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NO SMALL FEAT
Street Level, Glasgow, until Sat 11 Aug .0.
The arts editor of The List decided it would be a good idea if, being a new parent myself, I should review No Small Feat at Street Level. She thought I might be something of an expert when it came to the subject matter - parenthood. I think her tongue was firmly in her cheek. As one of the artists in the exhibition Colin Gray notes: ‘Parenthood is perhaps the most important and difficult job an adult can do. There is no training for it — you sort of blunder your way through it.’ A sentiment my son gurgles his approval of.
As any parent will tell you, play occupies an instrumental role in the development of a child. Duncan Campbell’s piece, a collaboration with his son, Euan, is a time-lapse video, reminiscent of an early-70$ BBC kids programme, in which unseen hands build towers of bricks only to topple them in celebration of destruction. As Picasso said ‘every act of creation is first an act of destruction’. I’m sure Duncan’s son Euan agrees.
The traumatic, intensely stressful and painful side of parenthood is examined in Alison Hayes arresting images of her son Louis. Born prematurely and weighing less than two pounds, his early life was spent
on a life support machine. The series of photographs chart the development of a child who has known extreme stress and pain from an early age. As Hayes writes, ‘Louis has never had a child's look of innocence
but one of knowing and defence’.
Elsewhere Colin Gray’s photographs are carefully observed, naturalistic portraits of his children. Subtle manipulations in the focusing and composition lift them beyond the snapshot, instilling them with undertones of psychological insight and tension. Nearby Sam Ainsley’s silkscreen print My son ’5 heart cloned one hundred and ninety two times inverts the standardised
JERWOOD PAINTING PRIZE EXHIBITION Gallery Of Modern Art, Glasgow, until Sun 21 Oct 000.
Ian Davenport’s sumptuous triptych of intense luminosity
With the number of art prizes ever- increasing. honouring the cutting-edge or the up—and-coming. the prestigious Jeiwood Painting Prize honours the
84 THE LIST 13) Jui—2 Aug 2001
Views on parenthood: (clockwise) Alison Hayes, Calum Mackay and lseult Timmermans
notion of serialisation (mechanical and dehumanising)
to produce a warm celebration of the maternal love. Childhood and parenthood are often represented in a
saccharine, idealised manner. No Small Feat goes some
way to articulating just what a perverse, mixed-up
best in contemporary painting.
Ridding itself of its London bias. the exhibition tours to Glasgow for the first time with the work of the six shortlisted artists. The line-up is strong and, in most cases. the works are abstract. Spanish artist Marta lvlarce paints colourful renditions of shapes. resembling conveyor belts. elastic bands or tube maps while Tim Renshaw's intricate. beautifully 2xecuted patterns are like magnified silicon chips. His use of yellow on blue and blue on yellow plays visual tricks on the eye.
In contrast. Peter Archer's traditional- looking landscapes are all out of sorts. In a seemingly ordinary countryside setting, a moss-covered industrial chimney evades the composition. juxtaposing the urban envrronment With the natural. Basil Beattie. shortlisted for the second time. shows his stairway configurations. Strong. bold brushwork rendered in thick Oil and wax brings a three-dimeriSional quality to the work. Paint seeps and drrbbles down the stairs.
experience parenthood can be. It’s perhaps best expressed by one of the exhibiting artists Gillian Steel: ‘I could not help but smile at the persisting image in my mind of me — as a great ape lumbering through the jungle with my baby clasped to inflated paps heavy with milk - l was grotesque but finally beautiful.’ (John
The Winning works by less established artist Katie Pratt are named after constellations. lhe P/oug/r. reminiscent of Monet's studies at Giverny. evokes the night sky as layers of dark blue hues daub the canvas. Trails of red painted stitching map out the Iuriiinous points of the night sky, represented by thickly applied paint of ice-cream-Iike globules. Perhaps not the best entry here. but she undoubtedly has a strong future ahead of her.
But it is Ian Davenport 's poured paintings, however familiar, that are the most mesmerising. Using household gloss. colours of the spectrum from magenta. dark red and pink are pOured onto to MDF to create a Suinptuous triptych of intense luminosity. A delicate arch of paint is further added to each section. Allow yOur eye to follow the nave of the church-like IayOut of the space. Reaching the altar. Davenport "s paintings increasmgly become like modern-day. stained glass windows. (Helen Monaghani
News from the world of art
Elizabeth Ogilvie’s Liquid Room
LONDON'S EXCLUSIVE flowers Gallery is setting up shop in Glasgow’s Merchant City. Founded in 1970 by Angela Flowers, the gallery has developed into an internationally recognised showcase for new British art. With two galleries in London — Flowers East in Hackney and Flowers Central in the West End - and one in Santa Monica, California, Flowers West, the arrival in Glasgow is set to boost the already flourishing art scene. Managing director Matthew Flowers has not yet made any formal announcements of where the gallery will be situated, but speculations suggest that the Todd Building on Ingram Street will be its home. III/«f; HI (,‘l NIIYl/XIJNCHI (1A nexr Scotland .vide awards Shi‘i‘ﬂ'lf.‘ i’,’ lll’r‘)‘: ‘thr'rll‘r’; l’r benefit thezr w,er warren." errt arid r,rr"-'i:ii'ii'., Siiirrmited tr. flie- l/llli‘:lllll|l"» (,I,” "ri‘.',ir,ir, the“; are
be spread user titrei: ,ezrr', Ari, iiirlixidiial o.er ‘i‘, .'.rlir, Ira‘, Erye’l III or I‘, iét'Hiliitl .'.irt'rr arr area. I'. Hot professioiraﬂ, rigiirlifie'l the eii.iror'."iert‘. tail .'.'lrr, .‘.'r'.“‘:', I“) stud, and ;r',2'iie.e Charge ar d I"I(;l’).":" err! i‘. eIi’IilJe for further illifﬂl’iitllfll} ccir‘ac? III/«‘1 ’/’/‘i r“,-'-", AND FINALLY WORK HAS commenced on architectural historian Charles Jencks’ new landscaping project in the grounds of Edinburgh’s Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. Landform is made up of a stepped s-shaped mound of grass, surrounded by crescent-shaped pools of water, giving elevated views across the grounds.
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