Dundee: Contemporary Arts until Sun 7 Nov ***
Three large blackboards filled with chalk drawings. Look carefully, and chalked-up words are just discernible: 'It is the mercy', ‘lightening flash’, ‘Prospero'. On one blackboard is a stately galleon, which rides high on the waves, tossed on white foam. On the two other boards, more waves, more froth, more faint words.
Look long enough at Tacita Dean's chalk drawings and you almost get a whiff of sea air. Called The Sea, with a ship; afterwards an island, the title is taken from the opening stage direction of Shakespeare's play The Tempest. Look further and it becomes clearer: Dean is giving directions, setting the mood and a scene. Many words have been rubbed out leaving just a shadow, others are stronger like 'rain' or ‘Jarman'.
All at sea: Tacita Dean's The Sea. with a ship; afterwards an island
Dean, who was shortlisted for last year’s Turner Prize,
has long been interested in all things nautical. Her earlier chalk drawings, The Roaring Forties, were inspired by the shipping forecast, while the story of Donald Crowhurst, the yachtsman who died at sea in 1968, has also held her attention for some time.
Dean, it seems, is intrigued by those elements which can be at their most punishing at sea. Her heroes are ’at sea' and at its mercy. Weather conditions chalked on a board may seem inconsequential, but the reality of a harsh easterly wind is always lurking. She may abstract the high drama of the high seas by choosing to work in chalk and not film - a medium she often uses - but the dramatic content remains powerful. The drawings and words are like the early notes for making a movie. Let your imagination run and a moving picture unfolds. (Susanna Beaumont)
Not in Kansas (but) here
Glasgow: Bulkhead's Interior Space until Fri 8 Oct “nu
Bulkhead's Interior Space, situated in Glasgow’s High Street, used to be an old funeral parlour, but this new venue is now far from gloomy. Its director, artist Nicola Atkinson-Griffith, has
Stinging Nettle by Karen L. Vaughan
created a bit of magic. ‘After the success of our 1997 art project on the Glasgow buses, there was a desire for it to continue,’ she explains. As well as the Interior Space, Bulkhead has a 24- hour window - a venue that stays accessible well after other galleries have gone to bed.
For the first gallery show, Not in Kansas (but) here, Rachel Mimiec,
Mhairi Sutherland and Karen L. Vaughan have created a poetic landscape using the gentlest of materials. The pattern of water droplets on the surface of bowls of flour evokes the surface of the moon. The beautiful and curious names of local wildflowers are hand- embroidered on scraps of old cloth. The Necropolis, the graveyard that towers above the neighbourhood, is re-imagined by the names of its boundaries and its own soil placed on the gallery wall. The show is a subtle elegy, the tone is the sweet sadness of remembering a place.
As well as opening the gallery, Atkinson-Griffith has obtained five years of sponsorship for the Bulkhead Prize, a new award that helps three Glasgow-based, short-listed artists realise their work in public spaces. This year Roddy Mathieson has been working beneath the M8, Chris Wallace in the Underground and Lisa Gallagher has put a giant sewing needle through a derelict building. The emphasis is on encouraging a creative city.
’The idea happens first,’ stresses Atkinson-Griffith. 'Bulkhead is here to help the artists get sponsorship and to put them in touch with businesses; but not to compromise the idea is very, very important. The idea is what makes life worth living.‘ The winner will be announced on 16 September and the projects are in place until 8 October. (Moira Jeffrey)
Broadcast Internet: Sat 11 Sep, 10.30am—10pm.
The Van Driver from Broadcast
A few years back, Edinburgh-trained artists Nina Pope and Karen Guthrie drove a Maestro through Scotland following in the footsteps of 18th century writers Boswell and Johnson. Their journey was relayed on the internet as A Hypertext Journal.
Now Pope and Guthrie, as part of London’s new Tate Gallery of Modern Art pre-opening programme, are creating a modern-day version of Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales. Twenty-nine pilgrims have travelled to destinations of their choice. One, a shopper, has pushed a trolley to Bromley in Kent; another will deliver The Van Driver’s Tale; another The Environment Manager’s Tale. On 11 September, the pilgrims are due to return to Tabard Inn at London’s Southwark to tell their tales. Pope and Guthrie, true to their aim to use contemporary technology, will broadcast the event live on the internet. (Susanna Beaumont)
I Broadcast will be at wwvv. somewhere. org. uk/broa dcas t/
12 Artists/1 Month Stirlinnghe Changing Room, until Wed 29 Sep.
This month, Stirling's Changing Room is living up to its name with a fast- moving programme of projects by young artists. By the end of September, a dozen of them will have had an opportunity for intense work in the gallery space and will have taken part in collaboration and discussion with their colleagues. The ongoing work Will not only be documented; the gallery will be open to visitors to allow the public to see just what everyone is up to.
Although the artists are based mainly in the gallery for the duration of each week-long stint, elements of their work will take them further afield. In Week One, Andrew Paterson and Alisdair Murray showed work in progress at a local club, while Ruth Pringle aims to launch some balloons from the most central point in Scotland during Week Two. In the final week, Callum Ollason will be gathering information from the public as part of his exploration of spiritual beliefs.
The Changing Room has filled a huge gap in offering an art venue in the Central Belt beyond Edinburgh and Glasgow. This month of activity also steps up its commitment to local artists. It is a valuable chance to see projects in progress - there are, after all, few greater pleasures than watching someone else work.
9—23 Sep 1999 THE “ST 67