhattan, where he regularly exhibits with artists better known for their music, such as Ringo Starr, Ronnie Wood and most recently Bob Dylan. Last year he was the first artist to have a private exhibition of his work at The Club at the Ivy in London, taking over the entire top floor, in an exhibition curated and organized by Terry Gilliam’s daughter Holly.
Saturday 8th April, from 5pm - 7:30pm
Hosted at Moray Art Centre
Drinks & nibbles
“Art is a common language spoken across the world bringing people and communities together. The impact on our health and well-being cannot be overstated. This exhibition, which combines the work of a well-known artist with that of a relative newcomer, promises to be exuberant, joyful and thought-provoking. I am looking forward to seeing it in April and would encourage everyone to make it a date in the diary”
Review by Lynne Staples-Scott,
Chair of North East Open Studios
Leah Davis was born and raised in Thurso, Caithness, and now lives in Lossiemouth, Moray. She calls her work Pop portraiture as she works in traditional portraiture and takes inspiration from Pop art, Pop Surrealism and Pop culture.
Leah has recently graduated from Gray’s School of Art with a Master’s degree with Merit in Fine Art. This is her first body of work since graduating and comprises a series of never-before-seen oil paintings, which will be unveiled at the opening event on the 8th of April. She exhibited a number of times during her student years, including KEEP Contemporary Gallery in Santa Fe, and a solo show at Upstairs Gallery, Inverness.
She describes her work as an empowering adventure - a bold and colourful mixed media autobiography that illustrates her journey from misunderstood small-town girl to finding her authentic self. She explains that she is here to empower others on their own journey of self-discovery.
Here’s what Leah had to say about the show:
“It's an honour to exhibit alongside Michael, as he is not only one of my favourite artists but the biggest anarchist I know. On top of that, exhibiting in a gallery that has previously showcased the work of the legendary artist, John Byrne, is just incredible. Thanks to Moray Art centre for this wonderful opportunity.
Previously, my work has explored my thoughts, dreams and life experiences. However, I have recently felt the pull in a new direction. This body of work explores those who have accompanied me on my crazy life journey. I have been affectionately exploring our relationships and their individual personas. I'm interested to see how our relationship may change when they become my model, and how they may also see themselves differently once their image is the focus. I can't wait for you to see it!”
Leah Davis is a member of the Society of Caithness Artists, one of the oldest art societies in Scotland which can trace its origins back over ninety years. Chair of the Society, Ian Pearson explained: "Leah is a regular exhibitor at our annual shows and her unique style expressed through her work which acknowledges her Caithness influences, has found favour with visitors throughout the years". Ian continues by saying: "The Society currently has nearly one hundred members, both amateur and professional of all abilities using a wide range of media. Ian concludes by commenting; the Society has witnessed several artists throughout its history develop their artistic careers to be recognised on the World stage and Leah is definitely one of them. The Society recognises the talent possessed by Leah and wishes her well for the future".