“Hebrides at Port Tarbert, Outer Hebrides” – Extra Info

"Hebrides at Port Tarbert, Outer Hebrides"What the press say – the Plymouth Extra – “A Royal recommendation sent Plymouth artist Gordon Frickers away on the road to the Isles. A voyage to look at the ports to use as backdrops to new paintings for Caledonian MacBrayne – Calmac for short – owners of the new ferry “Hebrides“.
And the Herald added: “Hebrides” enters service this week, with the Frickers painting “Unloading at Port Tarbert”, permanently gracing her largest public room.

The commission for Gordon Frickers was to paint not just one but several pictures to be hung on board, for presentations & for the company boardroom.

He was picked following an earlier work of his, a painting of Castlebay, Barra; the most Southerly inhabited Hebridean Isles, which was commissioned to hang in Calmac’s “Clansman”.
End of quote.

Calmac directors remembered & obliged, flying Gordon to Glasgow for a 3-day tour, accompanying the MD as he “did his rounds” of the ports and Western Isles, to sketch, photograph & paint possible backgrounds for their newest ship. From this and meticulously studying of the G.A. drawings, several delightful paintings emerged.

Hebrides” is shown in an unusual way, unloading at Port Tarbert. The busyness of the ship, the depth of colour, the keen observation of the Hebridean light, the attention to on shore details is undeniably well captured.

The series of paintings are remarkably fluid, convincing yet painterly. This painting, Hebrides at Port Tarbert, is very unusual.
While paintings of ships abound, a painting of any ship unloading is rare and of a fleeting a moment in time.
A working ship going about her core shore side business as opposed to working at sea, at the beginning of the 21st century, it will soon become a minor icon of the time.


“There is an enduring quality, capturing an aspect of our now for future generations, great painting.” said Capt J Simkins, MD Caledonian MacBrayne

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