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Artist 'Comes Home' to Duff House

26 May 2014

A new exhibition charting the theme of ‘Coming Home’ has opened at Duff House.

The exhibition, entitled ‘Being Somewhere’ by artist Olivia Irvine, will see 18 paintings on display, influenced by places that the artist visited or lived in.

The artworks – painted in oil on canvas or oil on board - range from the familiar, including a local scene of Banff where Olivia spent time in her teens, to the contrasting landscapes of Iceland and the Spain.

The exhibition is designed to capture different elements of what a sense of place means to people from seeing the unfamiliar in a known location and the thoughts and memories that may be triggered by it, to the feeling of arriving somewhere for the first time.

Although the places themselves differ significantly, the key thread running throughout the exhibition is the concept of a sense of place, linking into this year’s wider Year of Homecoming theme.

Olivia said;

“What a sense of place means to an individual is a very personal thing, however through this exhibition I’ve drawn on my own experiences and travels to create different interpretations and responses to the theme.

“The paintings combine unusual colour combinations, layering and patterns, to create a dream-like or theatrical quality to evoke the feelings of being in a different place.

“It is particularly special that the exhibition is showing in Banff where I lived for part of my teens, and one of the area’s best known local landmarks, the Bridge of Alvah is included as part of the collection, alongside pieces inspired by travel.”

The exhibition is showing at the House through a partnership between the Coast Festival and Historic Scotland, who manage the House. Visitors to the House over the weekend got a preview of the exhibition as part of the Coast Festival, whose theme this year was ‘Coming Home’.

Lorna Ewan, Head of Head of Visitor Experience, Content and Learning for Historic Scotland said;

“We are delighted to welcome Olivia’s exhibition to the House – one a series of fantastic exhibitions that will be running at the House throughout the summer.

“We hope that visitors enjoy Olivia’s interpretation of both the familiar and the unfamiliar and take away from the exhibition their own unique take on what makes a sense of place.”

The exhibition will run until the 27th July and is included within the admission price to the house.

Notes for editors:

  • 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.


  • Scotland welcomes the world in the Year of Homecoming 2014 providing a year-long programme of events alongside the Ryder Cup and Commonwealth Games. The Year of Homecoming Scotland will run until 31 December 2014 throughout the length and breadth of the country. Visitors from around the world are invited to join in a celebration of the nation’s food and drink, active pursuits, cultural heritage, nature and ancestral heritage. Homecoming Scotland 2014 is a Scottish Government initiative being led by EventScotland and VisitScotland, supported by numerous partners. To find out more visit www.homecomingscotland.com. For more on Historic Scotland’s Homecoming activities visit  www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/homecoming or tweet us using #hshomecoming.

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For further information


Iona Matheson
Historic Scotland Media Office
Communications and Media
0131 668 8703 or 07827 956 858
iona.matheson@scotland.gsi.gov.uk