Naked Aye – Visual Artists Preview – Part 3

Part 3 and more to see, we are not done with you yet.  Don’t forget to make time to come see the art for real.  We open this Saturday 3rd October 7pm, and run until the 18th October daily, at St Margaret’s house.  Read on…

Fiona Michie

Fixyoureyes - Fiona Michie

Fiona Michie, lives and works in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.  Fiona loves drawing and storytelling and has 1st Class BA Hons in Printmaking from Grays School of Art, and an MA with Distinction in Drawing, Wimbledon School of Art in London.  Her work is shown mostly in Europe and also in several publications.  Fiona creates storytelling pictures of young women, roaming woodlands, gothic ruins and moon lit rooms.  Her characters stand alone in dark romantic dream worlds.  She works in an intuitive manner using compressed charcoal, pen or ink on paper.

Alan McGowan

Only Darkness gives me the sensation of Light_Alan McGowan

Alan McGowan was born in 1964 in Glasgow and studied for his degree at Edinburgh College of Art, since then he has been a practising artist and teacher.  His works appear in the public collections of the Royal Scottish Academy and Stirling University, and he is the winner of the Wood Award (Visual Arts Scotland) and the Bowie award for painting (Paisley Institute).  Alan’s sculpture was selected for the Threadneedle exhibition of Contemporary Figurative Art 2014 at the Mall Galleries, London.

Irvine and Noble

tumblr_mh6e85l8Lb1r42r6ao1_500 Kyle Noble and Jamie IrvineWhilst students at Duncan of Jordanstone, Irvine and Noble began an enduring collaborative surrealist drawing practice. The surrealists’ referred to a specific term ‘Exquisite Corpse’ and it is this term that best defines the nature of Irvine and Nobles practice.  The artists begin a drawing on separate surfaces and then the works are exchanged continually, thus evolving the image until satisfaction is reached.  Their drawn styles share a symbiotic relationship on paper, each artist bringing his own style and crucial reaction to the visual challenges set by the other, creating an organic and ever evolving narrative.

Michael Spring


Born Northampton, England. Lived in Edinburgh for 39 years. Michael has worked in drawing and painting, photography, video, animation, sculpture, printmaking. He is interested in encouraging everyone’s creativity, and has worked with Common Ground Arts, creating opportunities for marginalised people to exercise their creativity.

Craig Marshall

4 Minute Warning, Anubis - Craig Marshall

Recent graduate in a BA in Professional Photography from Edinburgh College, who is influenced by all media. Craig’s practice involve the creation of surrealist fashion style images, which get the viewer to question what is being seen.

Paul Maguire

Untitled 3Paul wants people to imagine a place through limited senses and with minimal details. A place with people you cannot see, and people without a place.  He is a filmmaker and photographer, and also runs LOWDEF, a film and video night that shows one minute films made on any “low definition” format, from mobile phones to super 8.

Mel Roy

Graeme's-Hands-April-2015-0Figurative art has always been Mel’s primary interest.  She is interested in making works that move beyond direct representation and into another state.  Her pictures aim to have emotion, without clear narrative where the figure although changed is not idealised.

Fiona Michie
Alan McGowan
Irvine and Noble
Michael Spring
Craig Marshall
Paul Maguire
Mel Roy


Naked Aye – Visual Artists Preview – Part 2

Here is part two of our series on the visual artists involved in our show.   Read on for a few clues about what they might have in store for us, and some details about the artists and their practice.

Faracy Moon Grouse

the-spirit-tree-1200w - Faracy GrouseFaracy is a multi-disciplinary artist, working across visual, sound and sensory art.  She has exhibited paintings in the US, Spain, England and Scotland.  Faracy has also performed vocal compositions and soundscapes in churches, outdoor festivals and recently created live soundscapes for Voice Box Theatre’s “Selkie Tales” at the Edinburgh Fringe, as well as live score painting for their “Escape from Wonderland” show.

Aine Divine


Aine is a portraitist and art teacher from Roslin, Midlothian. Originally from Cork she graduated from Crawford College of Art and Design in 1991, gaining a Higher Diploma in art teaching in 1995.  She competed successfully in the Irish National Portrait awards in the 1990’s, while in 2005 she appeared in BBC One’s “Star Portraits”, and was delighted when Mo Mowlam chose her portrait of her to keep.  Sports stars have been more recent commissions, and this year she became a finalist in the Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the year competition. Aine exhibits extensively in Scotland, in recent years also gaining awards from the Royal Watercolour Society in London.

