PAINTINGS by a talented artist who died shortly before the Covid-19 pandemic will finally go on display.

Matt Macpherson passed away on February 28, 2020, and his work is now at the centre of the exhibition, which opens its doors on Friday, March 17.

The 80-year-old was self-taught and previously part of a successful jazz band in the 1960s.

His widow Marie, who lives in Gifford, was proud to share her husband’s work at Hangar Art and Framing, Fenton Barns.

She said: “Obviously, there is pride but also a touch of sadness.

“He was never really recognised.

“He did not push himself forward, even when he was ill and I said he should have an exhibition, but no.

“It has been quite an emotional journey looking at his paintings and his pictures in the band.

“He played with George Melly and Humphrey Lyttelton but never spoke about it that much.

“It has been quite an emotional journey and I thought his talent has got to be recognised.”

Matt had lived in East Lothian for more than 30 years and retired to Gifford.

In the 1960s, he was a professional trombonist with jazz band Back O’Town Syncopators and crossed paths with the Clyde Valley Stompers, who featured Peter Kerr of Haddington.

When the band split up, Matt, of Saltcoats in Ayrshire, stepped into the family business as a pharmacist but his creative side was never far away.

Marie, who is a published author, said: “He always liked to do a bit of painting.

“His style was completely self-taught and absolutely hyper-realist. He had such a sharp eye for detail.

“He wanted to explore ‘how do you render surfaces, how do you paint surfaces so people know it is silver and not stainless steel?’

“He was fascinated by surfaces and textures.”

His work has been exhibited in the Royal Scottish Academy (RSA) and Royal Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts (RGI), among other prestigious galleries.

He was also house convenor at the Scottish Arts Club.

To mark the opening of the exhibition, jazz music will be provided by Mike Daly’s Rhythm Kings.

The exhibition runs until April 6.