Fly 1 Glasgow: Fly until Sun 3 Aug.
The space is raw: all breeze block walls with a lightly painted chipboard floor, a solitary concrete pillar and a ceiling of shiny metal. It could almost be a minimalist bar where rawness is seen as the embodiment of understated chic. But no, this is a new gallery, Fly, on Duke Street in Glasgow's East End, and appearing chic is not on its agenda.
Artists have many talents but one that is often overlooked is their knack of eyeing up redundant places which can be transformed into art spaces. Part backlash against the white pristine gallery and the knock-on grunge influence - the gritty London urbanite Sarah Lucas recently had a show in a one- time factory in Clerkenwell - the trend is also due to artists using their wits to get their work exhibited. As Fly's gallery manager Jamie Burroughs points out, there are many artists working in Glasgow and not enough space to go round.
Fly’s premises were ear-marked to be a shop but there were no takers. So Reidvale Housing Association, which manages the site and the flats above it, were happy to give Fly a year’s rent-free letting. The space could become a focus for discussion. This was certainly the case on the gallery's opening night when a giant inflatable ladder was suspended from a resident's bathroom window.
Burroughs believes it is about time things happened in the East End. 'It has missed out a lot on the cultural development of the city,’ he says. He believes there are about 200 artists living in the area.
Fly is an off-shoot of FUSE - the artist-led organisation founded in 1992 which has held numerous group shows by Glasgow's artists over the years - and is directed by FUSE co-ordinator Patricia Fleming. Over the coming months the gallery aims to host shows focusing on the work of Scottish-based artists, but for Burroughs the all-
important aim is to be a public space people don’t feel intimidated by.
Fly’s opening show features a soundtrack by Ken Davidson and John Cobban. A kind of aural stream of consciousness, it uses everything from bird song to footsteps to create a bizarre landscape of sound. On the window overlooking the street, Richard Wright has painted a pyramid of gently curving coloured lines. Look closer and a figure sitting in the lotus position can be distinguished within the pyramid.
Two works by Rory Donaldson — a mass of regimented colour photograph prints — appear against a backdrop of breeze blocks. Nestling next to the central concrete column is Ian Kettles and Susie Hunter's One Over Eight. A giant inflatable mock-up of a pool ball, it has the humorous addition of red horns and devilishly forked tail. It certainly is an eye-catcher. (Susanna Beaumont)
I Ga/lery talks by F/y artists are on Thu 27 ju/ 81 Thu 37 Ju/ at 7pm,
Glasgow 329 Al/iso/i Street (ground ﬂoor), Fri 25 Thur 3] Ju/ http //'-.”i/‘v‘/IV .‘).‘icks‘,')a( e org/’rriobi/e/iorne Ignoring the (harms of IKEA and Habitat, artist Mandy Mtlntosh and musitian Kaffe l'vlattht.>ws are bringing theri’ own unique style of furniture to Glasgow's South Side Following a similar event in London's East End, the second stage of their (ollahoration, PLACEriiadel-.iOB|LE, involves the digital re-fit of an empty ground floor flat in the (ins (Err-Janiiill
t.l(lntosh aritl Iv'iatthews share a long- term interest in the elderly Inspired by this age gigup, they aim to transform a typiral domestir spate using state of the art ‘.'l(I('(), sound and printing ter linelogy '\Vhether it's life experienze, methods or gadgets, older people at ( umulate lots over the years, and that makes an 80~year-o|d iiitrt-diiily interesting,' explains Mtlhtosh '!t“. not patronising empathy or sympathy whit h makes us work wrth them, it's t/anlt-te (uriosity
Digital decor: a Govanhill interior
because most of them have lived very different lives.’
Visiting twenty elderly people in their homes, the artists recorded indivrdual answers to a standard set of questions about their daily living routines. ’Without giVing too much away, pets was one theme which came up regularly, so we are making a record which combines people talking about their pets wrth animal norses,‘ says McIntosh ’Another is security Many of them have huge iron grilles over their Windows and doors '
Visitors to the Govanhill flat Will be able to make themselves at home surrounded by pets on Video and wallpaper created digitally from photographs But wrth eight built—in speakers, napping in the sonic armchair Will not he an option
’The installation is about occupying a place With elements from somewhere else,’ says McIntosh 'We have composed small sculptural pietes and , sound wmks into a whole where
everything is related, but in unusual ways ’ (Paul Welsh)
preview ART Artbeat
Murmurs, musings and goings-on in the art world.
EDINBURGH’S STILLS GALLERY was set to re-open in August, but its Lottery-funded refit and extension is now not due to be completed until October. Word has it that curator Charles Esche is hard at work selecting a bright constellation of artists for the opening show. News is also available on artist Nathan Coley’s collaboration with Stills architects Reiach and Hall on the refit. Ads have appeared in the arts press announcing his Urban Sanctuary along with a telephone number— 0131 220 1213 - which, when rung, was an answer machine. Obviously someone was seeking sanctuary from an ever- ringing phone.
'MY TWO-YEAR-OLD could do better than that!’ could be one opinion of contemporary art. It’s also the name of Collective Gallery's series of workshops which look at contemporary art and the accusation that it lacks traditional artistic skills. Taking on the detractors are artists Jason Bowman, David Shrigley and Ross Sinclair who will be heading a discussion at the gallery on Thursday 24 July at 2—4pm.
SIR ANTHONY CARO looks set to give the opening lecture of Sculpture In The City on 17 October. Hosted by The Scottish Sculpture Trust (SST) in tandem with Glasgow School Of Art and Public Monuments and Sculpture Association, the day-long Glasgow conference on 18 October will explore the role of sculpture today. For further details, contact Andrew Guest of SST on 0131 220 4788.
ARCHITECTS ARE LINlNG up to secure the Lottery-funded job of overhauling Glasgow’s CCA. They include the firms Page and Park, RMJM — who, interestingly, have artists Andy Miller and Richard Wright on their books — and Richard Murphy, who was the man behind Edinburgh's Fruitmarket. Will Alsop, the London architect who recently hatched a scheme to redevelop the banks of the Clyde, is also in the running. The announcement of the successful candidate is expected shortly.
THREE SCOTTISH-BASED artists have secured residencies at Cumbria's Grizedale Forest. Jayne Stokes, Alastair Strachen and Charles Poulsen are currently stomping the undergrowth for inspiration. Poulsen has already completed one work: wrapping a dry stone wall in lead.
Lead stone walling: Charles Poulsen's wrapped Cumbrian wall
2‘) Jul -/ Aug 1997 THE llST89