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13th June 2008 at 01:00
The work of more than 100 artists spanning two centuries of activity, from 1780 to the present day, has been brought together for the first time to tell the story of art in south-west Scotland
The work of more than 100 artists spanning two centuries of activity, from 1780 to the present day, has been brought together for the first time to tell the story of art in south-west Scotland.

South by South West, which runs until September 21, features work by artists who either came from the south west or painted there, among them the gifted Faed family from Gatehouse; Jessie M King (based in Kirkcudbright) and Oskar Kokoschka who sketched in Wigtonshire.

The work has been divided into three chronological segments, showing across four venues: 1780-1880 at the Maclaurin in Ayr; 1880-1940 at the Tolbooth in Kirkcudbright (until August 3), then Gracefield in Dumfries; and 1940-2008 at The Dick in Kilmarnock.

Most of the work has been drawn from collections within the region, with much of the subject matter based on local people and places. The project is complemented by an excellent catalogue (pound;2), featuring colour illustrations of 92 of the works with a brief description of picture and artist.

Highlights at the Maclaurin include "Curling, New Loch Farm", painted by Alexander McKay more than 100 years ago, showing local people having fun on an iced-over area of what is now a Kilmarnock housing estate. "The Dick" features a monumental work by Peter Howson (a former Prestwick Academy pupil); some delightful animal sketches by Kokoschka who visited Wigtonshire in the 1940s; and a mask made from human hair - one of the special works commissioned for the exhibitions.

www.futuremuseum.co.uk

For details of the programme, contact cultural co-ordinator, Elaine Scott T 01563 555650; E elaine.scott@east-ayrshire.gov.uk.

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