Voted the world’s most stunning landing spot Barra Airport is situated in the wide shallow bay of Traigh Mhòr at the northern tip of the Isle of Barra on the west coast of Scotland.
The airport is unique, being the only one in the world where scheduled flights use a beach as a runway. The beach is set out with three runways, marked by wooden poles at their ends. This allows the Twin Otter aircraft that serve the airport to almost always land into the wind. At high tide these runways are under the sea therefore times of flights vary. Emergency flights occasionally operate at night from the airport and vehicle lights are used to illuminate the runway and the reflective strips laid on to the beach.
White sandy beaches, beautiful scenery, archaeological monuments and abundant wildlife are some of the many reasons tourists visit the Isle of Barra. In the late spring and early summer its machair west and north coasts are a riot of colour from the many wild flowers which grow on the sandy soils. Oystercatchers wade in the shallow waters while gannets may be seen diving in the blue depths offshore. The island is a magnet for other species of birds including the corncrake which hides it’s peppered camouflage amongst the grasslands adjacent to shore and birds of prey such as the golden and white-tailed eagle rule the skies. Otters and seals are a common sight around the island and bottlenose dolphins are regular visitors in Vatersay Bay.
The Isle of Barra features strongly in John Lowrie Morrison’s – Jolomo’s latest solo exhibition Visions of the Scottish West Coast and it is a location he often revisits at different times of the year and in different light and colours as varied as the wildlife that thrives there.
“I see colour where most people don’t see it” states John, “sometimes I just think they just aren’t looking, the colour is there you just have to look.” John Lowrie Morrison’s work is vibrant, energetic and conveys a real sense of spontaneity and the sheer sense of joy is so characteristic of his work. “I let things happen in the painting, something is going on between the brain and the heart and the hand.”
This year marks 30 years since John started painting full time and those familiar with his work will see in this exhibition new avenues of exploration in some of the less familiar sunsets inspired by his recent paintings of Venice. There are also new large rectangular paintings, huge in scale and powerful in their influence.
John will donate a percentage of the proceeds from this exhibition to Carers Trust, a major charity for, with and about carers of which he and his wife Maureen, are Vice-Presidents.