The Crags (Radical Road) VIII

45 x 61cm
Alexander Moffat OBE RSA

Acrylic on paper

From a series of 10 studies of this volcanic spur in Edinburgh’s Holyrood Park, painted between 2016-19.

It’s perhaps unsurprising that in Scotland we have several words to describe different kinds of rainbows. A ‘watergaw’ is a fragmentary one, one that shimmers into life then seems to disappear partially or entirely.

‘A watergaw wi’ its chitterin’ licht ‘  – Hugh MacDiarmid’s famous poem ‘The Watergaw’ captures the profound associations felt on seeing a fleeting rainbow. The two watergaw paintings in the series seem to me to capture visually this depth of emotion expressed in MacDiarmid’s poem.

See Alan Riach, Professor of Scottish Literature at Glasgow University, reading The Watergaw  here.   Click on Videos tab for more.

See Alexander (Sandy) Moffat speaking about Salisbury Crags on a new film, released in celebration of the artist’s 80th birthday this year (2023). Click here to view.