Research for an Ice-Cream Van Convention (Phase 2) 2002-03 by Anna Best

MIXED MEDIA ART FOR NETWORKS Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh. Sat 15 Feb-Sat 29 Mar

Everyone knows the feeling. That tingle when you hear the trail of sound that can only mean one thing. Ice-cream! Wherever you are, the skies are suddenly blue, the pavement smells warm and an afternoon of playing in gardens or out on the street lies ahead. It remains one of the most deeply evocative sounds of childhood. But, believes artist Anna Best, it could soon be a sound of the past.

‘There's a paradox because it‘s ice-cream, but it’s big industry as well and it’s kind of dying like a lot of industries have done,’ she says.

Her interest in the social and historical story of the ice- cream industry has grown out of an aesthetic curiosity. She first got interested in ice-cream from a sculptural point of view, but for the last two years Best has explored ice-cream networks. She’ll be showing videos of interviews with ‘mobilers’ (or ice-cream vendors) as part of Art for Networks, a group exhibition highlighting the work of artists whose projects involve networks of all kinds. These range from gypsy communities, the web, messaging

boards for a prison community, SMS, postal services and radio. With ‘www' pretixing millions of connections made every second and the previously unknown @ symbol now a linguistic essential, it’s a timely show.

To some, the world wide web is the most democratic innovation of the last century, but there are other networks (or, to use another word, communities) that are fading. too, as we leave the 20th century behind. Best sees this disintegration in the ice-cream trade.

‘lt's a network like many others that is disappearing in the face of global corporatism,‘ she says. ‘Mobilers have said to me that they’re well aware that they’re a kind of social hub in some places. They’re a very old, traditional form of people-network and they all do it because they like people. You can’t be a miserable git as a mobiler.‘

So is one kind of network at the expense of another? This show examines the problem - celebrating and questioning networks in the modern day.

'A lot of the work is work in progress,’ says co-curator Hannah Firth. ‘lt's very important not to be prescriptive and to allow networks to develop in their own time.’ A 99 flake with raspberry sauce then please. Let's stop this precious network from evolving out of existence. (Ruth Hedges)



National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh, until Sun 11 May 000

Five Months in Hawaii by Sara Gadd

The Pacific islands are the catalyst for many exotic dreams of sun. sea and relaxation. So it's not surprismg to

learn that Robert LOUIS Stevenson travelled around Hawaii, Tahiti and Samoa looking for creative inspiration and a better climate for his ailing health. Sadly he died on Samoa. but the legacy of his travels remain in the tales he created. his JOurnaIs and a stack of grainy black and white photographs that dOCument his time on the Islands.

These four years spent by Stevenson in the PaCitic inform the w0rk of the artist Sara Gadd. The old photographs prowde the SOurce material from which she digitally recreates the places where Stevenson stayed. Gadd. however. removes all traces of people from her Virtual landscapes. instead creating large empty spaces for the eye to walk around. They are like rooms that have been left untouched when someone dies Or houses locked up with all their memories.

Gadd's images on their own are not en0ugh to conjure up the spirit of

Stevenson. What breathes life into Gadd's work are the original photographs on loan from the Writer's Museum and Stevenson's portrait by COunt Girolamo Nerli. When you look at the old photographs and compare them to Gadd's images then you become immersed in Stevenson's travels and can begin to interact With Gadd's work.

Cleverly. Gadd introduces some of Stevenson's possesSions into her work: the dinner plates lining the bow of the yacht. his old boots sitting on the reflective floor or his ponrait hanging on digital walls. These touches help to recreate Stevenson's ideology and his creativity. adding a mythic Quality to images. Gadd Succeeds only because of the iuxtaposmon of the Original artefacts. otherwise her images albeit glossy and colourful are digitally sterile. But as an biographical tale. the exhibition works very well. llsabella Weiri


News from the world of art

ARMY OF LOSERS, IN MY Strength is My Hope and Marching to Shop are some of the titles in a series of mini- print designs by artist Ral Veroni. On show at the CCA's shop and at the Glasgow Print Studio. Veroni has printed onto used lottery tickets. each numbered and signed by the artist for the cost of £2 each. Exploring a range of personal, social and political comments. the works underline what Veroni describes as a ‘money driven system where honest work is no longer enough and people turn to the lottery as a last hopeful resort.‘ For more information email

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THE ROYAL SCOTTISH Academy's new exhibitions co-ordinator was recently announced. Colin Greenslade (33), who comes from Peacock Visual Arts in Aberdeen, will work with members of the Academy developing exhibitions with other organisations, groups and individuals.

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