An internationally renowned artist who has been inspired by the spectacular landscape around Loch Broom in Wester Ross for the past 30 years has now developed a gallery which will show the work of contemporary artists from around the UK and Ireland.
James Hawkins and his wife Flick have together grown an international business around James' work and have also diversified into promoting and representing a range of complementary artists.
The new Rhue Art Gallery has been developed with the support of Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), which works closely with Flick on business growth. The gallery's innovative renewable heating system was partially funded by the Scottish Rural Development Programme and with help from Highland Opportunities.
The first programme of exhibitions has been announced and featuring painting, film-making, photography, textiles and sculpture is sure to attract additional visitors and residents to the area.
Flick commented: "We were delighted to have the gallery officially opened by Andrew Dixon, the chief executive of Creative Scotland. James has run an open studio here for many years and many people have come to see the work we have exhibited, both of his and of the talented artists we promote. The new gallery offers the perfect space to display work. Our inaugural exhibition has featured the stone sculptures of Mary Bourne and wall-mounted jewellery by Lucy Woodley. Helen Denerley's wild animal sculptures are to be found prowling the grounds."
Rhue Art is a Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) account-managed business. Raine MacLennan works closely with Flick and is delighted to see the creation of the new gallery.
She said: "It is a HIE priority to support the growth of ambitious businesses in the creative industries sector, particularly in rural areas. Rhueart's expansion will have a direct impact on the growth and turnover of its business, that of the artists and it will also support the growing numbers of visitors coming to James' Studio and the Gallery."
RhueArt Gallery and James Hawkins's Rhue Studio are open Mon - Sat 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
2012 Exhibition programme:
April - December 2012: sculpture in the gallery and in the grounds by Mary Bourne, Helen Denerley & Allison Weightman