ARTIST COOPERATIVE TOTAL KUNST Total Kunst @ Forest Cafe, Edinburgh

Getting your first exhibition post-graduation is not, as anyone will tell you, easy. Will they leave a calling card at your final degree show or scribble down their phone number in your comments book? Or will you end up camping outside their gallery doors until they notice you? The DIY approach is becoming an increasingly popular way through this, and artist-run initiatives are springing up all over the place. From Glasgow’s Switchspace to Edinburgh’s Magnifitat & Sons, artists are no longer relying

on the establishment.

Total Kunst (not a German expletive as the name may suggest) is an Edinburgh-based artists’ co-operative which emerged from a desire to provide exhibiting opportunities and a support network for up-and-coming artists. So far, it has managed to secure a permanent gallery space housed in the new premises of the volunteer- run Forest Cafe, in the former Adventist Church on Bristo Place. This magnificent building was purchased by the Edinburgh University Settlement, an organisation which facilitates mental health, youth and disabilities charities. And to celebrate its centenary year, it decided to give the space over to this very creative community.

‘The reason any of this has been able to happen is because of the effort of the volunteers,’ says Mary Trodden, one of the founding members of Total Kunst. ‘All



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Ashley Havrnden can certainly be called one of the pioneers; of post-war advertising design. By combining his artistic skills '.‘.’Il|’i his Interest in modernism. and Bauhaus in particular. he managed to connect with the public psyche and produce designs that attracted the new breed of consumer and their spending power. His most prolific work was for products such as Eno's Fruit Salts. Gillette. Martini and Pretty Polly. Havrnden's designs may seem arcane and the messages contained in them naive. but they are still testimony to his ground-breaking ideas. What Hawnden did for Eno's Fruit Sal s can be compared to what Saatiq .. and Saatchi 'iid for the CCI18(3T‘."Ztll‘.'(353.

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Main image: Total Kunst @ Forest Cafe. Insets: Angus Hood (top); Jenny Stephens (bottom)

the effort that goes into running the Forest Cafe also goes into supporting the art project.’ After months of hard work, in terms of putting an

exhibition programme together and painting the walls in time for the launch, the inaugural exhibition of work by Angus Hood and Jenny Stephens has been well received. Trodden and fellow artist Kirsty Whiten are now getting ready for their next project, a group exhibition that will showcase the work of the Total Kunst collective.

‘l’m really looking forward to seeing the work but we are going to be selective,’ says Whiten. ‘Although we want to be inclusive and welcoming to everybody, a group show

needs a structure. I want the artwork that we choose to be

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By carefully matching the tempo of his design with the increasing pace of the public's lifestyle. llavinden was

of a high standard, otherwise we won’t be taken seriously.’ Following the group show, the collective has programmed in a series of solo shows. There are also plans to set up an exchange project, to invite guest curators and have regular discussion groups and workshops with similar organisations across Scotland. And with such an amazing building at its disposal, with its cellar areas and large open spaces, the possibilities for showing experimental and cutting-edge work are huge. ‘It’s a new venture for us and we want to live up to the potential of the building,’ says Whiten. If what they have done up to now is anything to go by, they’re bound to succeed. (Helen Monaghan) I Angus Hood and Jenny Stephens shox: work unfri Fr ,' r".’o'.. The Total Kunst group show opens on Fri 7.1 None

able to attract their attention. l-Iis adverts for Chrysler are a good example of his burgeoning skills: he chose to display the car as lines to denote speed and grab the distracted public's imagination. To sell beer to young men, Havinden would combine the latest commercial techniques such as airbriishing and photomontage in his work. These adverts prove that every generation falls for the most hip product.

One of Havrnden's most successful campaigns was for milk. not just in bt siness terms but personally as well. The type he used in the advert became adopted as the 'Ashley Script' and he believed that the freehand style of painting he used for the word milk had changed poster design forever. Havinden also created designs for rugs and textiles. which £t|l()‘.‘./(}(I hiiii to be even from wrth abstract ideas. ilsabella Weiri


News from the world of art


INVERLEITH HOUSE IN Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic Garden is undergoing a refurbishment and upgrade, having secured a Scottish Arts Council Small Capital Fund grant of £148,453. The gallery will reopen in 2004 with a new education facility, refurbished exhibition spaces, and improved access and reception areas, in a project managed and designed by Reiach and Hall Architects.

ARTIST-RUN ORGANISATIONS Magnifitat & Sons and WiriTogetherLoseTogetherPIayTogeth or are inviting video and performance proposals for an event to be held in the SCquture Court of Edinburgh College of Art on V-ledriesday 19 November. Submissions should be sent by 31 October 2003 to Jenny Hogarth. SRC Office. Edinburgh College of Art. Lauriston Place. Edinburgh. EH3 90F or call

0131 229 1442.

DURING THE WEEK OF 17-22 November, steel portacabins will be sited in various venues across Glasgow housing site-specific works by artists. Following on from the success of last year’s event, Cabin Exchange is looking for new proposals but you’d better be quick - the deadline for submissions is Monday 3 November. For more information about the project and to submit an idea see www. cabin

STUDENTS FROM GLASGOW School of Art have donated works of art to be auctioned off in a silent auction to help raise funds for the newly established Next GeneratIOn Fund. which has been set up to award scholarships for talented individuals. The auction takes piace at Bonhams. Edinmirgh on 3—7 November and at Glasgow School of Art on 10-14 November. For more infoi‘n'iation see the newly revartiped website: xwrw.gsa.z,

A TWO-DAY SYMPOSIUM ON contemporary art practice is to be held at the Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh on 1 and 2 November. Speakers include Kay Pallister, Graham Fagen, Victoria Morton and Ross Sinclair. For more information see www.fruitmarket.