During the Napoleonic Wars when Europe was closed for the Grand Tour, the Falls of Clyde at Lanark became a must-visit destination on what became known as Le Petit Tour.
Artist JMW Turner, who painted Corra Linn, landscape artist Jacob More who also painted a view of Corra Linne, a famous party of Dorothy Wordsworth, her brother William Wordsworth and fellow poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge who visited in 1803, and writer Sir Walter Scott are a few of the greats who have drawn inspiration from this spectacular landscape over the past centuries.
Now, following in their footsteps, a collection of artists are once again being inspired by the Falls of Clyde.
Romance of the Falls is an eclectic and exciting group contemporary art exhibition now running in the newly refurbished historic Tolbooth in Lanark’s High Street.
Painters, sculptors, steam punk makers, furniture designers, illustrators, glass workers, jewellers, textile artists and a film maker exhibit side by side in this exciting event, each interpreting the theme of Romance of the Falls in their own style.
The work on show ranges from wildlife to landscape, abstraction to surrealism.
A percentage of the money made by the artists will go to the Tolbooth to allow the charity to continue the exciting refurbishment work, including improving the wonderful high ceilinged upstairs room as an exhibition and event space.
Work will be exhibited on both floors of the building during this show.
The exhibition was the idea of Clydesdale artist Kirsten Harris. When she was a student her art history lecturer was a Turner expert, who passed on his enthusiasm.
“Every time I have been to the Falls of Clyde I have thought ‘I am walking in Turner’s footsteps’,” said Kirsten.
She realised that the Falls had been “really famous, a big deal” in the past. The wild landscape was a big part of the romantic tradition, and visitors leaving the man-made parks at Bonnington to admire the wilderness landscape from the pavilion at Corra Linn must have been impressed,
The idea of a modern look at the falls took hold and at the start of the year Kirsten initially contacted a few artists - mostly professional and some amateur - and set up a Facebook page, then word spread.
And the falls co-operated! Usually most of the water goes through the power station pipes, but the falls have been flowing at full dramatic volume all this summer.
“That is totally auspicious,” said Kirsten.
“The exhibition is going to be brilliant. Everyone has got really excited about the idea of a themed exhibition.“
It runs until November 12, from 10am until 4pm Monday to Saturday.