SSA member Susie Leiper’s new exhibition ‘One Never Quite Knows the Mountain…’ opens at Open Eye Gallery 22 June 2017.
To Nan Shepherd the mountain is The Living Mountain. Perpetually evolving, susceptible to the vicissitudes of weather and water, flora and fauna, the mountain is endlessly unfathomable.
Responding to The Living Mountain is not a new venture for Susie Leiper. Just as Nan Shepherd returned over and over to the Cairngorms, so Leiper is constantly impelled to revisit her iconic text. Serendipity recently confirmed some deep connection between Nan and Leiper: they are paired on the new RBS polymer fiver (Nan is the face of the note and Leiper’s secretary hand calligraphy is on the reverse).
The Living Mountain never ceases to enthral and inspire Leiper. She can be driven to paint on large canvases and smaller pieces of found wood, or to recreate salient passages as miniature tablets, many of them in silverpoint, itself as volatile as the mountain. The titles of the works are all words or phrases from the book. Over the coming year, Leiper hopes to complete her large handwritten and illustrated version of The Living Mountain.
Born and educated in Glasgow, Leiper has degrees from the University of St Andrews and the Courtauld Institute of Art. She is a Fellow of the Society of Scribes and Illuminators, works freelance in Edinburgh and has a longstanding involvement with a painters’ group run by Paul Keir. Thanks are due to the ever-supportive Erlend Clouston for permission to use the words of Nan Shepherd and to Anneleen Lindsay for all photography.
Susie will be giving a talk about her exhibition on Saturday 15 July, 12 noon.
Open Eye Gallery, Edinburgh EH3 6QE, 22 June to 24 July 2017