As an Expressionist painter of the landscape I hold on to the pillars of
expressionism. The typical trait of Expressionism is to present the world solely from a subjective perspective .. distorting it radically for emotional effect in order to evoke moods, or emotions.
I add on to that .. Spirituality .. I believe God’s Spirit is all around us and that we can lock into His Spirit through Prayer … God’s Spirit though is felt very strongly on the Island of Iona .. I’ve always thought why is that ?
I suspect it is because of a certain Colm Cille and many others being on Iona and bringing Christianity to Ireland & Great Britain and of course elsewhere ! So I think Iona and the Footsteps of Saint Columba are very special to God .. that’s why His Spirit is there. I went over with my parents for the first time to Iona in 1966 .. not on a big MacBrayne’s Ferry .. - but the long boat type ferry of Angus & Dan MacKechnie ! I fell in love with the Island immediately and have painted Iona ever since probably hundreds of paintings. The main thing that keeps drawing me back to this tiny island is the fact that I can feel God’s Spirit even more every time I go there … but also THE LIGHT on Iona has something to do with it also !
Paul Anderson comes from Tarland on Deeside and is one of Scotland's most respected traditional musicians.
From a farming family, Paul is part of a musical lineage that goes directly
back to Niel Gow, the "father of Scottish fiddle music" and during his
competitive career he won almost every fiddle championship in Scotland
including the coveted Glenfiddich Scottish Fiddle Championship. A celebrated fiddle teacher, Paul has performed all over the world and has
performed regularly on TV and radio. Paul has released 11 solo albums and he featured in the recent remake of the classic film "Whisky Galore".
A respected composer of over 600 original pieces of music, Paul composed the score for the critically acclaimed Aberdeen Performing Arts touring
production of Sunset Song and has also composed a symphony inspired by the landscape, history and people of the Scottish Highlands.
Paul is an Honorary Fellow of the University of Aberdeen, was awarded an
Honorary Doctorate of Music from Robert Gordon University of Aberdeen in 2021 and also in 2021 was also awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours. Aberdeen Art Gallery have a life size portrait of Paul which was painted by the artist Jennifer McRae. My thoughts on Iona
Iona is special; few places rival it for scenic beauty, a sense of the spiritual and the undeniable weight of Scottish history which seems to seep from its very bones. Personally, I have always sought for solitude when on Iona and have always been drawn to the quieter, harder to get to places where I can try to tap into something intangible and attempt to turn the moment and the emotion into music. Some places just have a feel about them and Iona is certainly one of them. About half of the music on the album was composed over four days while on the Island on 2019 with Francy
Devine and it almost felt like it wrote itself. Iona is a special place.
I was aware of Iona from my Glaswegian father’s vivid stories of Colmcille.
A long-harboured desire to visit Iona was fulfilled when spending a March week there with Paul Anderson absorbing the topography, flora and fauna, history and language. It stimulated an immediate artistic response and listening to compositions emerge from Paul’s fiddle was a wonderful privilege.
I began to comprehend the Book of Kells, the Irish Church’s contribution to insular art, to maintaining the pulse of Western Christianity, homage at John Smith’s grave a contemporary reminder of life’s continuum. In Ireland, I travelled Slí Cholmcille from Gartan Lough through Kilmacrenan to Kells’ high cross and red flag. A return to Iona was not journey’s end but beginning of a number of journeys. The poems sprang from unknown wells. Iona deepened my comprehension of both the natural and ‘other world’. Perhaps the portals of ageing and imminence are refracting tools that turn the same light that lit Colmcille’s draughty scriptorium. Iona and Columba sit tantalisingly in the memory, the turmoil of its many questions generating a peculiar, satisfying calm.
The Reverend Kenneth Ian MacKenzie DL has been the Minister of the
Parish of Braemar and Crathie since 2005. He is a Domestic Chaplain to Her Majesty The Queen, and a Trustee of St Margaret’s Braemar.
Over the years Ken has spent lengthy periods living and working in places as far-flung as Hungary, New Zealand and Northern California, but his roots remain firmly in the Scottish Highlands where he grew up on a family farm, and where, two generations earlier, each of his four grandparents began their schooling with Gaelic as their only language.
Much influenced by writers as diverse as George MacDonald, J. Philip Newell and Wendall Berry, Ken has, throughout his ministry, developed a particular interest in what might be loosely categorized as the ‘Spirituality of Place’, and he considers it one of the greatest privileges of his spiritual journey thus far to have spent a little time with John Lowrie Morrison, Paul Anderson and Francy Devine, three uniquely gifted artists, as they, individually and together, reflected on the place that was, and remains, the Island of Colm Cille.