Think of a contemporary art gallery and what springs to mind? A chilled white space, hushed voices and a piece of conceptual art in the corner? Of course that's a pretty stereotyped description, but for many people the contemporary gallery does not smack of an overly friendly, pop-in environment. Nexus Galleries want to change all that. A network of three new galleries situated in Edinburgh's Bread Street, Nexus wants to create spaces that don't deal in intimidation tactics.
According to gallery director, Sarah Bowman, Nexus is about promoting emerging artists who work in a range of media from painting and sculpture to jewellery and lighting. All the work is for sale. The idea of opening a series of galleries took root last year when Edinburgh property developer Colin Knight, who has recently opened an upmarket apartment block in the
area, decided the profile of Lothian Road's east-side neighbour was in need of a lift. Knight bought three former shops and decided to transform them into galleries, bringing in an architect and an interior designer to overhaul spaces and advise on colour and lighting.
In a move away from the hushed tones of its peers, Nexus Galleries will play music. Possibly Cuban, maybe jazz, but not heavy metal. But are no spaces sacred? Is the influence of shopping mall muzak getting out of control? No, believes Bowman, music is about creating
Neither are Nexus Galleries a development on the Art Supermarket concept, which was launched a few years back, with paintings and prints hung on the walls pretty much like tins of beans are stacked on supermarket shelves. There were even shopping trolleys in which to place your chosen artworks. Bowman believes,
News and views from the world of art.
Insider’s view: the new Nexus Gallery
however, that Nexus is not going down that avenue. ’The idea of an art supermarket devalues the artwork. Visiting Nexus is not like popping into Habitat and buying a vase. Here you can get something unique,
Situated within a hop, a skip and a jump of Edinburgh College of Art, Bowman also feels it is important that Nexus promotes work by recent graduates. Many of the artists whose work is currently on show were spotted by Bowman at degree shows both in Edinburgh and
Glasgow. Bowman, an artist herself, is also keen that
visitors-cum-shoppers to the gallery have access to information on each artist. 'There will be background material on computer and print-outs are available,’ she says. Be prepared to enter a different art world. (Susanna Beaumont)
I Nexus Galleries are at 67 Bread Street, Edinburgh,
Glasgow: CCA until Sat 29 Jan ****
’What do you believe in?’ Artist Sarah Tripp sets out to find out how a range of people might answer this question. What would they admit to? What did their friends and colleagues know about their beliefs? The result is a film that seems less about belief than the pleasures and difficulties of conversation. Each of
80 THE LIST 16 Dec 1999—6 Jan 2000
Sarah Tripp in conversation
nominates the next person she should speak to and so the film takes place within a fairly closed and mutual loop. In essence it becomes a conversation between not just Tripp and her interviewees on an individual basis, but between everyone who took part. Fascinatingly, almost everyone interprets‘the question as about religious or spiritual beliefs; the film largely focuses, therefore, on those who have some kind of institutional relationship with religion — as a priest or teacher, for example — or individuals
who have purposefully explored a spiritual path. ’As soon as you start asking "Who am I7", then things become interesting,' says one of the parIICipantS
The film is SUIpllSlligi'} engagzng, \tith Tripp by turns charmzng and confusing the partiCipants in ner role as the seCular anti-prophet The pieasmes of haying the opportunity to talk are e‘ncient for many, and there is much iaughter and smiling. The difficulty is in articulating something as nebulous as belief ’I couldn't tell you tunat enlightenment is,' says a Buddhist. '; think you'd have to be enlightened to do that.’
The deeper you probe, it seems, the more difficult it becomes. In one of the most stunning moments in the film, Tripp engages in a momg and funny conversation with a grOup of Carmelite
WILL THE 21st century bring an end to the ’Year Of. . .' obsession? Not so, it seems. Next summer sees the launch of Year Of The Artist which aims to take art and artists out of their 'traditional' spaces and place them in everyday situations. Appropriately then, one sound artist is taking up a media residency on the BBC’s Today programme. Kate
Tierney, whose previous projects
9 have include working with Toshiba
and Fiat, will be making herself comfortable in the programme’s office for a year. One wonders if the likes of John Humphrys and Sue MacGregor will be reduced to mere
ONE ARTIST WHO is already getting out and about is Peter McCaughey. A few years back he screened a film in an underpass in Glasgow's Cowcaddens and now he is coming to the big screen. On Fri 17-Sun 19 Dec McCaughey is taking over Cinema Two at the ABC on Sauchiehall Street, which closed earlier in the year. Here he will be screening a film installation complete with quadraphonic soundtrack.
TWO OTHER GLASGOW-based artists are getting their art to all corners of the globe. Wilma Eaton and Stephen Skrynka are the two artists who have been selected to help ‘wrap the world’. At 10am on 31 December they will draw and send a lengthy fax to Johannesburg, which in turn will be faxed on to various other cities. At each destination other artists will add a flourish to the 100 metres long
work. The whole event can be
viewed on the net at www.wraptheworld.com
PATRICIA FLEMMING HAS left her job as director of Glasgow’s Fly Gallery to take up a new post as Visual Arts Programmer at the CCA. The CCA, which is currently undergoing a Lottery-funded
refurbishment, is due to re-open in Autumn 2001; however, plans are
Sisters. There is joking and gentle
exploration of their faith and their personal journeys into devotional life.
When Tripp finally asks the key j
question, there is a stunned silence and subsequent embarrassed laughter.
Belief, it seems, is not the same as
blind faith. (MOira Jeffrey»
afoot to run artist projects in the run-up to its opening. Meanwhile, at Fly Gallery, Luci Ransome, Marielle McLeman and Carolyn Nicoll have formed a committee to run the artist-led space.
The Big screen: Peter McCaughey
takes over the ABC