Derek Thwaits

Derek Thwaits

Derek’s works comprises sketches, drawings and photographed ‘found’ objects. Theta rhythms link mechanisms of learning and memory to sensorimotor processing related to arousal in the neocortex.  His drawings and sketches are a response to the pressing dialectic between thought and appearance.

Mary Trodden

'Pan4' Mary TroddenMary’s drawings are taken from the templates of red figure pottery as was developed in Athens around 520 BC.  It seems that sexuality and historical fantasy was directly linked to eating and drinking in the cups and plates of the ancient Greeks. The craftsmen who originally produced work in this way, were copying from compositions evolved by a skilled artist, inspired by contemporary customs and local mythology.  She has used the original compositions to develop the characters as a form of self-portraiture.

Topaz Pauls


Topaz is from York, and has a degree in linguistics.  She now works on all sides of the easel as model, artist and teacher.  Her work for show includes portraits of friends, family and lovers.  A collective portrait of those she loves. These will be accompanied by a sentence of two about the person.  All manners of media and styles of artwork may appear, appropriate to the length of time she had for the artworks; some spontaneous.

Thomas Abercromby

Thomas Abercromby - Photography by Rachel Byrne

Thomas Abercromby graduated from Dundee University in Visual Arts.  He is a Scottish contemporary artist working with themes such as childhood, social problems and sexuality. Thomas creates artworks using a variety of materials initially.  Once he has constructed a layout, concept and composition of a piece using mixed media materials, he then further develops his ideas as textile pieces.

To find out more about these artists featured please visit their websites:

Faracy Moon Grouse
Aine Divine
Mary Trodden
Topaz Pauls
Thomas Abercromby

Reconfigure Life Drawing at Naked Aye Artists’ Residency

reconfigureAs part of the Naked Aye Artists’ Residency, we are collaborating with Topaz Pauls, life model and the face of Reconfigure, to offer an exciting and diverse programme of life drawing for both resident artists, and those who want to drop-in for a bit of drawing.

Reconfigure aims to bring together subversive figurative performance art and life drawing to challenge and push artists with something quite different to a conventional life drawing setup.

Fresh off the back of a successful weekly Edinburgh Fringe run this year, we’re now giving you the opportunity to do 3 hours + of life drawing a day between the 5th and 9th October; 12-3pm every day, including a special performance 6-9pm on Wednesday evening.


£6 for two hours or £8 for three; or buy a pass for the week for £35.

Materials: bring your own, there will be some there to buy, some to borrow.

Easels and boards can also be rented for the cost of £3 a session, or again, bring your own set-up.

This life drawing programme is being organised as part of an artists’ residency.

Resident artists will use the Gallery space as a studio during the Naked Aye exhibition, entitled Shapes that Shift Desire, running from October 3rd-16th.  It’s free to use the space; easels and boards can be rented.

We hope to cultivate an environment of collective support and inspiration for all involved.  For info about being a resident artist during the week email

For ease just pre book at Eventbrite, or contact to organise your tickets and easel hire directly.  Or of course, just turn up and pay ‘on the door’.


MONDAY 5th: Movement
Two models, ribbons, and a hula hoop.  Topaz, our organiser from Reconfigure, and Ross Cleland aka Volcanic Ash the hula-hoop dancer, will hypnotise you, doing a mixture of fast, slow, sequential and long poses.

TUESDAY 6th: Max[ine]
Max[ine] is a 5ft puppet made by Gavin Glover. acclaimed puppet-maker and founder member of FaultyOptic Theatre of Animation.  Max[ine] and our model will work together in a series of shorter and longer poses.

WEDNESDAY 7th (12-3pm): Still Life
A single long pose; an amalgamation of found objects with a life model.  A space, a narrative, an interaction.
WEDNESDAY 7th (6-9pm): Nude musicians
Grant McNeil and Sophie Somerville will awe and delight with their acoustic music and life poses.

THURSDAY 8th: Body-bag
Based on a performance piece by Naomi Garriock. Subverting the conventional ‘draped’ life model.  A collage of limbs emerging from a silken drape.  Mixed length poses.

FRIDAY 9th: The Bed
Dishevelled sheets, a sleeping figure emerging from the bedclothes.  Pose lengths will depend on the restlessness of the sleeper.

