IN THE FRAME
llob Breen talks about the origins and aims oi the M8 Project which was oiiicially launched this month.
‘The M8 project grew out oi conversations with oiiicials oi West Lothian District Council which resulted in putting together a short report ior them and Lothian Region, funded by the Scottish Arts Council. We looked at the possibility oi involving artists in the M8 corridor as it went through West Lothian. The Council were conscious that you could drive irom Edinburgh to Glasgow and have no idea that you were passing Bathgate or Livingstone or anywhere else; the only landmarks that most people notice at the moment are the Kirk oi Shots and the liarthill service station.
When the report was complete, we realised that it didn’t make much sense to concentrate on the original stretch oi twenty miles. You really needed to look at the whole east/west axis oi Scotland. And so the idea oi the project became to establish some kind oi landmark ieatures that identity with particular parts oi the country.
So iar the iirst three projects have been commissioned irom limited competitions and have been sponsored by local businesses. The that project was won by Patricia Leighton, a Scottish artist living in New York, who has created the work, Sawtooth llamps. The second project was won by Louise Scullion in collaboration with Matthew llalziel and her project is a huge horn sighted
‘ in Polkennet Country Park. It you want
to hear what the horn is saying you have to drive oil the motorway and walk through the park. Stand close you will be able to hear contributions irom writers and musicians who they have invited to respond to the idea oi this horn in the park so close to the motorway. The winner oi the third project which will be sited in Lanarkshlre will announced within a month.
it’s primarily for people using the road. Something like 36 million journeys are made every year by all sorts oi people irom commuters to business men to tourists. It is generally accepted that a ieatureless road is more dangerous than one which has a number oi landmarks which people recognise. We’d like the M8 project to run until the end oi this century and over that period see the construction oi between iiiteen and
I you and still remain convinced of your
; Nocturne in Black and Gold accused
:— Nocturnal .nuances
Caroline Ednie investigates the work of Whistler — an artist with a gentle touch, a sharp wit and a big reputation.
It has been said — well, at least in the Bluffers Guide to Art — that to succeed as a modern artist you must above all be lucky. you must persevere and you must be prepared for people to laugh at
own genius. .l. M Whistler. model Modernist, mordant wit and all round king pin of the Aesthetic movement was fortunate enough to be all of the above. Talent too played no small part in Whistler's success and formidable reputation. and his works on paper are maybe the best proof of that.
The Gentle Art: Whistler on Paper is a wonderful selection of pastels, watercolours and prints from the University of Glasgow‘s collection and a valuable survey of the artist‘s career. Ofthe works included in the exhibition it is the etchings and lithographs perhaps reveal the artist's greatest strength as a draughtsman. ‘Colour is an idiot ifcombined with uncertain and ; feeble drawing,’ Whistler once remarked and indeed his mastery of E etching was never disputed even by his ? ﬁercest cn'tics. Not least John Ruskin who, while commenting on Whistler's
; the artist of ‘flinging a pot of paint in i
7 the public‘s face', and thus the mother
of all libel cases was born. : Although Whistler claimed victory ;
and noton'ety in the case, he was also.
ruin. It is a testament to his
'_ Dressed to kill
' ‘when you really need it.’ It’s called Devices For llurting People. Elsewhere a rucksack hangs on the
holding a porcelain porcupine spike
as a result of the spectacular legal costs he incurred. on the verge of ﬁnancial § extraordinary skill as a draughtsman i that the means of recouping his losses ;
i was Via a series of etchings based on studies of Venice. These form the
strongest section of the exhibition. Doorway. Venice and San Biagio are evocations of Venice perhaps only parallelled by Vittorio Storaro‘s cinematography in Don‘t Look Now. Elsewhere in the exhibition the Hogarthian squalor of l.mig.slzorenten.
5 and the Symbolist-like quality of his
earlier ﬁgure studies such as A Woman Holding a Spray of Flowers give way
.i. M. Whistler’s Annie lladen, 1880
to more familiar Whistler territory in the Nocturnes. These compositions of colour and line form the linchpin and culmination of the whole Whistler ideology. When the artist was once asked his opinion on subject matter in art. he replied, ‘Everything but the subject matters in art‘. That. I think, deserves the last word.
The Gentle Art: Whistler on Paper is at Hunterian Art Gallery until 30 October.
A black wooden box with red plush velvet lining. A series oi roughcast spiky metal objects arranged in it like
, pieces oi jewellery or silverware. ‘lt’s ' » like something you’d keep tor a
special occasion,’ Elrich explains,
wall, covered in small pockets each
which can be removed. It’s called I’ll Save You, the idea being that it you were wearing this in the streets you
l'll Save You, mixed media with removable spikes by Erin Elrich.
clothing. Some, like Armadillo For A Day, oiier the protection oi animal armour for our vulnerable human skins, whilst others turn inner
. vulnerability into an exterior i ornament, like The Bleeding llearts
bed quilt. They present the possibility oi dressing up into diiierent emotional mate-ups, turning pain, deience and aggression into arteiacts which comment wittily upon our tendency to project inner ieelings on to our environment and yet simultaneoust attempt to create psychological deiences through our own outward appearances.
Alistair llogg’s paintings next door oiier the random arbitrariness oi TV channel hopping and the trivia oi our daily thoughts. They’ve got the tacky ineloquence oi Grunge iashion and the sarky humour oi Mark E. Smith - vacuous one moment, amusing the
. twenty artworks in the corridor could either, ‘become the aggressor by I between lnverclyde and Edinburgh.’ using the spikes,’ or give them to Francisco. "9’"- (s'mon Yum)- (Beatrlce Colin). someone else ior their own protection. Elrich’s objects are to be used as Erin Elrich and Alastair llogg, at l llob Breen Is the Director oi Art in r A neat piece oi backwear it you live in , much as worn; backpacks, quilts, Collective Gallery, Edinburgh until 2 ‘ Partnership. i llew York or Elrich’s hometown oi Sen | jewellery - a kind oi emotional Oct.
58 The List 24 September-7 October i993