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retrospective exhibition of works by John Blakemore, one of Britain’s photographic gurus, and talks to him about his work.

Like unfamiliar foreign food. you have to take John Blakemore bit by bit: this is a man who has spent no less than three years photographing tulips- not to mention those other years he has devoted to trees. to thistles. to decaying leaves and. most


‘The idea of photographing the wind was attractive because of a fundamental paradox‘. says Blakemore. ‘the photograph describes surface appearance. the wind is invisible. Since 197-1. with the stream and seascapes. I had been seeking a way ofextending the photographic moment. Through multiple exposure the making ofa photograph bCCt‘ mes itself a process. a mapping of time produced by the energy oflight.‘

The 1978 pictures from his Lila l series take the viewer into a cool glade. to the brink ofa river whose surface is a mass ofinterpolating ripples. These photographs bear out novelist John Fowles's feeling ofawe towards forests expressed in his long essay Trees they are places of intrigue and adventure. and of fear. Conversely. the tulip pictures are deliberately simple a reaction to the melodrama of his earlier works. and a sort of experiment: Blakemore wanted to see what sort of images he could conjure out of the fewest possible props.

lnevitably. Blakemore's obsessive approach to his subject matter does not reflect a calm disposition. He laughs when I tell him that he has been described to me as a ‘Zen photographer” and says that the photography actually provides a counterbalance to the insecurity of

recently. to the debris and vegetation found in his own garden. l-lis status among photography students is legendary.

Inscape. the Portfolio Gallery's retrospective of Blakemore's landscapes (he has also done documentary series) reveals an extraordinary chronicler ofenergies. His most famous images are of huge. smooth rocks swathed in mist and the incoming tide. unfathomany tranquil. The Windseries of 1981 shows trees bent and flurried by the wind. for all the world like Impressionist canvases an art historian would call them painterly".

’but out of necessity. I‘ve always seen my photography as a thread ofsanity through a chaotic life. I‘m not happy if I‘m not making images.‘ lnscape is at the Portfolio Gallery. Edinburgh, until 28 Marc/t

his own life. ‘I work not out ofvirtue.

00 m i ng u p fo r air

Terse, subtle, dislocating? Abstract art has, in recent years, come with an ever increasing dictionary ol obligatory pretentious adjectives. Often worse than the comments from the crowd leaving that obscure Hungarian film at the GFT, if the art doesn’t alienate you, the catalogue will. But Jim Pattison’s work has an intimacy which transcends the usual phraseology.

As it looking out ol a porthole into a strange subterranean world, paintings, etchings, screenprints and collages use several layers of media and texture to create almost three-dimensional works. Embossed frames of colour in rich baroque tones, such as ochre, deep royal blue and sultry purple, become vertical stripes nearer the centre of the pictures. They act almost like Venetian blinds, and intricately detailed objects and shapes seem to be brought into sharp focus beyond. Chairs, pens, wires and even a Chinese bowl and chopsticks, are represented as a series of lorms in collage or paint. This means they lose their banality and resemble little fragments of disrupted still lives, as it displaced at the bottom of the sea.

These compositions have evolved

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from Pattison‘s work in collage and some of his studies, like Chair, use photographs from magazines. Elchings and paintings copy this same glossy style in later work, and shady spotlit areas look so pristine they could be advertising cigarettes.

The inspiration behind the show came from Pattison's recent trip to Vienna, once the home of Freud and Mozart. He spent many solitary hours working, and the colours in his work reflect this pensive opulent city. Freud would have something to say about

Pattison's show. Some studies, like Cable, which depicts two intertwining plug wires, has all the sensuality of a nude and the distance of a secret voyeun The Vienna Series, is a tranquil and serene show, and emerging from its atmospheric depths, it feels as it you've been holding your breath. Pattisson is a modernist with an eye as ; focused as a camera lens. Dislocating? Well, OKthen. (Beatrice Colin) ; Jim Pattison, Vienna Series, Glasgow l Print Studio, until Sun 29 Mar.

Billy Gakuniu ltaigwa: Awakening

matey/yaw ART

I The winners of the Royal Scottish Academy's annual Student‘s Competition. sponsored by Macallan. were announced on Saturday 7 March. and include The List's own designer Paul Keir (Bravo. l’aull). The Macallan Award. worth fl .000. was won by Nicola Murray. a final year student at Duncan of Jordanstone (‘ollege of Art. for her painting l-"ulse Fruit a study ofthrce female nudes. one of whom is masked. and one whose internal organs are visible. The inspiration for the painting comes from Nicola's experiences as a monitoring technician in the open heart unit of Edinburgh Royal Infirmary where she worked after graduating from university with a Biology degree. The first Mc(irigor Donald Award. worth £l .000. has been awarded to Anne llamlyn. of Edinburgh (‘ollege of Art. for her sculpture Triptych lo Loss ()fl'ut'tlt. I Sometimes words speak louderlhan actions judging by the statement adorning the cover of this month's edition of artists newsletter. This advertisement-cum- artwork reminds us that 'In 199l . 83"} of Solo Shows went to Male Artists'. The figure refers to major commercial galleries in London but is. presumably. fairly representative of the country as a whole. As for the women who placed the advertisement. little is known about them. other than that they are a group of artists who go by the name of Fanny Adams. I Following the success of last year's ‘artist‘s billboard'. placed in a railway station jUst outside Glasgow. a new billboard project has been organised by Martin Young and John Burke. artists who ms n a small site at (‘ochrane Street. near Glasgow ( 'ity ('hambers. Klrstene ()gg is the first of a series of young artists whose work will be shown there. Her billboard work highlights the ‘multi-lay ered areas of commerce that exist within a city '. and takes the form of a quote from that lovable radio tale of country folk. [Ina-treln'rs: ‘Mrs Snell. kindly lease reception. this is a place of , business. not the rag

market.‘ J

i'liheTJst l "lib-March 19‘2751