Art is for life – not just lockdown

By Patrick Barnham

An Aberdeen painter is urging people not to ditch art projects started during lockdown as rules further relax.

Neale Bothwell, 56, said virtual art clubs championed by the likes of Grayson Perry opened up the world of creativity to countless people but insists it should continue post-covid.

Neale said: “It was great the way Grayson Perry mobilised the nation and encouraged people to explore their own creativity this should not end with covid.

“When somebody explores their creativity it helps them to understand unspoken emotions and perceptions of the world around them.”

Neale believes any kind of art not only has beneficial effects on a personal level but can also improve the wellbeing of the community as a whole.

“Stamping your personality on any kind of artistic work pulls interpretations of the innermost essence of your being but can also touch others in ways you may never have thought of,” he said.

Neale’s most recent exhibition is centred-on the changes he felt and observed over the last 18 months.

“The turmoil caused by covid has provoked me in to using brighter and bolder colours and I hope that in some way they convey a message of positivity and hope,” said Neale.

“It’s my sincere hope that once all this is over there won’t be some collective knee-jerk reaction with people reverting back to seeking fulfilment from outside stimuli and instead remembering that enjoying art and exploring creativity gives an incredible sense of wellbeing.

“It’s so important to remember that anybody can make art, anybody can make marks on canvas, shape clay, anybody can use any medium they want to express themselves. And from this people can enhance their own self-worth and understanding and spread positivity to others.”

Graham Fowler from Castlegate Frames Gallery said: “Neale’s latest abstract exhibition is full of life. With such exceptionally well-balanced composition in colour and shape they are truly uplifting.

“I couldn’t agree more with Neale, any kind of creative endeavour reaps huge benefits not only to yourself but also to those it inspires.”

Neale’s latest exhibition simply titled New Paintings runs until October 16 at Castlegate Frames and Gallery, Aberdeen.

Contact Neale via

Story also published in –

Press and Journal

Business Mondays

Aberdeen Business News

The Daily Advent

Aberdeen Evening Express

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