Issue 203
May/June 2018

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Jun 21, 2018
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    Fidra goes to Gullane

    AFTER SOME six years trading from his home on Dirleton Avenue in North Berwick, Alan Rae of Fidra Fine Art is relocating the gallery to the property on Main Street, Gullane, previously occupied by Gullane Art Gallery.

    New address: Fidra Fine Art, 7-8 Stanley Road, Gullane, East Lothian EH31 2AD

    "The move to Gullane is really exciting," says Alan. "Having the gallery in the house has been great for so many reasons but having a High Street premises will make it much easier for people to find and interact with us.

    "We have a built up a comprehensive list of some of the most notable artists working in Scotland today and feel the time is right to move into a more traditional high street space".

    Fidra Fine art started after Alan began buying Scottish art.

    "I'd already collected for many years and my dad had painted all his life, so I'd always been around art, although I worked in aircraft finance for 20 years!

    Old sign

    "As my collection and my interest grew I started thinking about having a gallery myself. A number of factors, including a house move within North Berwick threw up the opportunity to set up the gallery in the houseā€¦ so we did. I think any collector, no matter what it is, likes to show off and talk about their collection. I see what I do with the gallery as an extension of that.

    "We named the gallery after the island Fidra which is off the coast near North Berwick. It's often credited as the inspiration for R.L. Stevenson's 'Treasure Island', and I see it everyday when walking the dog".

    He credits the gallery's success to the support given from the artists they show, as well as to mixing in good quality pieces from the past 100 years or so.

    "I find Scottish art history fascinating. It's great to own a piece by an artist whose work you can find in the National Gallery. The relationship you have with that piece goes beyond just the aesthetic value.

    "If you dig a little to reveal more about the artist, their training, where they travelled, prizes they won, who they taught and so on the collector gets a real connection to the past. I firmly believe that many of the artists we show today will have a place in the Scottish art history books of the future.

    "I choose work based on my own tastes, largely pieces I'd be happy to have in my collection. The annual exhibitions at RGI, RSW, RSA, PAI, SSA and VAS etc., are great places to see good quality work all in one place, so I always find it useful to go to those.

    "I also hope customers and artists find us easy to deal with and enjoy coming into the gallery. Too many people say they don't know anything about art but everyone knows what they do and don't like and I think that's a good place to start. Finding out why is the interesting bit.

    "We are aiming to open the doors on Saturday, May 26 and our opening exhibition will feature new work by a variety of our existing artists as well as one or two historical pieces with local interest."

    Frances Anderson

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