THE HOMES OF FOOTBALL
City Art centre, Edinburgh until Sat 20 July.
Following the tragedy ol Hillsborough in 1989 and the subsequent recommendations at the Taylor lleport, photographer Stuart Clarke was commissioned by the Football Trust to record the changing lace 01 football. Featuring pitches, players and tans lrom across the tilt and beyond, Clarke’s photographs are on show at the City Art Centre in The llamas 0! Football.
Clarke’s photographs jink like a tricky winger. They are lull of invention, artistry and flair and in some cases a poignant poetry. These are works ol an individual who keenly
The Iron Man Irony, All Yorkshire Derby: Shellleld United 1990
deliberates belore taking aim but, as he would readin admit, the potency ol lootball as a social subject takes them beyond just dry topography.
There is a whole host ol attractions on show. Marvel at the wit and wisdom ol soccer joumalism stars Spiers and llorthcrolt, whose choice words adorn the walls of the first ﬂoor. Simply llick to kick and play the ‘greatest game ot all’ Subbuteo, also to be lound in the show. 0r sit back and relax in the ‘TV lounge’, and watch classic lootie moments with Best, Pele and the Lisbon lions. Alternatively, gaze at the abundance ol memorabilia trom old programmes to badges - there’s even a bottle ot ilibs wine.
A truly timely show as lootball lervour hits with Euro96, and it’s one delinitely worth taking time out from the telly tor. (Colin Montgomery)
EEIE_ PORTABLE PARADISE
Caller/ire Gal/er): Edinburgh until Sat 22 Jun.
Zoe Walker is in pursuit of paradise. In this. her ﬁrst solo British show. Walker. a l99l graduate of Edinburgh College of A11. has made her own bit of paradise.
In the ﬁrst room of Collective. she is shown on video. walking the urban jungle carrying a holdall. passing a Big Issue seller and people going about their business. A site found — the underbelly of a fly-over in a sea of concrete — Walker unfurls her DIY paradise: a self-inﬂating. plastic ‘paradise island.‘ This is the artist’s Par-table Paradise.
Alongside the video are three large colour photographs. Walker. dressed in a bikini top with a string of pearls around her neck is all smiles. as she embraces her mini astroturfed paradise island. In another photograph. she is shown catching bubbles with a ﬁshing net. In the third. she is caught in a snow storm on her island. Hundreds of tiny polystyrene balls are falling. Walker is still smiling: freak weather conditions don’t dampen her blissful state. In the far room. the paradise
Paradise tound with island lile island is for real. A seven foot transparent plastic air bubble encloses a lush-looking astroturf island. Beside a lone palm tree. the island is free of any other features.
This may be Walker’s own little bit of paradise, yet it also suggests the fragility of fantasy — enclosed in its plastic air bubble. the island also resembles an oxygen tent. A germ-free sten'le zone where some have to go. not on ﬂights of fantasy. Viewing the photographs again. you realise that she was actually in the aniﬁcial‘pocket of airless space and you can’t live on dreams alone. Walker’s work is a clever musing on escapism — just as bubbles blown burst. plastic bubbles of fantasy can be pricked. (Susanna Beaumont)
LIFE IN A KITSOH LIVING ROOM
Theatre Works/mp. Edinburgh until Man I Jul.
There's the Bible according to Ken and Barbie. a miniature Scottie dog on a tartan-wrapped pedestal and a shiny. happy family unit inhabiting an appropriately shiny living room. It‘s all colour. glitz and kitsch with flashing fairy lights attached.
Ruth Munro and Karen Mitchell. aka The Spangle Sisters. enjoy kitsching it up. Their audio-visual installation. Life In A K itsr'h Living Room is a celebration of 50s and 60s kitsch to kill for. ()n the walls cupids and Madonnas. occupying tiny cardboard shrines. rub shoulders with plastic dolls. In the living room. a family of eollaged mannequins. enjoy some easy-listening surrounded by a sea of garish gorgeousness: a multi-eoloured cake stand. a magazine rack and the occasional cocktail table. Meanwhile. grandpa doses off on an easy chair with a host of plastic ﬂowers for company.
The Spangle Sister's kitsch creation. although not completely at ease in the foyer of the Theatre Workshop. is an amusing line on the kitsch lifestyle. But one gets the sense that beyond the
Spangle sisters: 3 kitsch lile antimaeassars and the doilies lurks a dysfunctional family. The Sisters are keen to point out that we may be keen on venerating all things kitsch but its dangerous to think family units of yesteryear were any more functional than today. Behind the nets. kitsch aside. home life was not always sweet. (Susanna Beaumont)
BACK FROM PARIS 2
Institute Francais d’Ecosse, Edinburgh until Thurs 4 July. Following a group show at the Institute Francais back in 1992, artists Fred Crayk and Helen MacAlister were awarded study time in Paris at the Miller llomes’ studio. Four years on, Back from Paris 2 otters an update on their post-Paris work.
Crayk, still a resident in Paris due to his ‘love-hate relationship with Scotland’, states that his work ‘examines the concept at nature in a modern post-industrial society’. llsing thick layers ol acrylic, oils and household paint, he isolates everyday objects such as matches and light
bulbs and elevates them to an epic status. ‘I’m interested in things reproduced in their thousands, which are all the same, but it you look at them individually they are all ditlerent,’ says Crayk.
llelen MacAlister is tipped as an artist on her way up. Through the incorporation of organic objects in her painting, she also retlects upon the role ol nature in the present day. Her large-scale paintings are exacting yet understated in expression. In the Chlorophyll Wedding series she has incorporated seed packets into the painting along with artilicial objects, in an attempt to ‘illuminate the dynamic between natural and synthetic energy sources.’
The works by these two artists sit somewhat uneasin together. It’s an exhibition that takes time. (Juliet Knight)
llome thoughts lonn abroad: Fred Crayk’s Celtic Electric
64 The List l4-27 Jun I996