John Slavin



Click on a thumbnail image above to enlarge.

Leda, Acrylic on canvas, 61cm x 50cm

Princess Swan Sister, Acrylic on canvas, 60cm x 60cm

The Peaks of the Three Stars, Acrylic on canvas, 80x80cm

March Sunset River Aude, Oil on canvas, 90x60cm

The King and the Unicorn, Acrylic on canvas, 46cm x 36cm

Tree, Oil on canvas, 80x80cm


The Coming of the Unicorn Exhibition of Paintings in Edinburgh with Live Storytelling 20-26 March 2020

The harp string and voice of the female bards, the ancient earthly roots of the wisdom tales, and the angelic witness of painting the wonder tales form the parts of this March exposition. Our event of art and the spoken word is set at the Vernal Equinox. The certain light of the sun illumines the character fleeing winter, Beira the Hag. The lengthening days now present to us Springtime and the goddess herself in the form of sainted Bridget. We see her married to Angus Og her eternal spouse. We shall travel to the Well of Youth and perhaps, if it is to our taste, profit from the visit, guided to its secret situation by the courteous experts of words in story.

And there, hanging on the wall of The Life Room gallery in Dundas Street we will see portraits, from imagination, of those who have already drunk, and are immortal in story. Permitted by the luminous Equinox we will see further into portrait. Great warriors present themselves to us, and figures from traditions alien, one to the other, are juxtaposed for the first time with no regard to mutual exclusivity. Heroes from the Iliad and the Bhagavad Gita and the New Testament meet, not in adversary, but as surprised by their portraitist in domestic situations; Hector, in place of the Virgin Mary, cradles the infant Christ; an avuncular Achillies sits Patroclus and the god Krishna upon his lap; Pan the wild god breaks in on the Nativity. Herein we have tried to liberate the spirit from context, as a lucid dreamer may, and to spill, from unnecessary containing vessels, the identity of universal life! It seems, that in portrayals of gods we can see, audaciously, aspects of ourselves, the human. And so, safely ensconced in the music and words of the bards, Homeric, Hindu, Gaelic or Scots Traveller as these traditions may be, and emboldened by our association with The Wild god, the Mad god and the god of Wine we venture, at this Vernal Equinox, our all. And this upon one beast in particular, a Scots animal, swifter than our wind, whiter than the snow, lovely as the rising of the moon. A synthesized animal, guardian of our exhibition, a mythical beast, long sought by his admiring public. We welcome ‘The Coming of the Unicorn’ in word, picture and song.


Born 3/2/1956 in Falkirk. John Slavin attended Edinburgh College of Art 1975-1980 and studied in the School of Drawing and Painting under the celebrated painters Sir Robin Philipson and Dame Elizabeth Blackadder. Landscape painter on the Isle of Skye since 1995, now working in the Pyrenees.