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The Living Mountain: Dreaming a Response by Rose Strang

We are delighted to announce an exciting launch of a special series of paintings by Rose Strang. 

A response to one of Scotland’s best-loved classics of landscape literature, this new series of paintings by artist Rose Strang was commissioned by the Folio Society London for their 2021 publication of The Living Mountain by Nan Shepherd.

The Guardian’s Jim Perrin described it as ‘The finest book ever written on nature and landscape in Britain’. The Living Mountain has been an inspiration for nature lovers, writers and artists since its original publication in 1977. When the Royal Bank of Scotland featured Nan Shepherd’s portrait on one of their bank notes in 2016, it was testimony to her growing popularity, placing her name alongside icons of Scottish literature such as Robert Burns and Robert Louis Stevenson.

In 2021 the Folio Society was inspired to publish a new edition of The Living Mountain, believing in its appeal to their international readership. All Folio books include artwork as a response to the text and in 2020 Folio’s Art Director, Sheri Gee, approached Scottish artist Rose Strang to create a series of paintings. Gee explains: "Rose Strang’s work goes beyond a direct representation of the world around her, it has a poetic quality, a rich visual language akin to Shepherd’s written descriptions of the area”.

Robert MacFarlane, award-winning author of best-selling books The Lost Words and The Wild Places, and one of the UK’s best-known devotees of The Living Mountain, writes in the introduction to this Folio publication of the book:

“Strang’s paintings are intensely dynamic, seethingly alive with stroke, dab, scratch and drip. Each of Strang’s seven paintings takes a phrase from The Living Mountain and dreams a response to it”.

The executor of Nan Shepherd’s literary estate (and former Guardian journalist) Erlend Clouston knew Shepherd from his childhood when she befriended his mother:“Every summer holiday, so far as I can remember, I spent with my mother in Nan’s house. She obviously became a close companion to us all”. Describing Strang’s paintings, Clouston comments:

“Rose Strang operates with a clear-eyed ambiguity, her images beautifully poised between the natural and unnatural worlds. The Cairngorms have rarely looked so tender, and so profound. Nan would be enchanted.”

Read more about Nan Shepherd and Rose Strang in this Sunday Post piece, in The National  and The Times.

The Living Mountain. Dreaming a Response, will be free to view at The Scottish Poetry Library, 5 Crichton’s Close, Edinburgh from the 17th of January to the 31st March 2023.

Lime Tree Gallery is delighted to be collaborating with the Heriot Gallery, Dundas Street, Edinburgh where the paintings will be available for sale from April 17th to April 23rd 2023. 

Play the 2 minute video.