Beatles Golln picks out a selection at iestival visual art highlight.
I The Botanic ASI'I Wonderfully imaginative work in wood by sculptor and fumiture-maker Tim Stead. Using a huge ash tree which had to be felled in the Botanic Garden, he has created sculptures which are abstract and organic.
The Botanic Ash, The Botanic Garden until 3 Oct. Free.
I The Edinburgh School Vast retrospective of graduates of the Edinburgh College of Art fr0' 1909—1990 including piece oy William MacTaggart, A’ .n Davie and Elizabeth Blackadde'
The Edinburgh Sc' .101. The Scottish Gallery until 8 Sept. Free.
I The Waking Drean Exploring the early history of photography, the 250 images on show include masterpieces by W. H. Fox Talbot, Gustave le Gray and Man Ray. The show plots the development of this modern artform with intelligence and inspiration. One not to miss.
The Waking Dream. City Art Centre until 2 Oct. £3 (£1).
I Witness oi Existence Slides of eight installations which were built in Sarajevo by resident artists, dealing with the bombardment of their city. During the next few weeks pieces of work by the artists will be brought to the venue by Susan Sontag.
Witness of ExiSIence. St Mary's School until 4 Sept. Free.
I Virtual Intervention The work of four artists from America, Korea, Holland and Britain who use computer- generated imagery. Most captivating is Alex Vermeulen’s photography which combines Hollywood B-movie imagery with a splash of the surreal.
Virtual Intervention, Stills Gallery until 4 Sept. £1.50 (50p).
:— Driven to
‘My work used to be ﬁgurative but i got fed up of always solving the same solution in the same way.’ says Callum lnnes. ‘ln my head the paintings don’t look abstract. All the same, the elements are still there.’
lnnes’ Exposed Zinc Yellow Painting No 4 forms part of an exhibition of abstract art, ‘Recent Work’, at Edinburgh College of Art. Ever since the 1960s, ﬁgurative painting in Scotland has often eclipsed abstract expressionism. But each generation of artists reacts to what has come before, and now many are expressing their ideas in installation, or have turned back to paint and pencil to deﬁne new languages.
The exhibition includes the work of six Scottish contemporary artists, from
, several generations, who all have pared
down their work to the essential and use non-representational forms.
' started reducing and taking away
.at i didn't need,’ says Alan Johnston. ‘Now all i use is black charcoal and grey pencil. ls it enough? Yes, it's more than enough because what you can do with it can be quite exhausting.‘
Johnston spent several days on a scaffolding ﬁnishing a piece of work for the show. At the t0p of the stairs in the main hall of the art school, he has drawn straight on to the wall in thin pencil line to create a tiny laced surface which looks grey until you get close. ‘There’s a visual ambivalence between how you discem those tones of grey
and then you’re suddenly in a ﬁeld of line. The piece is about perception and how you see it.’
The work is predictably varied in theme. Eileen Lawrence’s long, thin, red water-colours slice the wall into some kind of visual semaphore, and Glen Onwin's pieces on paper are muted in tone, with large glass bottles ﬁlled with North Sea crude oil standing in front to suggest puriﬁcation and concern for the environment.
in Michael Dochetty’s work, layers of paint create vividly-coloured and spontaneous-looking images. Yet they are the result of a drawn-out process where colour and form reﬂect memories distorted by time.
Flashes of ﬂuorescent pink and orange appear beneath a grid-like surface in some of Colin Lawson’s work. Like a drama unfolding in the distance, the work gives glimpses of other dimensions hidden beneath an ordered and repetitive skin.
Callum lnnes's canvas is the ﬁrst
litth by Michael Docheriy piece he has shown which uses colour for many years. The painting is split down the middle, one half brilliant acid yellow and the other paler banana, to evoke an emotive response as the eye is seduced ﬁrst by the brighter and then the softer colour. ‘l covered the whole canvas in yellow and then I took this line up to the centre.‘ says lnnes. ‘So the line tends to be very organic — it‘s straight but then it‘s broken.’
The artists all share an agility with which paint and ideas are handled. Yet they all deny being part of a group or deﬁned movement.
‘You live in the times you live in and things do change and so people change together,‘ points out lnnes. ‘When I was doing the early repetition paintings, I thought no one else was doing it. Then l found quite a few people doing a similar thing in different places in the world and we didn‘t know one another.’
Recent Work is at Edinburgh College of Art until 4 Sept.
llsing hand and chemical tint, Ghris lloruan’s photography 'oi his honte town and assorted anhnals ntixes the twee with the wacky, tacky glatnour oi a Suede or St Etienne record sleeve with varied result. The iluity kitten ieatnred In ‘Tontklns’, ior exanrple, could be a well-observed challenge to the trendy pretensions oi ‘late Show’ lntellectualisnr, whilst ‘llutland Place, he More’ is nothing rnore than a sentimental look at the city through rose-tinted specs.
This is llornran’s tirst solo show and llte any other unexposed artist, the Festival is the tine to print up, irate up and hang up on a vast expanse oi virgin wall space. New galleries like The Untitled Gallery In Stockbrldge and the West Bow Gallery in the old
town, are periect pitches ior young artist to show and sell their work. The scope oi lloruan’s work is diverse. lt ranges iron 1970s calendar girl intages to Edinburgh landscapes which would beguile your Granny and look equally at home on her ntantleplece. Couple-eating the
images, llonnan has careiully installed a set oi cane furniture in the Festival Glub lounge which provides the focus point ior a discreet performance by a group oi actors disguised as pensioners nattering over the chink oi teacups. This Edenic atrnosphere, however, is abrume shattered when we coniront the ahonlshing iace oi ‘Skipper’, the portrait oi a bulldog which loans the core at the exhibition.
llornan is hardly reinventing photography but the show, along with the wusltroowing oi new spaces all over the city, is a welcorne chance to lodge ior yourseli sown oi the new talent ewerglng iron Scotland. (Slrnon Yulll and Beatrice Golln) lllterlor Visions of Caledonia is at the Festival Glnb until 4 Sept.
70 The List 20—26 August 1993