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New Exhibition launched at Stirling Castle to celebrate first ever artist in residence

1 December 2011

                         Stirling Castle's artist in residence , Iona Leishman (right) at the launch of her new exhibition "Sense of Place" with Historic Scotland's Head of Learning Services, Sue Mitchell. Historic Scotland has acquired the painting "King at the fireside" which will be hung in Prince's Tower for visitors to enjoy from next year

A new art exhibition is opening tomorrow, Friday 2nd December, at Stirling Castle to celebrate the works of Iona Leishman, its first ever artist-in-residence.

The exhibition, ‘Sense of Place’, features around 80 paintings by local artist Iona Leishman and will run until 31st December.  Her works range from lush naturalistic impressions of the castle to dreamy washes of colour haunted by ethereal figures, all inspired by the history, iconic landscape and Kings and Queens who lived at the Castle.  

Gillian Macdonald. Executive Manager of Stirling Castle said: “This is the first time we have had an artist-in-residence at Stirling Castle.  We are delighted to be able to host this exhibition of Iona’s work as part of our Christmas celebrations at the Castle and look forward to welcoming visitors during the festive period.”  

Sue Mitchell, Historic Scotland’s Head of Learning Services said: “The project reflects Historic Scotland’s aim to make imaginative use of the nation’s built heritage through an extensive and varied educational programme.

“The potential of this rich source material has allowed Iona to develop a huge body of work that has attracted interest from thousands of castle visitors. Her talents have also helped schools and community groups develop their own creativity and skills.”

The project was set up in collaboration with Kathleen O’Neill of Culture Matters, which specialises in the professional development of artists and educational and cultural organisations and sponsored by the Sterling Furniture Group, and Arts and Business Scotland who matched the company’s funding.

Sterling Furniture’s managing director Gordon Mearns said: “Supporting the arts in this way is a first for Sterling Furniture, and we are delighted to provide assistance to enable Iona to capture the essence of Stirling Castle, a truly iconic landmark steeped in history.”

The show is free to all visitors at Stirling Castle, and can be found in the Exhibition Room within the Nether Bailey complex, between the central castle buildings and the western ramparts.

Notes for editors:

  • Iona (48), originally from Perth, has used her broad range of styles to appeal to a wide range of tastes and ages
  • All paintings are for sale, and an exhibition catalogue has been published at £6.95.
  • More images are available upon request.

  • Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government charged with safeguarding the nation’s historic environment. The agency is fully accountable to Scottish Ministers and through them to the Scottish Parliament.


For further information


David Gray
Communications and Media Officer
Communications and Media
0131 668 8603 or 07747 165 289
david.gray@scotland.gsi.gov.uk