Calder Wood: Contemporary perspectives on an ancient woodland

Coming soon to Linlithgow Burgh Halls, West Lothian

19th October 2023 – 21st January 2024

Five artists spanning a variety of approaches and media will present works made over four seasons in response to the life and history of Calder Wood.

Along with Anne Gilchrist, Kirsty Venters Marks, Jennie Tuffs and Cordula Marks Venters, I have spent the last four seasons discovering some of the stories and secrets of West Lothian’s foremost ancient woodland.

For this collection of new work the artists have interpreted what they found in the wood from their own individual perspectives, exploring it from their differing cultural and historic viewpoints. The works here also consider the perspectives of the non-human world and how these ancient, complex relationships can be read in the landscape.

‘These works help us to look beneath the surface of what we see to understand the layers of human and non-human relationships more deeply.’

a charcoal drawing of a birch tree against the sky
‘Birken’ Charcoal on panel

The show encompasses vibrant colour, intricate detail, poetic imagination and dark drama. It aims to reveal some of the tiny marvels and big mysteries to be found amongst these trees.

See the virtual tour here»


There will be an Artist Talk with all artists on Thursday 23rd November, 6.30-8pm. Free, book here»

I will be in the gallery for informal ‘meet the artist’ opportunities on Saturday 11th November 10am-12noon and with Kirsty and Cordula on Sunday 10th December 12-2pm.

We are also planning a woodland walk – join my Studio News for details.

Visitor information

Linlithgow Burgh HallsLinlithgow Burgh Halls are fully accessible and open to the public every day 9am-5pm.

The exhibition is free to visit and the Halls are a 5 minute walk from Linlithgow train station on the Edinburgh-Glasgow line.

Full venue details here»


‘Conversations with Trees’ now showing

Kilmorack Gallery virtual tour screenshotThis autumn I have work showing alongside some stunning artists in this unique gallery space. Art is best experienced in person of course but if that’s not possible, take a look around this 360 degree tour created by gallerist Tony Davidson.

‘Conversations with Trees’

Runs from 2nd – 30th September at the Kilmorack Gallery, near Beauly, Inverness-shire


Conversations with Trees at Kilmorack Gallery

Kilmorack GalleryImagine driving three hours through the rain to an old limewashed church in a quiet Highland glen, then stopping to find a giant spider guarding the entrance to an art gallery filled with creatures conjured from scrap metal parts. Then, just as you duck under the arachnid and approach the doorway, picture yourself being baptised in a drive-by puddle incident. True story.

This was my first, slightly surreal experience of Kilmorack Gallery near Beauly. It’s a beautiful building with a reputation for excellent art and I’m delighted to be one of its newest artists.


Dara – Tree of Life exhibition

‘Dara – Tree of Life’ now showing

The Derbyshire stone walls of The Old Lock Up Gallery are now hung with beautiful art celebrating trees and our relationships with them. Gallerist Rachael Pinks has taken a bold step in a new direction for her gallery, curating this themed exhibition through an open call to draw in new creative talent. I’m very happy to have been one of the 32 artists selected.

an oil painting of a large old tree by Tansy Lee Moir
‘Turning towards the light’ oil on wooden panel

I have 5 works on show, 4 paintings from my ‘Grounded’ series and one of my ‘Rivers of Oak’ charcoals.

The gallery is open 25th June – 5th August, open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays 10am – 5pm and there are a series of related events planned -check the website or Instagram for details.

I recently did a short residency in this lovely gallery space which you can see more about here.


Setting up the Old Squash Court at Marchmont

The exterior of the Old Squash Court at Marchmont House Scotland

Inside the studio

I’m always fascinated by the way artists’ set up their studios, it’s like looking inside their heads. You get a glimpse into their thought processes and creative routines, see how the way they organise their space relates to the work they produce.

While I was on residency at Marchmont House, Steve Smart helped me to document my temporary studio in the Old Squash Court, so I could let you have a look round inside my head.


A 360 degree view

The Old Squash Court was refurbished for Marchmont Makers Foundation a few years ago to create a beautifully light and spacious studio and exhibition venue for visiting artists. If I were to describe my dream studio it would look very much like this and it was a fantastic place to stretch creatively.

See for yourself here…

Read more about my Marchmont commission here.





Ghosts for Marchmont

Where the ‘Ghosts’ came from

They began with a strange moment of recognition; an ailing beech found on a walk seeming to contain something figurative beyond the visible. Once I’d seen this I couldn’t unsee it – pareidolia was at work.

Philpstoun ghost beech by Tansy Lee MoirWhen I first started this series way back in 2012-13 I called them ‘Ghosts’ because they carried memories and echoes of things I couldn’t quite grasp on a conscious level, but sincerely wanted to connect with. For me, these works had a dark energy and a bittersweet mix of emotions behind them. The art was a way of expressing something I couldn’t do any other way and it’s quite difficult to write about even now. Their mystery was always appealing to both myself and the collectors who ultimately chose them.


Marchmont House Collection Commission

the front of Marchmont HouseI’m honoured to announce that I have been commissioned by Marchmont House to create a triptych of charcoal drawings for their collection. I’ll be on residency there in the Old Squash Court for the first two weeks of June, where I’ll begin working on some new pieces in my ‘Ghosts’ series, based on Marchmont trees.


Trees of Marchmont 5

The Sweeping Beech

drawing of a tree or figure by Tansy Lee Moir

My work is often linked to dance and there’s a common language in the way I draw trees and the human figure. Life drawing, in particular drawing movement has always been a part of my practice, which is why I’m excited to be collaborating with performance artist Suzi Cunningham and film poet Steve Smart on a short film bringing these threads together. Steve and I will be doing some filming while I’m on residency at Marchmont in June.

I found this dancing tree in the grounds of Marchmont House. There’s an 18th century elegance to it, with a graceful sweep of skirt above the hint of a bodice. If you look closely there’s also extensive scarring around the base, most likely from bark damage by grazing animals. In the time I spent with the tree that day I saw hares, roe deer and lots of sheep, so perhaps it’s a favourite spot for the nibblers.

As the sun tracked around the sky, I returned to the tree several times to get images in different lights. I don’t know yet which angles I’ll choose for the drawings – those decisions will come during my time in The Old Squash Court. The tree will tell me.

Read the full Marchmont story here.