EXHIBITION – Bon Papillon present Senja Bownes, Machrihanish, McTaggart and Me

Bon Papillon welcome their new artist in residence, Senja Bownes

And the Sea Sparkled, Machrihanish - Senja Bownes

With many strings to their bow, the team at Bon Papillon gallery-café-framing-studio are not about to rest on their laurels.

A new season sees a new team member – Senja Bownes – opening her residency with a solo show.

Senja joins owners Ingrid Nilsson (artist in residence, curator) and Stuart Allan (bespoke framing and cafe chef) as their second artist. She will be painting in the gallery periodically and offering workshops in her oil painting

The team at Bon Papillon are hoping creative sparks will fly as the styles are definitely chalk and cheese.

Senja’s show opens on 14th September: ‘Machrihanish, McTaggart and Me’ and she describes the background to her show:

‘I still remember the first time I came across on of William McTaggart’s seascapes. It was a simple wave, beautifully painted over 130 years ago. I felt drawn to his work and could sense, and relate to, his passion for the wild seas and dramatic skies of Scotland.

Born in Campbeltown in Argyll, McTaggart studied and made his home in Edinburgh, whilst returning frequently to his roots to paint the Atlantic. As I researched his life and work, I came across a black and white photograph of McTaggart in his sixties, painting on the beach at Machrihanish. He was wrapped up against the weather, using a huge canvas and easel, which was secured to the sand with ropes and boulders. I, too, love to paint outside, and I found this image inspirational. I knew then that one day I would paint on this beach too.

I have followed his scenes, journeying from West to East, making my own sketches and sharing a love of the ocean. The resulting paintings are my interpretation of these beautiful places and the myriad colours and changing moods of the sea.’

Bon Papillon

About Senja:

‘I have always been happiest outdoors. After spending a childhood in Pembrokeshire and the Lake District, I moved to Scotland to study and have now lived in this beautiful land of ever-changing weather and light for many years.

I have a passion for wild places and travel throughout the mainland and islands of Scotland either on my motorbike or in my campervan; hiking, sailing or kayaking to reach locations away from the beaten track.

I have refined a collection of specially compacted painting materials which enable me to paint directly on location wherever possible. I feel that this lends a freshness and personal quality to my work, allowing it to become not just a painting, but a very real part of my adventures.

I feel very lucky that I am able to share these experiences with others and I am delighted that both my watercolours and oils are attracting an increasingly wide audience.’

Senja Bownes, Machrihanish, McTaggart and Me is on at Bon Papillon from 14th September 2013 and runs until 12th October.


Bon Papillion is situated at 15 Howe Street, Edinburgh, EH3 6TE.  Telephone 0131 538 2505

Open Wednesday to Sunday  9am – 5pm (closed Monday and Tuesday)

You can have a look at their website and read their blog.  Bon Papillion are on Facebook and on twitter @BonPapillon

Sunset over Islay, Senja Bownes

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