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Bloomin talent

The prestigious annual touring exhibition of work selected from Britain's art colleges gets its only SCOttlSh showing. Words: Jack Mottram

Ever since its inception in 1949 as Young Contemporaries. Bloom/mg New C ontemporm‘ies has launched recently graduated British artists into the public eye. from David Hockney to Gillian Wearing. For the first time since I997. the touring show makes a stop in Scotland. after opening in Milton Keynes and setting up home in Manchester. Chosen by critic Sarah Kent. artist Gavin Turk and curator Jeremy Millar from l2()() submissions. the show comprises the work of 33 artists working in all fields. from oils to video and texts to sculpture.

‘It was basically a process of filtration.‘ says .‘Vlillar. explaining the selection procedure. ‘lt's actually pretty hard to describe the way we went about it. We just chose what we liked. and it‘s as straightforward as that. There was no agenda when it came to selecting because we had no idea what was going to come up. In the end. we were quite surprised at how it turned out. There isn‘t much video work in the show. in comparison to how much was submitted. because there wasn't that much that we thought was good: and there isn‘t much photography because only about five photographers submitted work.‘

By its very nature. the New Contemporaries is bound to represent the broad church of contemporary

82 THE lIST 16—30 Nov 2000

Jeremy Millar, curator

'We went for works that really seemed to come out the artists' own obsessions or engagements.’

Tomo and Susie: Tomoaki Suzuki’s detailed figurines

art. and with Justin Carter‘s imagined dwellings next to Tomoaki Suzuki’s detailed figurines made from Poplar wood or Phil Collins' two-monitor video installation to name three of the more established artists on show it is surprising to find a strong theme running through the exhibition.

‘When it comes to trends. we ignored a lot of

them because they are bad trends.‘ says Millar. ‘If the work imitated the style of pieces that have been successful over the past few years. it was instantly put to one side. We went for works that really seemed to come out of the artists‘ own engagements. rather than coming from somebody else's. A lot of the work is a bit tentative or uncertain. but there‘s a strength in that when compared to someone lacking confidence and trying to make a very confident-looking piece of work to mask that lack.’

He adds: ‘What was surprising was when the selected works were brought together. they had much in common. They don't share a methodology. or a formal relationship. but they seem to share a certain spirit. The show actually looks like it‘s been conventionally curated. Some people have criticised us: for that. but I think it's good that it could pass muster as a group show. even though there were no attempts to smooth the edges or find some consistency.‘

The Bloom/wry New ConIwnpumries‘. then. serves as a chance to identify the artists who will be making headlines in years to come. and may even herald the defining characteristics of an. as yet. unnamed new movement. In either case. the Inverleith House exhibition. is unmissable.

Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2000 is at Inverleith House, Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh from Sun 19 Nov-Sun 14 .Ian.

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News and views from the world of art

EDINBURGH’S OUTRAGEOUS ART Gallery in Bruntsfield has been causing a bit of a stir of late. As the Dean Gallery in Edinburgh recently opened its doors with a survey of the work by the Scottish Colourists, so too did Outrageous Art. But with one major difference. . . they’re all fakes. The gallery which specialises in reproduction art is selling copies of the paintings starting from a mere £200 whereas the originals can fetch six figure sums at auction. Staff at the National Galleries have dismissed the show as ’a cheap publicity stunt'. That may well be the case, but you’ve got to admire its nerve.

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NEW STREET EXHIBITION Space in Edinburgh is looking for artists to take part in a collective exhibition for the festive season. A 3ft diameter inflatable balloon will be supplied to participating artists who in turn, will be required to be creative on this spherical form. The 'baubles’ will hang from the gallery ceiling in December. For more information call Jo Salter on 0131 558 9408/0131 556 9929. JONATHAN O\‘.’EI\. AND B'yd" Dav es :OOK ea". c EC. “bug‘s Collectzve Gawe'y '/./Of!< Programme recently, "ave not" been ("csec to present work ‘or the Or 9 ’onsty" On r m Llamaan ' 7‘8 year's Jobr ‘v‘iatson 8 ram ‘(D‘Ctu'éd

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Jonathan Owen's halos make the selection for this year's Oriel Mostyn Open