'The Girl in Stripey Tights' by Liz Rickard

by Stephanie Cullen - 10:29 on 16 October 2018


   Our current exhibition at For Arts Sake is ‘The Girl in Stripey Tights’ by Liz Rickard, a collection of paintings inspired by Orkney folk, places and traditions. A number of people may already be familiar with Liz’s work, whether it’s from seeing a couple of pieces in our regular open exhibitions or her wee collection of work that is on display at Robertson’s out in Burray. We are fortunate, however, to have the entirety of her work and some new pieces hanging in our gallery!

   Liz describes herself as a “naive artist”, meaning she is a self-taught artist with no formal training. Naive art usually ignores the rules of perspective, resulting in brightly coloured, two-dimensional pieces full of detail. Liz’s work certainly follows this description, her paintings are beautifully illustrative in detail and show a number of well-known Orkney scenes in a playful context. As the title of the show suggests, there is a girl in stripey tights that features throughout some of the collection, playing with a kite out in Yesnaby or struggling with an umbrella on a windy Broad Street. All the pictures have so much detail that there’s always something else to see on second or third viewing, well-known Orkney shop and bar fronts are recognisable, the people depicted are often seen performing traditions such as blackenings, gulls cartwheel in the sky; the scenes are so familiar that it would make an Orcadian laugh. There is certainly a sense of humour on display here which invites the audience to share in on the joke, one piece entitled ‘Bring A Vodka’ shows a nude couple (back-on) dancing around the standing stones.

   Besides her very recognisable work and style, Liz has also contributed some more traditional paintings showing her growth as an artist, from life drawing studies and realistic pictures of Orkney waves to more abstract watercolour pieces of dragonflies at Happy Valley, she’s certainly an all-round artist and it’s marvellous tracking her development. Come see Liz’s work for yourself and take a break from the gloomy weather. The gallery is open Monday-Friday 10-5 and Saturdays 10-4.

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