It’s a family affair for Wrexham Lecturer’s new art exhibition in Scotland

Date: Tuesday 12th September, 2023

An exhibition featuring the work of three members of the same family – including a Wrexham University Lecturer – has opened this weekend at a gallery in Scotland.

Relative Colour, which is available to view in Buchlyvie’s Greengallery in Stirlingshire, and on the gallery’s website is showcasing pieces from a range of artists and ceramicists.

Front and centre are the works of the McClenaghen family, who are exhibiting together for the first time.

 John McClenaghen, Senior Lecturer in Fine Art at Prifysgol Wrecsam/Wrexham University, is showcasing his work, alongside his wife Lorna Bates – an Art Practice Masters graduate from Wrexham University – and their daughter, Kate McClenaghen.

John McClenaghen

Following in her parents’ footsteps, Kate, graduated from The Glasgow School of Art in July this year and has now moved to London to undertake a Masters degree in Painting at the Royal College of Art.

 Speaking about how he feels to be exhibiting alongside his wife and their daughter, John said: “It’s quite unusual for a couple and their daughter to exhibit their art together, so it’s incredibly special and a fascinating opportunity to see all the connections between our paintings, as well as Lorna’s wallpaper designs.

“Lorna and I share a studio that Kate has grown up around, so our sense of colour and our shared creative interests have been like a huge conversation over many years, while our son Peter who’s interests lie well outside of the art world, has always been around to keep us grounded.

“I feel immensely proud to be part of ‘Relative Colour’ which includes 40 paintings and six wallpaper designs, created by our family over the last year.

“For this exhibition Lorna has produced a wallpaper featuring scenes from generations of our family history, extending an approach she recently developed in ‘The Wrexham Toile’ wallpaper, which celebrates the city’s landmarks and recent achievements.”

John describes himself as an “expressive, colourist painter”, who employs a combination of thick and thin paint to convey his visual and physical experience of a place and time.   

While Lorna’s paintings explore notions of nostalgia, reminiscence and belonging. She also creates wallpaper designs, where she uses patterns that challenge traditional “rules”, such as repetition and regularity, transforming it from ornamentation, decorating an object, to a subject in its own right.

Lorna Bates

Their daughter, Kate works in painting and mixed media exploring form, structure, colour and texture with the intention of reflecting her physical, emotional and psychological experience of a place or subject. Her work focuses on the inanimate, derelict, unnoticed and the not yet fully formed within the urban environment. She draws upon memories and observations of the industrial and architectural qualities of the cities she has lived in.

The exhibition will run until Sunday 8 October.