Macrobert Arts Centre

10 April to 6th May 2018

An exhibition of etchings, screenprints and digital works by Rachel Duckhouse, who recently worked with biominerals expert Professor Maggie Cusack, a specialist in biominerals such as shells, corals and bones.

Their research began with the story of an ancient Mayan skull, which contained false teeth carved from an oyster shell. The shell teeth had been accepted by the jawbone, which had grown new bone, generated in response to the shell.

The Leverhulme Trust funded artist residency enabled artist and scientist to explore the structural patterns within oyster shells using electron microscopy. Their collaboration focussed on the mysterious patterns that induce human stem cells to produce bone.


Inside Outside exhibition

Laura Furie

Gender Studies, University of Stirling

The thoughts, feelings and experiences of a lot of women in the sex industry are seldom heard in the media and academia. Through the Inside Outside exhibition, the voices and personal experiences of women involved in the sex industry in Scotland were amplified through chosen words and images by individual women themselves. These women had not been given that chance before and had remained as hidden voices. They are Natasha, Natalia, Levi, Katie, Wendy, Sarah Jane and Joanne.
Wendy one of the participants states :
“People are supposed to be able to deal with this kinda thing but they’re shuttin’ down and tryin’ to get you t’discuss other stuff that has no significance whatsoever to where you are. They don’t wanna know it. You see the look in their eyes, it just makes ‘em so uncomfortable, you can see that they think it’s dirty, it’s appalling, it’s disgraceful. It’s filthy and it’s wrong. That silencing is like a gag.”
Inside Outside was co-ordinated by Linda Thompson from the Women’s Support Project on behalf of and the Encompass Network . Inside Outside aims to challenge and question the misconceptions about the lives and experiences of women involved in the sex industry and what it means for them.  The project has been helpful in shattering the preconceived assumptions of what it means to be involved and each story and narrative is different and unique to each woman, giving them a safe space to share . The project has been helpful in shattering the preconceived assumptions of what it means to be involved and each story and narrative is different and unique to each woman, giving them a safe place to share the realities of their lives before, after and during their time in the industry
The women describe their paths which lead to their experiences of the sex industry and for some, the challenges they face(d) when they decide(d) to exit. Their stories do not only discuss their experiences of the sex industry but also their hopes, dreams, family life and career aspirations.
One participant describes:
“I think the idea of getting women to tell their stories in such an individual way and using our minds to create something so beautiful that is going to reach so many people is amazing and shows why we shouldn’t be ashamed of our stories – they are our stories. They have made us who we are.”
The exhibition of the women’s stories and photos has travelled across Scotland. It has helped educate and challenge Scottish society’s assumptions of the sex industry and the women involved. Additionally, the manner in which the project has been presented is an attribute to the empowering nature of the project as a whole, as well as the exhibition. As the exhibition was created by these women it is theirs. It is their voices, their ideas and their hearts. Each element of Inside Outside was produced for and by women, driven by women. Inside Outside opens up the conversation for the women involved in the sex industry to empower themselves and as a space they can discuss their involvement and experiences in a productive positive way with complete control over their voice.
The exhibition is on display at the University of Stirling, in the Pathfoot Building until the end of May 2018.

For more information visit:

Social media links –

Facebook page


Twitter insideoutside@iosscotland


S6 Portfolio Weekend

Last weekend S6 pupils from schools all around the Forth Valley came to the University to take part in the annual art portfolio weekend.


This weekend is delivered in conjunction with Forth Valley College and Stirling Council.  Pupils who are aiming to apply to art school learn how to prepare their portfolio and create new works.

Portrait of Pathfoot- Artist in Residence


The Art Collection are pleased to welcome artist Ally Wallace to the University.  Ally will be working as the artist in residence in the Pathfoot Building for the next six months.  He will be undertaking research examining the modernist architecture of the Pathfoot building, which will culminate in a solo exhibition in 2017.

