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10:23:00 AM

Friday Focus on Down Syndrome - Artist Rhona MacLeod

There are two reasons I am thrilled to share this with you this week. Firstly, Rhona is an artist, an accomplished artist, as well! Secondly, she is from the UK and that is always a nice place to be from!

Without further ado, please meet Rhona MacLeod!

Festive display delight for Ullapool artist Rhona
By Lynne Bradshaw
Published: 04 December, 2009 in the Ross-shire Journal

AN Ullapool artist who has overcome her visual impairment to produce detailed lino-cut prints of building has had her artwork selected to be displayed in a new Christmas exhibition.

Rhona Joan MacLeod was at the Inchmore Gallery near Beauly last Friday to oversee the hanging of her pieces in preparation for the Inchmore Christmas Exhibition.

This is a great achievement for Rhona, who lives in Inverness but was brought up in Ullapool, where her family still live, as she has Down's Syndrome and a visual impairment.

The exhibition opened on Saturday and includes several pieces of art created by Rhona, who is a client of the Corbett Centre in Inverness and a member of the Highland Print Studio.

Through her involvement with Highland Print Studio the 41-year-old has developed a special interest in local architecture and buildings in Inverness.

Rhona is passionate about her art and very prolific, and some of her eyecatching lino cut prints and drawings will be on show at Inchmore.

She said, "I have always been interested in art and liked looking at pictures of paintings by Monet, Van Gogh and Jackson Pollock among others. I have been to quite a few art exhibitions in Glasgow and Edinburgh as well as the Musee d'Orsay in Paris and various art exhibitions when I was on holiday in Italy.

"I really started to draw and paint when I became a member of the Highland Print Studio in 2003.

"I found that I particularly liked to draw pictures of buildings. In the studio we had a book of line drawings in ink of Inverness, by the late John Pearson.

"I liked them very much and did some line drawings based on his work. My favourite materials are pencil, paint, wash and pen.

"I love colour and like to mix my own shades. I now draw from photographs or from sketches I have made. I make prints from some of my pictures in the Highland Print Studio.

"Coming from Ullapool I am planning to do some sketching there when the weather improves next year.



Rhona with some of her works at the 
Inchmore Gallery. Phil Downie 01463 831249

"My family have been very supportive and encouraging.

"They buy me good quality materials for Christmas and birthdays and I give them my pictures as presents."

A number of people from The Highland Council's Corbett Centre with an interest in art set up a group working at the Highland Print Studio in 2003.

It was here that Rhona had the opportunity to use different materials and media and develop her own style. Liz Graham and Billy Coghill from the centre worked with her to encourage her interest and broaden her understanding of art.

Rhona has exhibited at art evenings at the Corbett Centre, Arts in Merkinch, at the Highland Council headquarters in Inverness, the Floral Hall and the Glasgow Print Fair.

Her pictures, which are well observed and quirky, have always been popular and have sold well.

Rhona has completed a cluster of SQA Art and Design units, and is planning to have her work exhibited at a gallery for Outsider Art in Edinburgh.

Anne Ritchie a teacher at the Corbett Centre who works with Rhona said, "We are all very proud of Rhona."

To read this article in the Ross-shire Journal CLICK HERE
For information on her exhibition please visit the Inchmore Gallery

 
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