MIXED MEDIA TERRY SETCH - A RETROSPECTIVE
Collins Gallery, Glasgow, until Sat 13 Apr .00
Terry Setch turns rubbish into art. His canvasses - often found objects themselves, from tarpaulin to polystyrene — are literally littered with crushed beer cans, scraps of plastic and bits of old tin. These paintings, which are often closer to collage or sculpture, are inspired by Setch’s three decades of beachcombing near his home at Penarth, and he is fascinated by the transformation wrought on everyday trash by the elements.
His approach is most successful on a grand scale, when heavily built-up layers of wax or cellophane blotched with oils become models of horribly polluted rock pools at low tide. His smaller works, which are often figurative, at first appear less impressive than the large scale constructions. But in the context of the show, the cheery scenes of
MIXED MEDIA TABLEWARE BY LAPLAND
The Lighthouse, Glasgow, until Sun 14 Apr 00..
Occupying a tiny corner of the Lighthouse. this latest project by art and design collective Lapland deserves more space. Using the table as a launch-pad for ideas. Lapland describes its domestic centrepiece as 'an elevated space on which dreams are realised'. lts wares. examining the social. Symbolic importance of tables and their accoutrements. range from furniture musrc concealed in the leg of the table (by Kirsty Stansfield and Eimer Birkbeck) to Chris Wallace's sculptural, neo-
Baroque nut bowls.
Lapland's refusal to accept divisions between utility and aesthetics is explored further in napkins curated. commisaoned and produced by Kate Davis. who invited six contemporary artists to reinvent this bourgeois tableware. A design by Alex Pollard and Iain Hetherington combines boyish Glasgow vernacular with weightier literary references such as (possibly) Balzac's alleged
death from a caffeine overdose.
ln Second-Hand Service Hugh Pizey has taken
children at play work well as companion pieces: the subject matter may verge on the twee, but the grimy palette of colours makes it plain that Setch is casting his cheery day trippers as polluters, responsible for the destruction he has devoted a career to cataloguing.
Best of all, though, is Setch’s most recent work. Again, pollution is his central theme, but instead of collating physical evidence, the artist has trawled the internet for virtual flotsam and jetsam, crafting digital prints that are both self- referential, jokily including motifs from earlier work, and broader in scope in comparing the detritus that litters the local beach and the slew of unwanted information that litters the web.
The Collins Gallery show twins the Setch retrospective with Kirstin Brown’s ceramics. These too incorporate discarded items, but where Setch uses his source materials to critique society, Brown sees the beauty in rusty cogs and
Turning rubbish into art
tangles of wire, relishing their transformation during the firing process and, in casting pots and cylinders is effectively recycling,
turning rubbish into usable vessels.
Ultimately, this contrast between two opposing reactions to refuse is what makes the show well worth a look. (Jack Mottram)
THE HOUSE OF CHER
gorgeous junk-shop crockery and reprinted the same design over each plate to make a coherent whole of one—
offs and split serVices. The reincarnated plates retain their individuality while SimultaneOusly fitting into the consumer deswe for mix and match sets. The impulse to collect and hoard nostalgic and sentimental single pieces for their associations rather than functional purpose finds a solution here in work which caters to both form and function, marrying conceptual art and product design.
86 THE LIST 23‘; Mar 1 ‘. Apr 70-“)?
Installation shot of Tableware
Lloyd Jerome Gallery, Glasgow, until Wed 17 Apr 000
Athenas Bee Bar by Mary Redmond
The name of the exhibition comes from the chaotic Southside discount department store. and does provrde an inkling of what is to come. The show is a mixed bag of works by professional artists (including Mary Redmond, Camilla Low and Anne-Marie Copestakel and enthusiastic amateurs such as the patron himself. I loyd
It's not too difficult to work out who the sheep and the goals are in this particular scenario. especially when
some of the partiCIpants are at the top of the their game. Mary Redmond's contribution in i_)articular stands out. Her sculptural piece. composed of elements including an ochre woven bag. green palm fronds. red polyester and umbrella spokes. references both the work of Brazilian artist Lygia Clark and Redmond's own unique sensibility.
Elsewhere. Krista Blake's String Theory takes a spool of green fluorescent string for a walk around a series of nails. tracrng out a bow across the wall. Glasgow-l)ase(l Norwegian artist Camilla Low shows Soho Rocket. a clutch of gleaming strips of metal banded together in a snug chrome sleeve. The tough aesthetic duality of this ~ work makes an interesting comparison wrth the everyday materials of Redmond and Blake.
Meanwhile. back in the field of painting and drawnng. Anne-Marie Copestake shows a clfar;icteristically wry composition. while Diana Francisco shows a small l7rida Kahlo—esgue painting. When The Sun Wi/l L‘xtihgursh.
AN EXILE’S EYE: THE PHOTOGRAPHY OF WOLFGANG SUSCHITZKY National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh, until Sun 19 May 000
Charing Cross Road in 19305
Wolfgang Sirscnitzky is a renowned photographer and filrnn‘aker whose work spans the decades frorr the 30s onwards. providing a valuable iink to the >ast and to the changing face of society The exhibition includes :10 black and white photographs and a short docun‘entar) filn‘ tiiied Chi/Oren Of The Cit)" (19-1-1 shot :n Edinburgh and Dundee. The i.)hotographs range from stuffy. cramn‘ed r.>ookshops 'n Charing Cross Willi men in stiff collars and bowler hats — one clearly enioying looking at female nudes in art books -— to the craggy profile of Michael Carrie and the doleful face of Gu‘, the gorilla.
Suscnit/ky started taking photographs of Charing Cross bookshops because of the con rast ‘.‘.’lll‘: fascist book burning l.'l his native Austria. The books became a powerful syrttbol of freedom to StlfSClllt/k‘, x-rliose political ll‘Oth‘S inforn‘ a lot of his ‘.'.'ork.
Suschit/ky's gift is his ability to capture the gritty realism of his subjects '.‘.’llll a syn‘pathetic eye and to imbue nor‘rrtalitt wrth a heart- ‘.'.'arnting nostalgia. as in the photographs of scruffy young children plat-wig on the streets of Glasgox'r ‘.'.’|lll lfllOS of ‘.'.'z.tsning hanging high betweer‘. the tenements. Although the potent and hardship is apparent. the; are astute social docun‘ents.
Tne docurnentan. (Imp/err Of The Cu"; lollo‘.'.s three boys ‘.'.‘ll() bane been caught breaking and entering and their subseuuent punishments a'td parole. ;)r'()‘.,rtg that fashion changes but no! soc:a probierns. This :s an interesting selection. of Suschitrm 's unork albeit 'ather mail and :ilfgjlllh nar'px'. in focus.