Bute-born artist in Gigha gallery exhibition

An exhibition of Sandra Ratcliffe's work goes on display at the Gigha Gallery from April 6.
An exhibition of Sandra Ratcliffe's work goes on display at the Gigha Gallery from April 6.

An Ayrshire-based artist who was born and brought up on Bute has been invited to show off a selection of her paintings at an exhibition on Gigha.

Sandra Ratcliffe, who began her working life as a junior reporter with The Buteman, has been invited back to Gigha after the success of a previous solo exhibition.

Gigha was one of the first places Sandra went to paint in the late 1990s at the end of a lengthy career in the Scottish national press.

“Friends of mine were artists,” Sandra said, “and I had always loved art and through their encouragement, having left newspapers, I decided to return to the easel.

“I was born and grew up on Bute, which I have always loved, and painted there many times so it wasn’t surprising, all these years later, that I fell in love with Gigha too.

“The first time I visited it was June and the weather was fabulous. We could have been in the Greek Islands. Amazing turquoise sea and white beaches, and rocks so full of colour they just blazed with all the summer pinks and lichen.

“I painted some beach and rock scenes and took them in to the local gallery on Gigha lovely wee Gigha Gallery, run by Henri Macauley. She loved them!”

The Gigha Gallery, part of the island’s community trust venture, hosted its first solo exhibition of Sandra’s work in 2010.

The exhibition opening is already shaping up to be quite a Hebridean party for Sandra, with visitors travelling to attend from as far away afield as Lithuania and Spain to attend.

“I know some people are already coming from Bute,” Sandra added, “but it would just be nice to see as many who remember me to come and join us for what would turn into a wonderful reunion.”

The exhibition at the Gigha Gallery opens at 2pm on Saturday, April 6.