sea life

atriona McKinnon’s final sculpture project is a bit of a family

drilling and hammering. Underneath him. practically filling her exhibition space. is a rotting. old wooden row boat belonging to her uncle who organised its haulage from the Isle of Lewis. just beyond Skye. ‘Everything in the show comes from Lewis.’ says Catriona. ‘l’ve always spent summer holidays there and my dad’s got a wee croft. The hills. sea and lochs are very beautiful


affair. Her father is up a ladder

and I became interested in the history of the Callanish standing stones. that’s where I got my ideas from.’

Catriona wants her installation to reflect the history of the boat and the room will be blacked out making the boat the central focus of attention and the only light source. lnside the boat silver material and lights will be placed underneath hundreds of sheets of vertically standing glass that should trap and reflect the light as it bounces off the smooth surface of the glass. creating a disturbed ripple effect like the sea. The boat will be encased with the original. decomposing tarpaulin trapping the whole lot inside which is what Catriona’s work seems to be about: trapping the past. trapping light and placing things inside other things. ‘I like the idea of things trapped inside other things. trapping stones inside glass.’

Like most students today. Catriona has had to use her entrepreneurial skills to persuade people to help her realise this ambitious project. A glass company gave her £1,000 worth of glass. the blackout paper was also donated and the haulage company only charged her £40 to shift the boat from Lewis to Glasgow. ‘l’ve had a great response from businesses.’ she says. ‘The art college has no money so everybody has had to find outside funding for their degree show to some extent.’

What will happen to the boat when the shows are over and everything is dismantled‘.’ ‘lt’ll probably end up in my Mum’s garden.’ says Catriona. (Gill Roth)

places and spaces

ate Orchard doesn’t have tnuch opportunity for self indulgent. ivory towerism. the idea of the artist as star isn’t valid on the Environmental Art course at Glasgow. interaction with the community is what it’s all about. ‘The people I seek help or permission from don’t necessarily have a strong visual sense so I don’t use high art language because I have to be really straightforward and direct.’

Each year the students develop a public art project from scratch through to on site completion. in only two months. ‘l’ve learnt to be my own public relations. marketing and sponsorship person.’ Kate says with enthusiasm. ‘Being involved in public art means that to some extent you become an atnbassador for the course.’ Kate is interested in examining neutral places and finding out what makes them specific. She went up in a helicopter and took photographs of Glasgow Airport. The results of this project cleverly juxtapose the public with the private. The airport is seen as a place of work and a highly emotional waiting room with security guards. access points. walkways and bureaucratic procedures all under one roof. Kate has also completed projects about the St Enoch Centre ice rink. currently under threat of closure. shopping centres and the walk way between the SECC. ‘With the ice rink I didn’t want to make a negative statement about the closure but to stress the positive aspects of the place by concentrating on the people who use it.’

Kate’s degree show consists of an installation

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using images of specific sites in Glasgow. Photographs of familiar city landmarks taken from a different perspective or point of access invite recognition from the viewer but with an added twist of a different angle or viewpoint. ‘What excites me about public art is the unforeseen things that happen when you involve businesses. local people and authorities in a project. There are repercussions you can’t necessarily control. that’s what is ultimately stimulating and interesting.’ she says enthusiastically. (Gill Roth)

glass houses

im Parry denies he had any high art concepts in mind when he hit on the idea of constructing a greenhouse in the glass department of Edinburgh College of Art. ‘I suppose it’s a kind of pun on market forces.’ he chuckles. ’but I’ve always liked the idea of sheds. somewhere to escape to for a spliff and a beer.‘ Kim’s greenhouse is an interesting patchwork of found objects and hand blown glass. Small glass custard pumpkins in fruit pastel colours poke out of the soil covering the floor. The rusty wrought iron door and corrugated metal roof set off a window display of brightly coloured blown glass melons.

Inside the greenhouse are two large glass photographic portraits of Fred and Roy. two old codgers Kim met while hanging out at Canonmills allotments. The age and wisdom in their faces lends the work a sense of history and reality that saves it from being merely quirky. ‘l’m interested in the history of allotments. Originally people were chucked off their land and it was given to the gentry.’ explains Kim.

The highlight ofthe work is a precarious tower of glass fruit crates stacked one upon the other. each containing large. coloured glass pumpkins. Made from thin strips of frosted glass these replica crates even have the exotic foreign labels photographically screen printed on their sides. ‘My brother has an allotment in Yorkshire and he provided the pumpkins I used as moulds.‘ says Kim.

Kim admits his approach to the medium has caused some problems and there’s a distinct lack of finish about his work that sets it apart from other very polished and professional pieces on show. ‘l’m very un-precious about glass.’ concedes Kim. ‘I don’t even polish the ends,‘ he says. plucking a blue custard pumpkin out of the earth and showing the rough edge where it was cut. ‘I really wouldn’t mind too much if it ended up getting smashed.’ (Gill Roth)