Paisley Art Institution


131st Annual Exhibition
Unit 43A & 54, The Piazza, Central Way, Paisley
7 September – 20 October 2019


PAI: A yearly occurrence of something exceptional. When entering the non-traditional quite unassuming previous supermarket space, you are swiftly immersed into a varying world of art. The once former home of Paisley School of Design (now the Piazza shopping Centre), where PAI was founded. Welcoming back the institution to its original foundations feels like the perfect alternative to the current refurbishing of the Museum and Gallery. The many people who pass through the shopping centre probably don’t expect much more from there weekly shopping ventures but as you take a peek into the exhibition venue you can’t help but be curious. This is an amazing way to grab people’s attention who usually don’t go to exhibitions, to see the incredible array of artist works on display in the centre of paisley. The continual choice to have open entrants is a great opportunity which allows younger or new artists to exhibit alongside already established, well-renowned artists and PAI members.

The section of the Gallery with 3 walls of portraiture is truly breathtaking; the distinct, varying processes and interpretations of a portrait, side by side, which both complements and contradicts the other. It is a really professionally curated show. In a room full of 476 pieces of art it’s difficult not to be overwhelmed. Amongst the many, what stands out to me is the dreamy and dramatic city/landscapes. This is when I become fully immersed and forget my surroundings.

Bryan Evans  Floods At Kinning Park.jpg
Bryan Evans: Floods At Kinning Park, Watercolour 68 x 45cm: £2,600

On the lines of dreamy art, the work of Bryan Evans, definitely does not fall short of this. This particular piece is near Kinning Park underground station in the Southside of Glasgow. There is a real sense of familiarity to a person like myself, who grew up in Scotland, with the ‘rain-soaked’ streets and tenements of Glasgow at night. It reminds me of walking home after a hard day of work, its chucking it down, but you see the glow of warmth and home in the distance. Although some may dread the sight of rain, there is also something rather endearing about it. Evans captures this perfectly with the stunning combination of colours and textures created by the rain – this is emphasised with his use of watercolour. So, if you happen to find yourself in Paisley, in the rain, this is a perfect place to take shelter and absorb some of Scotland’s best portraiture, sculpture, still life, landscape, visual art and also VR!

Carina Ross

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