Further Information
Reconfigure: Facebook; Twitter; @reconfigurative (Instagram/twitter handle)
Gavin Glover:
Ross Cleland aka Volcanic Ash: Facebook; Youtube channel; Instagram: @volcanicashhulahoops
Grant McNeil: Youtube of his performance at SoFar Sounds Edinburgh

All take place in the gallery spaces at St Margaret’s House.

Naked Aye – Visual Artists Preview – Part 1

Our exhibition programme will include paintings and performance, installations and film, spoken word and drawings, sculpture and photography, music and more.
We’d like to share with you some of the visual artists who are participating in the exhibition, and a few hints about what to expect.  More to follow soon…

Wilson Russell

Wilson Russell

Wilson trained as a draughtsman before going on to study art and psychology.  He worked for a time making stained glass but spent the following years pursuing an interest and career in teaching and practicing psychoanalysis, always retaining an interest in aesthetics and the part they play in human experience.  Four years ago he decided to stop all clinical practice.  He now works using ink and watercolour, to find a new language, to discover meaning in the space between the expressiveness of the human body, and the response in ink to the gesture of communication by the model.

Joanna Lubonska

Joanna Lubonska

Joanna Lubonska is a visual artist based in Edinburgh. Joanna Graduated with a Masters of Art from the University of Silesia in Poland in 2007 and since moving to Scotland she has been constantly developing her practice in the Visual Arts.  In her work the landscape of the body is forced to abstraction through repetition, in a never-ending geometric kaleidoscope of form.  Finding sexual shapes in the body which are not so obvious at first sight, shifting the focus from erotic to geometric.

Michelle Foster

Michelle Foster -Watercolour picture

Michelle completed an art degree, and later trained as a social worker.  She worked with drug users, homeless women in abusive relationships and excluded young people. Her work focuses on emotional intelligence: the need to fully experience and understand our emotional selves in order to feel congruent in daily living. Michelle says, “I have always been fascinated by the sense we have of our own selves, and how this is not reflected in dominant societal images of what is desirable.  The notion that sex is the domain of the young and ‘attractive’ belies human experience”.

Tabitha Rayne

The Pearl Necklace and the Motel Room small file - Tabitha Rayne

Tabitha writes erotic tales and creates sensual art works and films – all with desire as the central theme.  She is fascinated by the artist and muse dynamic, and this recurs across all the mediums she uses.  When she needs to paint, she needs to paint – that’s why some of her work appear on beaten up bits of cardboard or worn out notebooks.  Sensuality and desire drive Tabitha’s work, her writing, painting and film making.

James Page

James Page - Blog Image

James Craig Page is a self-taught artist, living and working in Dunbar.  He began painting in 1997 and founded C.o.G (Church of Gloss) in 2007.  His work is spiritually inspired and is created in a Dwamic state through a channelling process he developed through his work as a spiritualist medium.

To find out more about the artists featured please visit their websites:

Wilson Russell
Joanna Lubonska
Tabitha Rayne
James Page

The Other Side of the Canvas – Life Drawing Sessions


As part of the Naked Aye festival of events, artist Marcin Krupa, and artist and life model Topaz Pauls plan to run some exciting life drawing events.  More information will be posted on our Facebook page in due course.

Topaz Pauls is an artist but also knows what it’s like on the other side of the canvas, working as a life model in what is a growing and buzzing life drawing scene. She heads up the Edinburgh wing of All the Young Nudes, a life drawing sketch club that mixes life drawing with music to bring this most traditional of artforms a more modern twist.

“ATYN is unique because it prides itself on providing an environment for anyone, whether they consider themselves an artist or not, to zone out, focus, relax and sketch with a tipple and some tunes.  There’s no pressure to perform or display your work, and no tuition. We have seen masses of people coming to sketch each week for 6 years in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee, which highlights the rising popularity of life drawing as a hobby and skill.”

Indeed, life drawing is now becoming so popular that All the Young Nudes also run life modelling classes to teach prospective models the ropes. And there appears to be no shortage of people willing to pose.

“More and more folk are beginning to understand that although life drawing is based on the body, it is not inherently erotic,” Topaz explains. “I think that as well as having an interest in figurative art, prospective models want to overcome body-confidence issues through life modelling. And that’s the beauty of figurative art – that it depicts life in all its forms.”

If you’re interested in finding out more about the joys of life drawing, Naked Aye will be running some life drawing workshops as part of our programme. Please check the Facebook page regularly for updates.

