A SCOTTISH artist is hoping for greater success after representing his country at the world’s biggest Celtic festival.

Lewis Deeney, based in Dumbarton, travelled to the Interceltique Festival in France, which is partly funded by Creative Scotland.

Although predominantly a music and dance festival, the festival also has a visual element and does its bit to promote artists from across a number of Celtic nations.

“You can apply to represent Scotland so I went through that and the head of the Scottish delegation put me forward and then the festival selected me”, Deeney explained.

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Although he’s finding success now, Deeney admits he wasn’t always destined to make a career in the art industry.

He explained: “I’d always been creative and would do different things. I was the type of kid who’d stick all the Lego in one box and build some fancy creation rather than follow the rules.

“I went to art school in Dundee about five or six years ago which is where I started to develop my creative voice.”

His paintings have a close connection to Scottish history and are inspired by looking to the nation’s ancient past.

On his process, he said: “I use a laser cutter to cut a design, which I create on the computer first, out of a sheet of wood.

The National:

“I would then paint all the different pieces and put them back together like a mosaic and that’s then the finished painting.”

Specifically, they are inspired by what is known as the “Celtic key pattern”, a style which goes back thousands of years.

“The Celts and the Picts in the north-east of Scotland developed this kind of art. They would carve these kind of patterns predominantly into stones but they would also do a lot of ornamentation as well”, Deeney explained.

“But they would also use art to decorate various different things so the reason it’s called the ‘key pattern’ is because they had a very spiritual perspective when it came to art and the power of visual imagery.

The National:

“It’s about unlocking a new experience and the Celts would often speak about the idea of the ‘other world’ which is effectively anything outwith their normal wakening consciousness.

“I was captivated by it and drawn to both the aesthetic and spiritual ideas behind it all.”

In terms of his next steps, Deeney is looking forward to a show he is planning next August where his artwork will be on display and he’s also in training to become an art teacher.

As for the festival, he says they’re “hoping to have me back in the coming years” and he’s hopeful he’ll be able to head back to represent his country once again.