A 92-year-old Glasgow-based artist, who still paints every day, is returning to exhibit at the Tatha Gallery in Newport following an uplifting and successful show there last year.
Passion, Vision and Spirit II is the follow up to Norman Gilbert’s Passion, Vision and Spirit exhibition 16 months ago.
The 30 works in this exhibition will span Norman’s 50-year career, showing the warmth and passion with which he sees the world.
“Norman Gilbert’s work inspires and enlightens and is a joy to behold,” said gallery owner Helen Glassford, who has worked closely with Norman to select the paintings on show.
“His highly coloured and sensitively rendered oil paintings depict place, people, patterns and plants, crossing boundaries and generations. Those who see his work fall in love with it.
“The show will be in Tatha’s light filled, riverside gallery for all to experience and enjoy.”
Born to Scottish parents in Trinidad in 1926, Norman decided to pursue a career in painting and it quickly became his life’s work.
Norman attended the Glasgow School of Art where he laid the foundation for his painting style—one that has been evolving and developing ever since.
In 1967, the Upper Grosvenor Gallery mounted his first solo exhibition.
The same year Vogue magazine published a feature on his work entitled “The Loneliness of the Long Distance Painter.”
In 1974 Norman’s work was the subject of a BBC film as part of a series of arts programs entitled “SCOPE,” presented by the critic and writer W. Gordon Smith.
The broadcast coincided with his solo show in the Edinburgh Talbot Rice Center.
To date Norman has had 14 solo shows, in addition to many group exhibitions.
Norman’s paintings depict his family and friends, seizing on the vitality of the young and their modes. The models have changed over time as his four sons were born, grew up, formed relationships, and most recently, have had children of their own.
Norman’s highly structured images are given form with the use of decorative pattern and vivid color, creating a synthesis between figure and space.
He recently said: “I try to make each colour and shape enhance every other colour and shape so it’s entirely satisfactory, so it’s at peace.”
His most recent work continues to deal with the same pictorial concerns but omits the human figure for the first time. Now, Norman’s subject is the planter-cultivated back yard of his Victorian town house.
Technically, the paintings are prepared with meticulous attention to the materials and methods used. The oil paint is applied to a traditional, semi absorbent, chalk ground on rigid board, which best maintains the colour and the permanence of the pigment.
The fidelity and lasting appeal of Norman Gilbert’s impressive life’s work is thus assured.
*Norman Gilbert – Passion Vision and Spirit II, Tatha Gallery, Newport-on-Tay, May 18 to June 15