SCOTTISH ARTIST BRINGS PALETTE OF BENRIACH TO LIFE ON CANVAS
Single Malt Scotch Whisky BenRiach has teamed up with an award-winning Scottish artist to bring its sensory palette to life through a series of abstract paintings inspired by the Speyside distillery’s landscape, architecture and kaleidoscope of flavour.
Taking inspiration from the distillery’s extensive library of some of the world’s most eclectic casks housed in Warehouse 13, contemporary landscape artist Ellis O’Connor has been commissioned to create a trio of dramatic landscapes influenced by the 3 casks used to make up the BenRiach 10 Year Old. The deconstruction of this expression will create 3 pieces of art that fuse the flavour palette of BenRiach with Ellis’ signature painting style, the collection will be crafted at her studio on the outer Hebridean island of North Uist before being exhibited in Hackney’s underground bar, TT Liquor during Scotch Whisky Weekend in January 2020.
At the event, Ellis will appear in conversation with the BenRiach team discussing where she found inspiration for these commissions. Guests will get the chance to explore the palette of BenRiach for themselves through a ‘painting by tasting notes’ workshop where Ellis will guide them to explore the depths of BenRiach by harnessing their own creativity.
With a particular focus on the casks used to mature the BenRiach Aged 10 Years, O’Connor draws inspiration from the flavours drawn from the Oloroso sherry, bourbon and virgin oak casks which give a perfect balance of fruit, malt and oak. The bourbon cask gives vanilla and orchard fruits, Oloroso sherry gives the sweet creaminess of the malt and virgin oak gives a touch of toasted spice, all in sublime synchronicity. Following its three-cask maturation for over a decade it has been expertly combined by Master Blender Dr. Rachel Barrie to create a smooth, multi-layered flavour experience, thanks to its multiple eclectic casks from around the world.
Ellis, who originally hails from Dundee, studied fine art at Duncan of Jordanstone art school. Since then she has continued her studies, which has led her to travel to remote lands to partake in a number of artists’ residencies. BenRiach decided that Ellis was right for this partnership due to her unique approach to art, connection to an eclectic audience and love for whisky.
Artist Ellis O’Connor said: “Speyside is renowned for its big skies, fast flowing river and of course, whisky, so when the opportunity arose to bring this climatic corner of Scotland to life on canvas on behalf of its most creative distillery, I jumped at the chance.
BenRiach is packed full of innovation, experimental heritage and flavour and I wanted to depict that through the essence of its flagship whisky BenRiach Aged 10 Years and how it speaks to me through the colours and movement on the canvas. Each canvas will have a distinct colour that explores the flavour profile of the single malt and its cask journey.”
BenRiach Distillery Master Blender Dr. Rachel Barrie added:
“At BenRiach we are known for doing things a little differently, always exploring the creative possibilities of our Speyside malt. We have a creative approach to whisky distilling, cask maturation and blending, which Ellis has embraced in her approach to illustrating BenRiach’s eclectic mix of cask types and rich layers of BenRiach Aged 10 Years. Partnering with this talented young Scottish artist is such a wonderful way to bring BenRiach’s flavour journey to life and we can’t wait to see Ellis’ creations on canvas.”
ABOUT THE BENRIACH DISTILLERY:
Founded in 1898, Benriach Distillery has long been the home of an ingenious and artistic approach to whisky distilling and cask maturation. Today, our creative team of whisky makers continue to explore the flavour possibilities of our hand-crafted Speyside award winning Single Malts. BenRiach is an award winning liquid, including the 35 Year Old being named best Scotch Speyside Single Malt at the World Whiskies Awards 2019. Additional prestigious awards include double gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition for a number of expressions and category winner at the International Wine Spirit Competition 2019 for BenRiach Aged 35 Years winning Best Single Malt over 26 years old.
BENRIACH. EXPLORING FLAVOUR SINCE 1898.
ABOUT ELLIS O’CONNOR:
Ellis O’Connor is a contemporary landscape artist from Dundee, Scotland living on the Outer Hebridean Island of North Uist working in the field of painting and drawing. The dynamic energy to be seen in the paintings are Ellis’ response to observed changes in the Scottish landscape. In order to immerse herself in the environment, Ellis makes much of the artwork on site where extreme weather and the elements find their way into the pieces of art. Ellis describes the process of working outdoors in wild weather as almost ‘performative’.
Some of her inspiration from site visits become the basis for larger works on canvas painted back in her studio. Here, Ellis usually works with oil paint, building up the surfaces using natural substances like sand and dried seaweed.
By producing the artwork she hopes it will give people a chance to connect with that landscape and respect nature that is so wild around us, to then cultivate a deeper understanding and inspire others to make a difference.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON THE BENRIACH DISTILLERY:
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON ELLIS O’CONNOR
Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2019/11/scottish-artist-brings-palette-of-benriach-to-life-on-canvas-scotch-whisky-news/