Showing in the expansive space of the Dovecot Studios on Infirmary Street, the exhibition allows Primrose to showcase his love for his home city through a series of evocative and impressionistic vistas which celebrate the natural beauty of Edinburgh.
Although the landmarks and architecture are unmistakable, the subjects Primrose chooses to focus on are more ephemeral. With a tremendous ability to express the interplay of light and shade via layers of translucent oils, his paintings capture those fleeting moments when the light treats the city as its canvas. Sparkling reflections, fire-tinged skies, dappled shadows — all are rendered with a subtlety and use of colour which echo the likes of Turner and Monet. Indeed, one or two of Primrose’s oils featuring the golden tones of autumn foliage reflected in the tranquil waters of a pond could as easily be mistaken for a garden in Giverny as a park in Inverleith.Allowing Primrose the room to curate the exhibition in a manner which does his works justice, the spacious galleries of the Dovecot enable his paintings to be appreciated up close and from a distance. Splashes of colour from strategically-place canvases lead you from one space to the next; from large-scale dramatic sunsets from Arthur’s Seat to more tranquil scenes of the still waters of the Union Canal. A small selection of Primrose’s snow studies also features, framed in white and evoking the cold beauty of a white-blanketed city.
With the majority of works on display never having been exhibited before, Reflections on a City is highly recommended whether you have seen any of Primrose’s previous exhibitions or not. There is great pleasure to be had in viewing his evocative portrayals of the city’s most beautiful locations, and the paintings’ glowing vibrancy and enticing colours give them a broad appeal.
In fact, seldom has Edinburgh been presented in such a good — and beautifully captured — light.
Reflections on a City shows at Dovecot Studios until 16 November.