Bank Street Gallery

Bank Street Gallery
dave 'cubby' cuthbertson & joy grindrod

dave “cubby”  cuthbertson

We often talk of a nations secret treasure but Dave “Cubby” Cuthbertson is anything but a cliché.  First and foremost a climber, he cut his teeth as a lad in Edinburgh.  The spirit of the mountains infected him early and soon, driven by his passion, he was forging a career that many will have recognised but few could attribute to Cubby.  Working along with the likes of Hamish MacInnes he has enjoyed many a starring role – ultimately performing one of the most famous falls in climbing history in “Touching the Void”.

When you reach the top, where next for an aging climber?  With many of his first assents still unconquered (remember it took only forty six days for Rodger Bannister’s “first” to be repeated) and on to his third hip, Cuthbertson has continued to push his body to the limits in recording his love affair with the Scottish landscape at altitude.

“I have always taken photographs of my climbs.  I have been snapping more seriously over the last fifteen years and learnt so much from my mistakes.  For me, less is more.”

Cuthbertson is a perfectionist.  It is an essential trait for any climber.  Life depends upon it.  This meticulous approach is evident in his images too.  Plagued by cramps from his three decades of injuries, Cubby recognises his physical limitations and works around them.  He thinks nothing of camping out to turn a long – and impossible – climb into two, shorter – and achievable – scrambles.  Patience and introspection hang in the image with you.  Stillness is tangible.  As your own heartbeat slows, you begin to notice that the photograph itself seems almost to breath back at you.

Frequently the work of Scottish mountainscape photographers is described as to “atmospheric”.  This perhaps says more about Scottish topography and its kindness to even the most amateur of photographers.  Cubby’s images afford another dimension.  These tributes are more than atmospheric.  They are emotional.  They pull at your heart strings.  And they definitely herald Cubby’s own poignant relationship to the land.


joy grindrod

Joy Grindrod grew up in the Lake District.  Notwithstanding the experience of many children – encouragement to pursuing a “proper job” – her calling for creativity never diminished.  Having experimented with preliminary art courses, she ultimately attended the University of Central Lancashire and graduated BA (Hons) in Fine Art in 1998.

Her connection with the mountains has been manifest in her commitment to the Lake District Mountain Rescue Team over the last thirty years.  She counts her role in that team with her sniffer dog as a privilege. 

That sincere connection with the mountains is manifest in her landscape paintings.  She works al fresco which demands a spontaneity and speed driven by the changing elements.

“The weather doesn’t allow you to mess around with easels for the full painting experience.  I sketch quickly to translate the essence of what made me stop ....  The speed at which the weather changes, trains the eye to become more selective and only include what is important.  I work on my paintings back in the studio, using the sketches and colour notes.  I do take photographs as backup for detail, but they are rarely used. 

I never set out with a definite plan.  Like the constantly changing landscape, my work makes use of many layers ..... the simplicity of time spent in the hills clears the mind and the land and light becomes easier to see.”

The result is a collection of work which pulls us into the moment.  There seems almost a velocity to the changing atmosphere.  Look again and the scene seems to have changed.  Combining clever use of pallet and a technical proficiency, Grindrod recreates the bloom and energy - sometimes enervation – of the mountain wilderness. 


the show runs from friday 20th june 2014 to friday 1st august 2014