The ‘wildlife’ of the Cairngorms was taken to central London for an exhibition at the prestigious Saatchi Gallery.
Wildlife images created by Speyside Distillery’s artist in residence were hanging at the Kings Road gallery and museum, bringing a flavour of the Cairngorms to the heart of the capital city.
Prints by Joanna McDonough were part of an exhibition of works from The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts (PSTA) and Spey, the deluxe malt whisky produced at Speyside Distillery.
Joanna’s work is inspired by the flora and fauna around the boutique distillery, set near Kingussie in the Cairngorms National Park, and her prints of otters, hares and house martins were selected for the collection of works submitted by PSTA students past and present earlier this month.
Joanna finds the environment in which she lives and works stimulating for her screen printing and delicate pen and ink works.
She says: “Otters can be found in and around many of the tributaries of the River Spey and are a wonderful sight to behold and I created ‘Otter Frolics’, a three-colour screen print with pen and ink drawn onto the print itself.
“One of my favourites is of two beautiful hares. There was a hare living in the garden of the Speyside Distillery Gallery cottage and I often saw him lying in the summer sun.”
“In spring we had a very determined young house Martin trying to enter our home in Aviemore and it became quite a battle when the back door was let ajar, and my final print shows young house martins on a branch.”
Earlier this year Joanna’s art formed a showcase of students’ work for the PTSA in Taiwan, an exhibition sponsored by SPEY. She will be returning to Asia to exhibit with the PSTA at The Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing in November. She also has plans to show her work in selected galleries in the Scottish Highlands this winter.
John Harvey McDonough, CEO of Speyside Distillery says: “Joanna is producing some wonderful art. With our partners The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts , Joanna’s beautiful art merges naturally with the art of distilling – which is the beating heart of our boutique Speyside Distillery . As Joanna’s husband I am very proud of her and her skills as an artist.”
The luxury malt whisky firm is a keen supporter of the PSTA, a post-graduate academic institution in London which was founded by the Prince of Wales and seeks to promote the traditional arts. The whisky brand has a strong presence in Asia, particularly Greater China, and it has sponsored Asian students to study at the PSTA, including the institution’s first Chinese national, who graduated this s