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PAINTING JANICE MCNAB doggerfisher, Edinburgh, Sat 23 Jun-Sun 29 Jul.
acqueline is just 35 years old and has already had
six strokes. Her health rapidly deteriorated when
she discovered an infestation of black insects in her Glasgow council house. Between 1982 and 1996, the council sprayed Jacqueline’s home every six weeks and during that time, she suffered from headaches, fainting, strange hot flushes, strokes and depression. When her doctor put her on Prozac to treat her depression, she reacted so badly that she self-harmed her body. The scars remain as visible reminders.
Jacqueline, like many others, is a victim of organophosphate poisoning from pesticide spray which in turn causes Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS); a condition which has been the focal point of Janice McNab’s work since 1998. The Edinburgh-based artist who studied painting at Edinburgh College of Art, before completing an MFA at Glasgow School of Art, spent a period of time in New Mexico. It was here that she first encountered a group of people living out in the Texas desert to escape from the chemical pollution of city living. Since then, McNab has continued her investigation closer to home. Creating documentary paintings, she paints directly
from photographs she has taken of victims who are permanently affected by overexposure to chemicals.
MFA DEGREE SHOW Tramway, Glasgow, Thu 21 Jun-Sun 1 Jul.
Komachi Goto’s musings on man and animal
Glasgow School of Art's MFA Degree Show looks set to be a Wide-ranging snapshot of contemporary art practice.
80 THE LIST 221 Jun—:3 Jul 2001
a group show proper. and a showcase for the graduands of the postgraduate c0urse that counts the likes of Richard Wright and Ross Sinclair as alumni.
The work spread around the Tramway represents a broad church of working practice from a deCIdedly international group of artists. 'We've now got people from all around the world partiCipating.' explains course leader Sam Ainsley. ‘That makes for a really interesting Cultural mix. and the artists feed off eacn other. We're very careful to choose people from different backgrounds. cultures and media. Then we throw them all in together, light the blue touch paper and stand back.‘
This loose-limbed approach has thrown up works that range from Patrick Jamieson's plan to attach an Aeolian harp to the gallery's fasoa. relaying SOund into the building. to Komachi Goto's series of canvases musing on the relationship between
Living Room by Janice McNab
Alienated and isolated from the rest of society, some of these people can no longer leave the house, walk down to the shops or get on a bus.
‘lt’s a very difficult experience,’ says McNab. ‘I often think though, that people who make the decision to be interviewed get something out of telling their story because they haven’t had the opportunity before to sit down and tell it in all its ins and outs. But on the other hand, I am quite careful in the way I talk to people as I don’t think my paintings are going to fix their problem.’
That said, McNab’s paintings are bringing these issues to light. We absorb images everyday in the media, stories which McNab is painting about, but seeing them in a gallery space, will perhaps makes us reflect more on what we are visually assimilating. Dealing with harrowing, often political situations, I ask McNab whether she ever feels compelled to be more pro-active.
‘l’ve had those debates with myself but at the end of the day I’m an artist and art doesn’t do that,’ she says. ‘To do anything successfully, I would have to become a campaigner and choose not to do the art. But by doing the art, I can bring these issues into people’s conversations.’
Maybe she’s right, art can’t change things. But her expertly executed paintings, refreshing in their poignancy, may propel another individual into righting society’s wrongs. (Helen Monaghan)
man and animal. Not to mention, the performance pieces by Kim McKinney. who repeats the poses of women in famous paintings and medical texts. With such a scattershot array of w0rk. the degree show risks becoming a disiointed affair, but Ainsley inSists that the pieces installed wrll come together to form a coheswe whole.
‘lt's absolutely a group show, not twenty one-person shows in the same venue] she says. ‘There Will be a really dynamic interplay between what one might call the more accepted forms of art practice — painting, SCulpture and so On — and the much newer forms that involve multimedia and site-specific work. That interplay should be interesting in what is. in effect. an industrial space. “.‘Ji'llCll has its own dynamic which we've had to work with in turn. I think it will be a good reflection of a broader community of artists 0th there." i'Jack Mottrami
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IS IT THAT Turner Prize time again? Well, not quite but this year‘s shortlist has been announced. The work of photographer Richard Billingham, Martin Creed (remember the balloon filled room at Inverleith House), lsaac Julien and Mike Nelson, a research fellow at Edinburgh College of Art will go on show at Tate Britain from 7 November-20 January. Gallery goers will no doubt remember Nelson's intervention of the Collective Gallery’s space, To The Memory Of HP. Lovecraft along with his work at the British Art Show. The winner will be announced on 9 December.
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APPl lCA’l IONS; ARlj lNVlllil) for Stills Gallery 's s :conrl Archibald Campbell 8 Harley WS Photography l’ri/t; lhe 95.000 award is open to artists based in Scotland ‘r/orking With photography and digital imaging. l'or an application form, contact SUNS. 0131 6?? 6200, the fl(:€i(llll‘it’; for entries is Friday (3 July,
THE SAC CREATIVE Scotland Awards for 2002 have also been announced offering fourteen individual artists based in Scotland £25,000 each ‘to experiment, refresh skills and realise imaginative ideas’. The lottery funded awards are given to anyone working in the field of architecture, craft, dance, design, digital media, drama/theatre, fashion, film/video, literature, music, photography and the visual arts. Closing date for applications is 1 October. For more information call the SAC’s Help Desk on 0131 240 2444.