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Who would have known that Andrew Marr, that prolific writer, broadcast journalist and master of the television interview, was such a talented painter?

Not only has he written two books on the subject – A Short Book About Painting (2017) and A Short Book About Drawing (Quadrille 2013)) but he is currently showing his work under the sponsorship of Richard Demarco at the Summerhall Arts Centre until 27th April.

“More politicians should take up painting,” he says, in reference to Brexit and one of Winston Churchill’s principal hobbies. “It would help them to focus. When I am out filming there is always plenty of time standing around, waiting for the sun to come out, etc. I always carry my sketchbook with me. It’s enormously therapeutic.”

For this exhibition, entitled Highland River, it is the diversity and beauty of the Western Highlands that has captured his imagination; especially the River Guinard in Wester Ross, which he describes as “a kind of metaphor for both the passage of time and the need to hold one’s human balance while being open to the beauty of things. While at school in Dundee, he says he was greatly impressed by the artists James McKintosh Patrick and Alberto Morrocco. They led the way in Scottish art.

“I have a sense of standing unsteadily in a great skirl of time and watching dissolution as well as creation – and seeing that decay and the dissolution can be as beautiful as growth,” he continues.

He is much impressed by the Italian physicist Carlo Rovelli, who points to evidence that at the quantum level, the distinction between time and space, begins to break down and that time may be said to move in more than one direction, as well, obviously, as at different speeds. “There are no objects, he concludes. “Only events.”

And he draws the parallels between the past and the future and the lives that all of us lead in the 21st century. How do you capture this? You start by making marks on a sheet of paper.


Richard Demarco welcomes you to An Exhibition of New Paintings entitled Highland River by Andrew Marr.

Summerhall Arts Centre, Summerhall Place, Edinburgh EH9 1PL.

Friday 5th April to Saturday 27th April (Opening Times: 11.00 am-5.00pm

Tuesday to Saturday)

Richard Demarco on the left with artist and broadcast journalist Andrew Marr at Summerhall PHOTO|Roddy Martine