Here are just some of the great life drawing opportunities in Edinburgh:

All the Young Nudes, at Cabaret Voltaire on Tuesdays, 7-9pm, @ATYNudes

Leith School of Art run taught classes and drop-in classes.

And there are life drawing classes and a weekend drop-in at Look and Draw in WASPS off Dalry Road

One of our Naked Aye show participants, Leigh Chorlton, runs regular life drawing and portrait classes at Whitespace in Edinburgh.


If you’re interested in really getting to grips with what’s under the surface, artist Alan McGowan runs anatomy workshops for artists  – next one is 15-17th Jan 2016 at St Margaret’s House Edinburgh, please visit his website for details.

Naked Aye Events Programme

We are delighted to announce our programme of events, with further details on residencies and workshops to follow.

Please visit our Facebook Page for more information and regular updates about these nights.

All events are Free Entry and based at St. Margaret’s House, 3rd floor galleries. After-Parties on 3rd & 16th October, from 10pm at the Safari Lounge.

Naked Aye Art – Opening Night – Shapes that Shift Desire Saturday 3rd October, 7 -10 pm. Safari Lounge After-Party with DJ Joe Malik.

Naked Aye Art – Shapes that Shift Desire Multi-Arts Group Exhibition
3rd – 18th October open daily 10 am – 6pm at St. Margaret’s House

Ten Red Plus – Poetry Night with Kevin Cadwallendar & friends
Friday 9th October, 6.30pm

A night of eclectic, poetic and musical takes on what shakes and shifts our desires, with ten performers showcasing works.

Shapes that Shift Desire: Creative Film Screening & Discussion with James Mooney
Saturday 10 October, 6.30pm

A night for turning spectators into active participants and engaging with film through sketches, poetry & discussion. Led by Filmosophy curator and Film Lecturer James Mooney.

Shapes that Shift Desire: Aye! Def – Film Night of selected short films
Wednesday 14 October, 7pm

A night of creative short films on desire, ranging from comedy to experimental, animations to non-narrative documentary, low or high def. Curated by Paul Maguire.

Naked Aye Art – Closing Night – Shapes that Shift Desire
Closing Night on Friday, 16th October 7 – 10 pm with live performances. Safari Lounge After-Party with Live DJ set from 10pm.

Naked Aye multi-arts exhibition, with visual arts at its centre, is a group show with works by Scotland-based artists, engaging and playing with the creative and subversive energies of desire connected to the human figure. It includes paintings and performance, installations and film, spoken word and drawings, sculpture, photography, music and more.

What moves us to create? What moves you to play? Let’s explore how shapes can shake us, what shapes shift our desire.

Last Chance to Submit Your Artworks and Proposals to be part of Naked Aye Multi-Arts Exhibition and Events

Roger Hilton Dancing Woman
Roger Hilton’s Dancing Women 1963 from the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

The deadline is looming to be part of the Naked Aye group exhibition in October. Deadline is the 5th Sept – midnight. The submissions are coming in thick and fast and we’ve received some terrific submissions so far.

One of the wonderful things about the Naked Aye pop-up exhibition this spring, was the range of work and artists on show – and we want October’s exhibition to showcase a really diverse and interesting response to the body. Whether you are a photorealist or Scotland’s answer to Jackson Pollock – we are interested in many different and diverse responses to the theme. If your work deals with the body – however abstractly – we are interested in hearing from you.

Alison Watt painting
Alison Watt’s beautiful drape paintings suggest the body without literally depicting it

Scotland has produced some brilliant painters of the body such as Jenny Saville and Alison Watt. Indeed the latter shows in her beautiful and eery drape pictures that you don’t have to literally paint a body for the work to be all about its implied presence.

Picture by Wilson Russell

And we’re not just interested in painting. Printing, photography, mixed media, film and video, sculpture…Gallery 1 at St Margaret’s House is an amazing space to bring together a wide diversity of work and different media. Have you a performance piece you wish to develop or a workshop you’d be interested in proposing? Now is the time.  (Works in progress can also be submitted). One of the purposes of Naked Aye is to bring different artists together – we’re interested in reaching out to all forms of practise.

The first Naked Aye show
The first Naked Aye show

So if you’re still umming and ahhing – don’t  delay any longer. The form is simple and takes ten minutes to fill in.  Here it is. You just need to add a few pictures of your work.

Don’t miss out on the chance to be part of this exciting and unique event. Good luck!

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