AN EXHIBITION of original artworks by Larry Scrimgeour, based on the ancient forms of Celtic art, continues throughout this week in St John’s Church in Forfar.
In this exhibition, Larry imagines the pagan, animal totems decorating the battle shields of our ancestors, and the Christian symbols that would later replace them.
All his works incorporate a single strand motif, representing eternity and infinity, without beginning or end, one of the outstanding features of Celtic art. Many faith systems use such images (mandalas) as an aid to meditation.
Larry calls himself Pictus Pictor, Latin for the Pictish Painter, recalling the name given to our ancestors by the ancient Romans who once tried, and failed, to conquer them - “Picti”- the painted ones. He is currently working with a very keen and talented group of young Pictish artists at Rosebank PS, Hilltown, Dundee.
Commenting on his work Larry said: “Like their Celtic cousins in Ireland, Brittany and all over mainland Europe they (Picti) had developed an art form that was uniquely Celtic, incorporating animal and geometric motifs using the most basic of natural materials and adorning the most basic surfaces, their stone and their skin.
“The circular drawings represent the results of a thought experiment that began when I looked at the bronze-age Pictish stones of Angus. Pictish warriors with round shields appear on these ancient stones but any symbols on them, if indeed any existed, have been eroded. I have imagined each clan to have its own adopted totem from the surrounding native wildlife. What might such shields have looked like? With the advent of Christianity, of course, to these motifs would be added the cross and trinitarian symbols, and the ornate three and five point rosy crosses.” The church is open daily from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.