INTERNATIONAL SCOTTISH ARTIST
First Minister for Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon and artist Cara McKinnon Crawford with two paintings from the series 21st Century Clyde, located in the First Minister’s waiting room in the Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh.
As a young student at the Glasgow School of Art, fresh from the Scottish Highlands, I cannot be absolutely certain that it was I who stumbled upon the River Clyde in those early days of living in this great city, or if this mighty, iconic life blood of the industrial heartlands of Scotland, found me.
What I am certain about however, is that the love affair which blossomed as I sketched and painted from Govan, to the city and down the other bank to Bowling, was to mould my passion and spin my heart in a way I would never have dreamt was possible.
Maybe, as we are all islanders at heart, there is an inbuilt attraction for us towards the spectacle of moving water. Certainly, I was sure from very early on, that I had to build a body of work to celebrate this enriching relationship.
I remember making a promise to myself on the Dumbarton train, as it took me to work on a magical misty morning, that I would build my project, which may well take me years to complete. Never the less, I could imagine a horizon of oil paintings, encompassing impressions which I would build as I grew and developed as a professional artist, up and alongside this majestic River. Little did I imagine that one day the work would hang in the Scottish Parliament.
So far, this journey towards my 21st Century Clyde has cascaded from source to sea and on down the Firth of Clyde. I have travelled in long dispersed bow waves of the colossus of Scottish engineering, I have looked on, transfixed with horror and wonder as giant cranes tumbled to epitaphs of destruction. I have stood where Turner brought the wonder of New Lanark and the mighty falls to a Victorian public.
Over the years; from the banks, from above in flight and from the diamond water itself, I have sketched, painted and produced. The work itself continues to grow into what I wish to be a Glasgow centred Exhibition. Some work will have to journey back to our country, in a reverse manner from America and beyond, as so many people once journeyed to these new worlds.
A representation of land, sea and cityscape which may have a corner of appreciation for all who know our river.
The 21st Century Clyde...