Ally is interested in talking to people who use the Pathfoot Building to collect memories and anecdotes, which will inform his own work.  He would be delighted to talk to anyone who uses Pathfoot and would be happy for you to talk to him if you see him working around the building.

For further information about Ally and his work please visit his website .  Alternatively you can email him at

J.D. Fergusson

‘I remember when Whistler was asked:

‘What is your opinion on subject matter in art?’

He replied: ‘Everything but the subject matter in art.’


Our Art Collection is privileged to possess several paintings by J. D. Fergusson. In the future we will discuss each painting separately for you, as each is monumental and magnificent and deserves a mention aside from this piece that focuses on the painter himself.  Ferguson was a Scot in a full sense, and his national identity did not alter after his move to Paris, for him the essence of his identity was to remain Scottish with the obligation of it reflecting in his art.  He was inspired by others, acknowledged French painters and the Glasgow Boys, spoke about them with amazement and respect but also with the certain dose of criticism.  Scottish people through the decades proved to be open to International influences, by combining certain values but still remaining themselves.  This is what Fergusson has achieved in our eyes, and just by looking at the progress he has made just within a decade even untrained eye can see a difference.  For example, his brush strokes.  Looking at the: The White Dress: Portrait of Jane, this is an early Fergusson from 1904, the representation of the woman is realistic and is a traditional portrait accepted by the Salon at the time, but can anyone now say that this is a Scottish painting as it is obviously Fergusson? The answer to that is simple: NO.  In the search for ones roots, the style, and line a painter has to accept who he is, and definitely J.D. Fergusson achieved this level, and as a consequence he is a recognised Scottish painter in our times.  In the book Modern Scottish Painting, he discusses deep issues that arrive together with the sense of art and identity:

‘…use your brains to get to a state where you can be free to go by your feelings, and not be afraid to like something, because it’s not like some acknowledged masterpiece, academic or other’. (p.111).

Let’s now look at the Rhythm from 1911 owned by our collection, the depiction of woman is more structured, she is nude and heavily outlined, the background is abstract and she forms part of the surroundings.  Fergusson was not able to present this painting during his life as the Salon would not approve any nudity but the thought canons.  Neither famous Les Eus, has not been presented to the public during the painter’s life for the fear of heavy criticism.

In the Modern Scottish Painting he is critical of the prudish Calvinists and their restrictive vision on art, and in this sense he is closer to main land Europe.  French Impressionism inspires and moves him more, rather than the conservatives from his homeland, therefore he bravely discusses restrictions and the way out of the minds prison.  In his opinion progress is only through liberation:

‘…progressive should only mean liberating, liberating by a persistent attempt to find the fundamentals, the essentials or truths, instead of adding clever gadgets, or by using fashionable stunts’. (p.84)

In his view being up-to-date means no more than ‘with the latest gadgets’, this was not who he wished to be, as he was not a pleaser, he was a leader and fundamentally shook the world of Scottish painting.  As an Elder to the Glasgow boys he was an inspiration and encouragement for them to fulfil their visions.  As for his own painting the rule he followed was to extract from the mass of information and choose right messages which relate to him.

Apart of being an open mind a great help to his colleagues and being a Scottish Nationalist in the best sense, he was encouraging and spoke openly about necessity and the importance of women being treated equally to men.  His lifelong partner Margaret Morris was an instant inspiration to him as a man and a painter.  Her famous school of dance the ‘MMM’ was a big part of Fergusson’s life and he could not look at her otherwise but equal.  In his paintings these feminist views are strongly reflected, in the Rhythm the strength of the women, her muscular body is sitting firmly holding a fruit.  You can see powerful shapes and still feminine curves, round breasts, straight back, not fragile and helpless, but strong and fearless, these are Ferguson’s women.

To discover the strength of the message that his work bring do not hesitate and visit our collection at the Pathfoot Building.  We would be more than happy to show you around some more information on the artefact of the collection.

jane fergusson

The White Dress: Portrait of Jane





les eus

Les Eus







Text by Karolina.

Jon Schueler: Speaking of the Sky.

