Whistler's Graphic Art

Until 10 October (Closed 25-28 Sept.)

Monday - Saturday 9.30-5.00 Admission Free 041-330 5431

Extended public access supported with Funds from Glasgow District Council

Promoting contemporary visual art

and design

22-28 Cockbum St Edinburgh EH1 1NY 031-220 1260

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compass gallery




178 WEST REGENT ST. GLASGOW GZ 4RL 041 221 6370 MON-SAT 10 - 5.30

A unique exhibition of art from around the world to mark Oxfam’s 50th Anniversary.

Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery

2 - 11 October 1992

Admission free

15“ ‘6!

Further details: 041 331 1455

In Scotland


50 You: - Waiting for a Palm World

54 The 25-September 8 October 1992

_ Sense of place

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The central ieature oi Zarlna Bhimji's haunting installation, I Will Always Be Here, is a collection oi around 60 glass boxes, containing a diversity 01 objects linked to particular memories— spices, dried llowers, burnt cloth, hair, detlated balloons, broken pottery. In the arrangements, Bhimji enacts her experience as a iemale Indian-British artist (her tamin were among those iorced out at Uganda In 1972), her struggle to arrive at a way at making choices about her past and present, oi deciding where and how she wants to place herseli. While the damaged iragiilty oi many at her materials implies the cost this has involved, the exhibition’s title poeticaily suggests her determined sense oi resolution. The boxes themselves point to a nexus oi ditterent associations: with childhood (under house arrest in Uganda, Bhimjl played with old shoe-boxes), with death and memory, in their resemblance both to cottins and to the containers holding museum archives; with ciassliication - ‘I imagine emotions ranged inside us,

organised like tiling cahinets’ —wlth

violence and pain: the personal eitects oi a rape victim are placed in boxes as iorenslc evidence. Another area oi recollection is explored in the next room, where 30 child-size embroidered white shirts - kurtas- hang, ironed and starched, the purity and innocence they suggest violently disrupted by dark, angry burn-holes and scorch-marks.

The photographs in the exhibition also communicate a sense at violation; images suggestive oI childhood are aligned disturbingly with others oi adult sexuality. The theme at abuse is made explicit in the accompanying texts, as is the resulting leeling oi sell- estrangement, combining painluliy with cultural disorientation: ‘she turned into OTHERSELF/For many years she did not remember much’; ‘the sari is given up tor jeans, yet, the colour at one's skin, and eyes, still remains. . . it does not leave . . .'

Bhimjl‘s approach is oblique,

: indirect: her work is not about Indian

culture, or sexual abuse, orthe immigrant’s experience, or the Iemale artist's experience. It is concerned with creating a visual language to explore the processes by which everyone, as autonomous adults, has to tind some way at gaining the upper hand over past pain and establishing a personal space which provides the treedom to make genuine choices. ‘l’m inviting people to use their intuition,’ says Bhimji, ‘and also to expose their vulnerability- in order tor people to relate to this work, they have to think about themselves as well.’ (Sue Wilson)

I Will Always Be Here is at the Centre tor Contemporary Arts, Glasgow, until 17 Oct.

_ Gold standard

The French institute gallery is an appropriate setting tor Carol Carstairs' iirst major solo show, her shimmering gold paintings as warm and airy as the building itselt. Tangies oi ivy trail across the canvases, irises reach up against golds and deep blues, communicating the artist's sense 01 space and light. Bringing her skills as a restorer and gilderto bear on her art, Carstairs’ tascination with silver and gold led her to develop a style in which gold-leai Is the distinguishing Ieature. ‘Although the materials I use as a restorer and an artist are the same, the criteria are very ditterent,’ says Carstairs. ‘I love and enjoy restoration, but I have to respect the original intention oi the work, whereas in my art all the decisions are my own.‘ Doubtless some will consider Carstalrs’ restorations (including that at the dome oi the Royal Bank at Scotland in St Andrew Square) as works at art in themselves. Alongside a successiul business, she maintains a commitment to experimental work- the paintings in the current exhibition

are bold and uniussy, with a remarkable vitality suggested by the

tree application at gold, reilectlng more light into the room than the large windows. The wild leaves splashed across have a lite at their own, dancing and untamed, so that the

overwhelming impression is one at the outdoors and ireedom.

In spite other work’s sensuous appeal, Carstairs has iound it Iartrom easy to secure an exhibition. Galleries, she believes, retain an unhealthy suspicion oI artists who retuse to restrict themselves to a specitic medium. ‘Galleries like to put artists into neat categories, whereas i work with dilterent materials and believe that a piece at decorative art is just as valuable and important as a painting.’ (Aaron illcklin)

Silver and Gold in the Twilight is at the French Institute, Edinburgh, until 15 Oct.