Tales From The North, Pamela Tait & Erlend Tait, An Tobar Gallery, Tobermory, Isle of Mull, tomorrow to September 9


IT IS rare to find a husband and wife team collaborating effectively when it comes to making art. Black Isle based couple, Pamela and Erlend Tait, have always bucked that particular trend.

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In Tales From The North, An Tobar Gallery on the Isle of Mull, brings the artists together to present a new body of work, which includes collaborative pieces that have been produced specially for this show.

The work of both artists uses symbolic imagery rendered with impeccable technique to assemble complex and layered narratives. In the process, they bring their knowledge of Scotland's natural environment and history into juxtaposition to create an "otherland" that exists under the skin of Scotland.

Erlend is known for his work in stained glass. Drawing on the history and mythology of his Scottish and Orcadian heritage, he has developed his own symbolic visual language. For this exhibition he has cited a diverse list of sources including the myth of St Conan and the Deil, science fiction and a personal observation of a halo around the moon.

Pamela, an established painter, has turned to etching in the past year to great effect. She cites pareidolia (to perceive images in clouds, vegetation and so on) as a source for her imagery. Looking at the trees in the woodlands around her home they reveal characters to her from which she forms intricate narratives, some joyful, some tragic.

For Tales From The North, the couple have created a pair of paintings which can be viewed as an exploration of a personal relationship. Erlend's intense portraits of a man and a woman are clothed by Pamela's myriad spirit figures. It's as if a Pandora's box of imagery has opened to coat them with full body tattoos depicting their own hopes, fears and neuroses.