Those of you who know Jon Schueler’s work certainly will have already taken time off for the talk on the 29th of June: ‘Speaking of the Sky: Jon Schueler in Stirling. A View of the Scottish Landscape through Art, Poetry and Film.’ Those who don’t know him and are interested in exploring the Art World a little bit more or those wishing to go beyond their comfort zone, should attend the talk even more.  We hope to make our exhibition interactive and accessible for people of different interests. You do not have to be a specialist in the field, all you have to be is to be curious.

I would like to share with you few of my thoughts on Jon’s works.  Initially I mistook him for Rothko, there are some similarities, but how wrong I was as there large differences between the artists. Magda Salvesen, his wife, has shared some thoughts and stories on this aspect.  Rothko was interested mainly with colour, he did not consider landscapes and nature in his work. Schueler on the contrary was focused on the subject of nature, sky, space:

‘My avant garde was to paint not nature but about nature. To recognise that nature informed me that my fantasy and imagery and paint itself could only be as true and informing as my own intense response and subjectivity’.

Magda admitted that the only inspiration he drew from Rothko was the way of treating edges of the paintings and colour blending.  At first, long before I had pleasure to meet Magda, I was surprised with the fact that the painting goes beyond the edges of the canvas, now I realise that this was an intended effect.  When looking at Jon’s paintings for a long time, especially in the Pathfoot Building, one can experience movement, wholly dependent on the natural light in the room.  When the light changes, the paintings change.  When the weather changes, the paintings change even more. If there is a grey, gloomy and rainy day outside all the paintings suddenly seem more solemn and nostalgic, any signs of warmth immediately become extinguished by the cool light that creeps into the Hall.  If, on the other hand, a blissful summer day awakens the Main Hall, all the paintings change into brighter reflections of themselves.  It is a fascinating process and those who experience it are lucky, as exhibitions in the day light are vastly rare.  Especially bearing in mind that Jon Schueler himself was against harsh spot-lights.

Schuele had an tremendously sensitive eye to colour, blending hues and playing with tones.  It’s like music, a symphony of eloquent and delicate shades, with sudden explosions of passion and inspiration.  You can almost hear the storm, or feel the gentle breeze from the sea.  Some are more feminine, hues of pink melting into blues, others can be strong dominated by greys and black.  Schueler’s work focus on the expressions of the nature, he tried not to allow the emotional ‘outside’ in:

‘Now I want to put the total energy and the total time and the total feeling into my work. If each day brings a rage , it will be the rage of creation and not the rage imposed by the outside’.


Wonderful and magical, tonal, emotional, and passionate, all those words describe Jon Schueler’s paintings, however those words don’t mean much without witnessing and learning a bit more about them and about him.

*Quotes taken from: The sound of Sleat: A Painter’s Life by Jon Schueler with introduction by Russell Banes.


Schueler OC 1204 croppedSchueler OC 0241 croppedSchueler OC 0055 croppedSchueler OC 0114 croppedSchueler OC 1157 cropped


Magda’s Visit

Last week we were pleased to welcome a group of immensely interesting guests, one of whom was Magda Salvesen herself. She is vibrant, intelligent and kind all that we hoped for. The family and friends that she brought over were as fantastic, lovely and witty, bursting with knowledge. Magda is the person who made it possible for Jon Schueler’s works to be exhibited at the Pathfoot building. She has shared with us some deeper knowledge on the paintings and few interesting stories of the life with the artist, but this has to wait till the next post on Jon himself. The exhibition seemed to move our visitors, they enjoyed the University grounds, the Garden of Imagination, sculptures spread across the campus and most of all the architecture. Art Curators Jane Cameron and Sarah Bromage gave a tour around the Pathfoot building; one of the most beautiful there is; the tour was informative and exciting our guests explored the sunlight courtyards and examined the sculptures. We can only hope that Magda, her friends and family were as moved with the visit as we were, we did our best to provide as much care as possible hope that the hard work that Jane and Sarah put into the exhibition was noticed.