Eloise Gillow is a British artist based in Spain. Her work has a haunting beauty. Delicate and often blending in to the surroundings around it. It’s remarkable that in Aberdeen for the Nuart Festival it’s the first time that she has actually painted in the UK.
The piece on Flourmill Lane is actually a diptych. A double painting that is at the same time both separate and yet dependent on each other. It features two windows into another world of green and of nature. It’s a far cry from the building on which they have been placed. The windows contrasting against the brown of the modern brick.
Interview with Eloise Gillow
Re-Wilding was the theme of the 2023 Nuart Festival. The paintings remember a time when the space would have indeed have been the site of a meadow. A place where a bubbling brook would have weaved through and nature would have roamed. Within each of the murals a figure dressed in matching brown contemplates and ponders the space. We don’t see her face, only her bodily expression, taking in the scene around her.
The work plays with ideas around connection with the natural world. The figure is purposely unidentifiable so that we are able to apply our own identity onto it. Questions then form around what she or the viewer may be thinking or feeling. “I really want it to be up to each individual to think or feel whatever occurs to them. There’s no right way to interpret it” explained Eloise.
“I hope that in passing down this lane that people will slow down and stop and change the rhythm they are moving around the city in”. This idea of changing pace being a very present idea in Eloise’s work. It’s hard not to walk down Flourmill Lane and not observe or catch a glimpse of her work. On the side of what is essentially a loading bay it’s not an area that one would normally pay much attention.
This slowing down might even support any visitor to take in the other surroundings around them. The area is actually steeped in history. It was indeed the location of a mill and operated from the 13th century until 1865. On the opposite side of the road meanwhile stands the Provost Skene’s House. It’s the oldest surviving town house in Aberdeen and dates from 1545. Another clue as to the deep history of this part of the city which deserves to be explored.
Eloise Gillow was interviewed by Inspiring City as part of the Nuart Aberdeen Festival 2023. The festival ran from 8-11 June 2023.