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Sophy Rickett: New Work

Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee, Sat 17 Feb—Sun 15 Apr.

Sophy Rickett makes, broadly speaking, pictures of night-time scenes. Her highly detailed, almost fetishistically realised prints show groupings of objects or distant figures with all extraneous detail snipped out, leaving swathes of blackness, homing in precisely on the subject. Rickett‘s new work is the result of a residency at the DCA.

'For practical reasons it‘s been great,’ Rickett says of her time in Dundee. ‘lt’s freed me up from various practical concerns and the usual distractions have been taken away, so it allowed me a four-month period to be completely focused on myanf

The new images continue the themes of darkness and chance that

have consistently preoccupied

Rickett from her first artistic endeavours. ‘The new work is in the style I've been working in for the past few years,’ she says, ‘but using

From the series ‘Poplar Plantation‘ Dundee, 2000 by Sophy Rickett

locations within the Dundee area; it‘s Dundee but it's not at the same time, because they‘re generic, all-

encompassing pictures. | just like the way things look at

night-time. Visually, I like everything to look pared-down and minimal, so using the night works as an optical device.‘

As for the subject matter of Rickett’s eerie landscapes, her inspiration comes from the common experience of drowsy driving. ‘I like driving around at night when I'm really tired,’ she explains, ‘because you always see things in a different way. You go into this other state that‘s very hypnotic and it prompts all these ideas. I simply get more ideas when I’m driving around at night, so I tend to wake up in the morning and go back the next night to try and recreate that. I’m not sure that it‘s any kind of metaphor for transgressive space or anything like that. It's more

because when I passed my driving test, I always used to have to drive home over Dartmoor to get home, and that very long drive seems to affect me still.’

Perhaps the most striking aspect of Rickett’s work is the meticulous reproduction of these scenes that would otherwise seem to be documents of fleeting moments caught in peripheral vision; each is neatly posed, or lit to grant the trivial iconic status.

‘The pictures are set up in the sense that I see a picture in my mind and attempt to recreate it. They‘re not staged because they are documentary images, but I do make such a big deal of going back and making everything perfect, and the final image is manipulated, so that the scenes I find are tweaked to make them more perfect. I take away the dirt, the peripheral and the unnecessary.‘ (Jack Mottram)

PHOTOGRAPHY Street Level Open

Street Level, Glasgow, until Sat 24 Mar.

Brunnert's Drawing With 3 Noodles

In an art world increasingly shackled to

the power and influence of thematic

group shows or the pulling power of

international/national superstars, the

Position and status of the open exhibition is more vital than ever. Open

exhibitions offer the opportunity for

artists to submit work wrthout the usual flirting samba wrth gallery curators, dealers etc. In this respect, they are frequently a welcome bit of light relief for artists and public alike. Open shows often throw up unusual chorces and juxtapositions, now all too often policed out of the frame by the tidy dynamics of contemporary art.

Street Level's Open is one of the few relatively established opens in Scotland. Now in its fourth year, it offers a chance to catch a glimpse of some of the countries most interesting established and upcoming lens—based media artists (the lumpen phrase used to describe the catch all of photographers, video artists, digital media and projections). This year the exhibition has been co-selected by a panel consisting of writer Mona Jeffrey, CCA programmer PatnCia Fleming and artist Roddy Buchanan. An eclectic selection of fifteen artists has been made, With all predilections being catered for.

The young guns wrth their heads on

the art world chopping block, are represented by recent graduates such as Virginia Brunnert and Karen Cunningham. Brunnert’s playful, gently humorous photographs transform everyday objects, while Cunningham has prevrously displayed a telling eye for the uncomfortable and uncanny. Of the more well-known artists Paul Rooney of Common Culture, is exhibiting one of his humorous, highly enjoyable vrdeo collages, juxtaposing his qurrky pop songs wrth domestic snapshots. Alongsrde such prosaic slabs of urban life, Stephen Healy Will be

Exhibiting large-scale digitally constructed, optical works. Street Level has consrstently

maintained a level of artistic and critical independence Within the Scottish art world. Its commitment to maintaining and possibly strengthening the posrtion of the open (there is talk of sponsorship and prize money for next year's show) is an important contribution to the diversity of Scotland’s art scene. (John Beagles)

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THE WINNER OF the 2001 Alastair Salvesen Art Scholarship was recently announced. Aberdeen-born figurative painter Barry McGlashan won the prestigious £10,000 travelling scholarship which will allow him to spend five months in the United States. In addition, McGlashan will have a solo exhibition of his work in November. For more information about the artist, check out his website www.barrymcg|ashan.co.uk

THE BATTLE FOR the post of director of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London was won last week by Mark Jones, the current director of the National Museums of Scotland Jones beat off competition from a shortlist which included Timothy Clifford, director of the National Galleries of Scotland and Charles Suamarez Smith, director of the National Portrait Gallery.

SCOTLAND'S YEAR OF The Artist commissioned Nathalie de Briey to

produce an artist’s book to mark this

unique project. De Briey asked each of the artists what inspired them in their work which has resulted in a pocket book of inspirations ranging from a line from a poem to a family photography. The book will be launched to coincide with World Book Day on Thursday 1 March with only 200 copies available from selected galleries including the National Museum of Scotland, Dundee Contemporary Arts, Fruitmarket Gallery and the CCA.

A NEW PUBLICATION documenting the creation of Kenny Hunter's controversial SCulpture Man Wa/ks Among Us was launched last week. The sCUlpture which is currently on display at St Mungo Museum, Glasgow was COmmISSlOTled by Glasgow City

' COuncrl to mark the mrllennium. The

book is available from Glasgow Museums’ shops priced £5. And that’s not all. Glasgow Print Studio has just published a new catalogue Inv/s/b/e Republic which features full colour images of all the works by Kenny Hunter exhibited in the gallery last year. The catalogue costs £8 and is available from Glasgow Print Studio and art bookshops.

Man Walks Among Us: Kenny Hunter‘s

controversial sculpture

IS Feb—l Mar 2001 THE UST 87