PAINTINGS & DRAWINGS
doggerfisher, Edinburgh, Fri 14 Nov-Sat 20 Dec
On a piece of sheet music, only the vertical lines of the staves remain. The musical notes have been painted out. Similarly, on a world map only the lines of longitude and latitude are visible. Black ink obliterates any trace of land and sea. For the past ten years, the Glasgow-based artist Louise Hopkins has been transforming pre-existing surfaces
with subtle, labour intensive markings.
For her forthcoming solo show at doggerfisher, Hopkins has created new paintings and drawings on sheet music, comic books, lined paper, maps and photographs. With the help of a SAC Creative Scotland Award in 2002, Hopkins has been able to experiment and think more about her practice as a whole.
‘The Creative Scotland Award enabled me to step back and think about the direction that I wanted to take my work in,’ explains Hopkins. ‘More recently my work has become far more varied and much freer and I’ve realised how interested I am in the information that is contained in these different objects and what that information reveals about where they came from.’
Untitled 2003 (pencil on partly erased sheet music)
In the modifications made on comic books, Hopkins is interested in what people say - or don't - to each other. She explores the speech bubble, its shape and what the bubbles say when they are cut off from the pictures and text. In her works on graph paper, she is concerned with the formal characteristics.
By altering existing materials, she forces the viewer to reconsider the original marks while offering up new
meanings. Whether just a watercolour mark on paper or applying lots of paint to an area, the existing surface is still there. Recently ﬁme Out described her ‘interference with pre- existing patterns’ as the actions of a ‘poltergeist’.
‘I think it’s a very apt description,’ says Hopkins. ‘Because of the way that it is possible to see just about what it might have been like before.’ (Helen Monaghan)
MIXED MEDIA VISIONS FOR THE FUTURE VI Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh until Sat 29 Nov 000
Journeys to the heart of darkness like those undertaken by Brian Moore's Jesuit priest in his excellent novel (and superb film) Black Robe generally entail privation. doubt. sexual arousal, horror and loss of faith. There's no chance that any of those things will — or have — happened to Paul Carter, the artist who takes up one half of the most recent. and final outing of the Visions of the Future series. His three installations. Source. Shrine and Burial Chamber. are abandoned snatches from forest wildernesses. It's a nice idea: leaves. tents. miniature fountains and bald trees crowd for space in old dens while what sounds like the whistle of wind and misery breaks through the gallery speakers. Yet it's all a bit immature and joyless. a heart without a home. Only Shrine shows any sense of its own infantile worth with its fine display of plastic moose and cows placed over an old fireplace.
Upstairs Chad McCail's bUSy Richard Scarry-ish diagrams suffer from being badly laid out. but the colourful billboards do exhibit a certain maniacal zeal. His vision of a dystopian future works like an educational tapestry that is being derided by zombie stormtroopers and Ned Kelly (with his helmet on). This is art for fans of the cartoon series Futurama. which ain't no bad thing. (Paul Dale)
Source by Paul Carter
Burge by Mark Gilbert
PAINTING IF I COULD GO ANYWHERE . . .
Royal Scottish Academy Building, Edinburgh, until Sun 23 Nov 000
If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go? Unfortunately for most of us. this question needs no concrete answer. but if you happen to be a good enough artist to win the Alastair Salvesen Award then you need to choose your destination and spend up to 5:10.000 in the process. Naturally. you have to come back and exhibit at the Royal Scottish Academy. and if the current exhibition is anything to judge by. then travel does definitely broaden the horizons.
Mark Gilbert went to Spain and realised his potential as a larger than life portrait artist. His large looming faces pull the viewer in with the magnitude of their oversized gaze. creating a narrative similar to Jack and the Giant. Andrew Cranston revels in the ordinary becoming a threat and his dark paintings brilliantly capture how people leave their ghostly signature on discarded objects. His painting of a tangled junk heap is not just a pile of inanimate objects but of life and memory as well. From his travels Barry McGlashan realised that place can be just as important as the person and his subsequent paintings deftly combine the two. McGlashan's paintings are so appealing because you can sense the artist and his humour in them. especially in the Blue Roof and Island Granny.
This is definitely an exhibition full of artists who have risen to the challenge of improving and making the most of their great opportunity. (Isabella Weir)
NSTALLATION SYMPHONIO BODY GROUNDS
Street Level, Glasgow, until Sat 29 Nov 00.
Technological advancement. medical research, the creation of human life and ‘nature' are noted as inspiration for Adinda van‘t Klooster's exhibition. Symphonic Body Grounds. These themes are central to the biotechnology revolution and its complex humanitarian commentary. What this exhibition takes as its content is the way this debate has refused to be dominated by the rational voice of science. Symphonic Body Box presents the graphic sound waves recorded from a beating heart on the surface of a lightbox and in turn. functions as an invitation to consider the ultrasonic performance of Symphonic Body. This performance is described in the gallery‘s information notes as having used microphones. an electronic stethoscope and an ultrasonic bat detector to
Symphonic Birth Grounds
record and manipulate inner body sounds into a live soundscape. In its outline. it appeals as an irreverent and unauthorised contribution to biotech research but disappointingly. the performance is not documented in the exhibition. The central work is Symphonic Birth Grounds (2003). an interactive installation which uses embryonic plastic forms and coloured drums as tools that control sound samples. These audio samples are based on what a foetus might hear from inside the womb. In isolation. the piece looks like the Early Learning Centre's contribution to the debate on stem cell research and uses that charm as a reference to the sanctity of human life. Within the context of fine art. Van't Klooster has played with a Wide range of references to technology. medicine and biological determinism. Symphonic Body Grounds COuld be viewed as an idIOSyncratic collection of snapshots taken of a Sprawling and intense debate around biotech research. (Sarah Trippl
13» 2f Nov 2003 THE LIST 89