Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
top of page
< Back



David Turnbull Gardner was born in Lanarkshire and studied at the Glasgow School of Art from 1967 to 1972, graduating D.A. Diploma of Fine Art, specialising in sculpture. His forward-thinking tutor, Tony Jones, demonstrated an outward looking approach to creativity inspiring interest in other departments and their methods and outcomes. This approach has always been vital to his career in teaching and in his own work.

David began teaching in 1975, whilst continuing to paint and sculpt and exhibiting in Argyll and Bute galleries. In the 1980s he began to take on commercial photography work which proved to be valuable in terms of personal and professional development for teaching.

In 2004 the option of early retirement was irresistible to David, providing him with the opportunity to concentrate full time on his fine art work and also to help his wife, Caroline, to run and develop The Castle Gallery, which she had established in 1997.

His first solo exhibition was in the Castle Gallery in 2007 and was inspired by a month-long visit to Japan, following in the 19th Century footsteps of E.A. Hornel and George Henry. The exhibition was named ‘East Meets West’ and featured paintings and sculptures comparing similarities and contrasts between the landscape, figures and architecture of his home environment of Bute and the fascinating culture of Japan.

The Japanese theme is a recurring theme in his work and he tries to capture the subtlety and beauty of pattern and colour, particularly in the decorative textiles of the kimono.

Coastal landscape is another theme of inspiration for David, from intimate local views of Bute to sweeping dramatic vistas of Arran and Mull. A further aspect of the coastal environment is that of the harbour allowing a juxtaposition of realistic imagery with the pure abstract qualities of reflections in water.

As an artist and an individual, David tries to keep in mind the guiding philosophy of C.R. Mackintosh – “There is hope in honest error, none in the icy perfection of the mere stylist”.

bottom of page