Then there is no mountain then there is Generator Projects, Dundee, until Sun
Then there is no mountain then there is at Dundee’s Generator is an enioyable, engaging group show that looks at various states of alienation, fractured attempts at communication and fraught
' searches for meaning, hope and comfort.
Mind you, if you go looking for spiritual
' or ethical directions you're gonna get
Kate Gray's photograph is one of the highlights of the show. DiSplayed on a free-standing support structure, the neon-lit image of two displaced wanderers standing before the monolithic grandeur and menace of a nuclear power station is at once perverse, romantic and disturbing. Digitally manipulated, the image possesses an eerie sci-fi feel of foreboding. Curatorially it also benefits from the surrounding audio pollution of the other worldly sounds of New York’s the Family of God (who s0und like Ultravox on LSD). In the same room Paul Carter’s Moses Basket, a large, imposing sculptural chamber, IWists and pulls apart the surVivalist logic of the boy in the
DRAWING Timothy Emlyn Jones:
Elements Of Drawing
Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow, until Sat 27 Jan * a: t
Large and impressive charcoal works
DraWing is an essential, if often overlooked part of the creative process, and every so often someone brings our
attention back to baSICS.
In 1857 John Ruskin wrote The Elements Of Drawing in which he looked at the ’laws’ underpinning the practical side of art; the most important rule being that of direct observation. Then in 1909, the practical was jOined by the theoretical with Roger Fry's An Essay In Aesthetics, paring down drawing to five elements: rhythm of line, sense of mass, spatial quality, the alternating effects of light
and dark, and the effects of colour.
In Timothy Emlyn Jones' exhibition,
An engaging group show
bubble, mutating it into a monstrous, transparent cell for SUTVlval surcide
Alan Currall refutes the accusation that Video art is always boring, by, halleIUJah, using some speCial effects (CITCa 1985 quality). The narrative of his miracle explained, demonstrates his skill at combining a comic personae With strangled optimism. AlongSide this O'Sullivan and Tatham continue their theatrical, fantasy restagings of art's recent representations of the natural world. Uncanny and nagging, their assemblage of neon lights, barbed Wire, barren branches and mirrored card, reads like the warped output of mutant primary school children who’ve been over stimulated on minimalism and land art.
Elsewhere Mel Carvalho's photographic CONJUflng creates an image of a materialising angel Which is subtle and gently Wistful, while Chris Evan’s and Rob Hunter’s pieces Similarly probe indiVidual and collective desires for otherness, escape and communication.
Generator has consistently been one of the most interesting artist-led spaces in Scotland, and this show Will undoubtedly contribute to its burgeoning critical and popular reputation. (John Beagles)
which takes its name from Ruskin's 19th century book, on show at Glasgow School of Art’s Mackintosh Gallery, he brings together the practical and the theoretical, art and enqurry. Jones likes working in series, each work becomes a mm in the process, part of some creative experiment, and he has created Elements Of Drawing out of six different series.
In several large and impresswe charcoal works, The Diversion Of Light, Celebration Of Emptiness, My Secret Block and The Glasgow Maesta, Jones uses deep, sweeping, smudged charcoal strokes to create forceful drawrngs; rhythmic lines create geometric optical illusions, making mass Within space. Then there are smaller framed works from another two series: the amoebic Drawing Water: Where Do We Go From Here and Chasing The Shadow: Picos De Europa.
In these, Jones adds colour washes to line drawrngs. There is something more ephemeral, more haphazard about these; a reminder that life is never Just black and White. Jones wants to research the means and effect of drawing, and these works are pinpomts in that research. Elements Of Drawing tries to make you think about how we look at art, and how the fundamentals of art and life can sometimes cross over. (Claire Mitchell)
PAINTING John McLean: Works On Paper
The Hub, Edinburgh, until Sun 14 Jan * iii
Displaying art in cafes and bars is becoming ever mOre popular, but its a bit of a hit and miss affair While it's all very commendable to bring art to a public that might not otherWise see it, it takes more than hanging a few pictures around the place to make an engaging exhibition
John McLean is hailed as one of Scotland‘s leading abstract painters which indeed he may be, but any musing about the relationships between fonii, colour, opacity and transparency in his recent watercolours and gouaches is thwarted by the peculiar sensation that you are in the middle of the ideal home exhibition Sipping a coffee in the Hub restaurant, you are more likely to note the pleasing way that the saturated colours of Circles and triangles complement the plush li‘iie sofas, than reflect on an artist whose work has been described as a \isiial harmony of forms comparable to music
What’s ironic about all this is that this is art trading on the premise that it is St'li referential, somehow separate and elevated from everyday life, yet far from the gallery walls, McLean’s work becomes Just another consumable, along With the tea and coffee. (Donna Conwell)
From Lahore To Lesmahagow: The Story Of A Sikh Laird
Royal Museum, Edinburgh, until Sun 18 Feb * a *
Sikh artists and twm Sisters Rabindra and Amrit Kaur Singh are master storytellers who transform their tales of cultural identity into beautifully observed, intricate paintings that are suffused With meaning.
Revrvmg the tradition of Indian miniature painting, the artists manage to reproduce the minutia of everyday life. WeaVing it together to create upbeat, humorous depictions of a multicultural sooety — East meets West. The artists' primary aim is to prove that cultural identity is not an immutable personality but fIUid and multipurpose, able to absorb, assimilate and affiliate itself to a myriad of influences
Testament to the cultural crossover is Baron Singh, the SUbJGCI of six miniature paintings, which follow him from Lahore, to his wedding and to his purchase of a Scottish Island, which he named after Rabbie Burns. All are equisitely rendered a fitting tribute to someone who has embraced life and Scottish culture.
There are also seven larger paintings, all allegories from the artists’ personal experiences. It is like watching a soap opera With each painting a cleverly scripted episode in the drama of ordinariness. In all these paintings we find the artefacts and iconography of both East and West playfully interspersed, maintaining the element of humour that runs through the exhibition (Isabella Weir)
SCULPTURE Andrew Kerr
Modern Institute, Glasgow, until Sat 27 Jan 1» 1: t
Just another consumable
Depictions of a multicultural society
The Modern Institute’s small gallery space has always served to prowde a snapshot of an artist’s current work, whether it be proiects in progress, finished pieces or use of the room to expand an idea.
This time it’s the turn of Andrew Kerr to provrde a look-see at his current endeavours. In the past, Kerr has exhibited crash helmets cast in lacquered card, or made makeshift casts of other people's sculptures, swrtching certainty for vagary. He now works directly With found ObJECiS, taking inspiration from the materials themselves (ranging from amateur artworks to random offcutsi, creating his own pieces in response to the forms he encounters.
With two SCUlptures on show here, Kerr takes a flat slab of polystyrene for Duncan, insinuating whorls, grooves and stripes into its surface. Two Soldiers verges on'more traditional practice, With a solid chunk of oak forming a rough- hewn suggestion of a military duo, that gives the impreSSion that Kerr has hacked away at the hardwood With a Violence that sums his SUbJGCI. A small show, then, but well worth a look. (Jack Mottram)
Two Soldiers by Andrew Kerr
Sian;18 Jan 2001 THE LIST 77