Those who have viewed Jamie Primrose’s work before would be forgiven for expecting to be met by glowing colours and blended oil skies when they descend the steps of the Dundas St Gallery to view Auld Reekie – A Timeless journey through Edinburgh, his latest exhibition.
Instead, they will be met with the striking sight of his monochromatic india ink works, hung in loose geographic order around the walls of the gallery and tracing a personal journey through the grand streets and architecture of Edinburgh’s New and Old Towns.
Although a handful of medium-sized works are displayed, most are small format studies of particular streets and views of the capital. From a distance, the draftsmanship and perspective display an almost photographic quality; on closer inspection, the impressionist nature of the marks on the paper give a more ethereal mood to the pieces, especially those in which Primrose’s distinctive capture of light, shadow and reflection are prominent.
The pieces which feature street views allow the sweeping grandeur of the New Town to be captured; with the long leading perspective of the likes of Comely Bank Avenue leading the viewer into each piece. As the journey continues across the Bridges to the Old Town, the style relaxes a little and the works take on the qualities of some of Primrose’s oil works: large skies dominating dark cityscapes beneath, capturing the fleeting moments of light and shade falling on the city.
The orange and red glow of a small number of oils complete the exhibition, reminding viewers of the other, more colourful side to the artist’s palette. But the impact of seeing a collection of Primrose’s ink works together is undeniably effective; and serves to demonstrate not only his versatility, but also his love for the city he calls home.
‘Auld Reekie – A timeless journey through Edinburgh’ is on display at the Dundas St Gallery until 19 March