MIXED MEDIA NEW WORK SCOTLAND
PROGRAMME 1 1 Collective Gallery, Edinburgh, until
Sun 21 Dec .0.
This is the 11th of the Collective Gallery’s annual showcase of young Scottish artists and pulls together two graduates from either side of the country. Jakob Anckarsvard, whose degree show was highlighted in The List earlier this year, attended Glasgow School of Art, while Emma Greenwood trained in Edinburgh and featured in the 2003 end of year display at the Art College.
Although the exhibition is rather sparse, Anckarsvard’s collection makes up the majority and comprises two sets of pictures and a sculpture. One group of images is based around rough structural drawings where partial objects merge into one another, overlaid with daubs of paint. The other incorporates well known mythical symbols, such as a man with feathered wings, to explore contemporary psychology. Unfortunately, both come across as rather primitive and child-like, which is not helped by having neon cardboard as a background. However, Anckarsvard’s single sculptural piece Memory has much
PAINTINGS & DRAWINGS LOUISE HOPKINS doggerfisher, Edinburgh, until Sat 20 Dec 0000
There's a strange kind of silence in Louise Hopkins' new show. Speech bubbles don't speak while the notes on sheet music are not audible. Similarly. the c0untries on a world map are not visible and grid lines on a sheet of graph paper are not complete. For her solo exhibition. Hopkins has taken existing surfaces. messed them up and transformed the existing information.
On the back wall of the gallery is an interesting cluster of modifications and alterations. On a map. only the symbols denoting major cities remain as black ink obliterates its surface. Nameless cities in a nameless world. Wood (2003) is a photograph of cheap pine floorboards but growing out of the knots are little twigs rendered in acrylic ink. In a page from a comic book. the characters have been blacked out leaving only the speech bubbles. free of language. However silent the image is. you begin to build up a narrative. Three bubbles in a frame suggests there are three characters. jagged bubbles suggests the raising of voices. Looking at these works. it reminds y0u how much communication is done without words.
Whether the markings are simple or intricate. Hopkins strips away all expectations. making you consider not only what might have been but what it means new.
greater emotional impact. A kind of burial mound formed from beautifully layered bunches of dying flowers, it instantly brings to mind the public reaction to the death of Princess Diana. But what makes it interesting is the use of wild flowers and grasses alongside the traditional carnations and lilies, adding a sense of rural life and
Emma Greenwood’s sole piece is also hand-laid, made up of hundreds of little objects, both
Memory by Jakob Anckarsvérd
found and made, including beads, paper models and broken car components. They carpet the ﬂoor, spreading up the walls and across the ceiling in a way that suggests childish play and are reminiscent of toys strewn on the floor or a treasured collection in the process of being sorted. The bright colours and simple shapes of the objects create a real sense of play in the piece, making it possible to stand for ages just searching out new things to see. (Rachael Street)
Work by Craig Mulholland
Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow, until Sat 20 Dec .0
4/4 is a project conceived in stages. First. composer Adam Melvin visited the Mackintosh Gallery at Glasgow School of Art. taking the space as the inspiration for a four-minute piece of musrc. Next. his piece was recorded by a quartet. then passed on to four visual artists — Will Holt. Mark Melvin, Peter McCaughey and Craig Mullholland — briefed to make a four- minute silent DVD work. The latest stage is the exhibition. in which the music is reunited with the space. and the Video pieces added to the mix.
It's a weighty. complex way of making new work. and one with laudable aims of fostering connections between artforms. and seeking out the new in chance associations thrown up by restricted collaboration.
Unfortunately. the resulting work can't quite bear the weight of its conceptual superstructure. managing to be less than the sum of its parts. Alone. each video stands up well — Mark Melvrn uses human puppets in a stop-motion interpretation of his brother's music. McClaughey Ianguorously focuses on the battered Surface of a draper's table — and the music plays an odd trick. with a trilling woodwind evocation of the very space it's being played in. But a vital connecting spark between the works lS lacking. and taken as a whole — as the project demands — 4/4 falls at the final hurdle. (Jack Mottram)
In our regular column, a team of mystery artists give their thoughts on the current art scene.
FAWN CRACKERS Words; Artbug E
The building's falling down and the walls are too close together. The views are magnificent when the frost is chipped off the cracked window pane. And my heart leaps with gladness when I stare down into the local sweatshop. where 40 women stitch Christmas hats and reindeer antlers. They look happy. with varicose veins and baggy skin.
This should be the studio from hell. We've been burgled 14 times. Eight of us built it by carrying 120 sheets of 4x8 up nine flights of stairs to the top of the warehouse. Now. many moons on, it is a premiere place for making stuff.
However. and of course. the powers that be want it back now that this area is rejuvenated. in part by the many artists wallowing about its streets. It is time for commerce to move in. Renovate the poor. The studio will become a luxury apartment for some bod with orange skin and a sperts car. As will the sweatshop. The new owners will sit. awkwardly self-conscious in that glitzy restaurant over the street which I refurbished. (hell! I work for the man too).
But what to do with these displaced artistes? The council isn‘t stupid. It recognises the value of keeping them alive in the area. They eat. drink and make merry just like proper citizens should. And so its latest suggestion is to build prefabricated huts and slot them inside the construction space of another studio. Sort of a Russian doll type thing. Splendid idea. For a unicycling banana. That would be artists to the power of two. Compressed creativity. Chicken farm art.
The chaotic shuffling of space continues like a boiling pan of spuds. Fashionable capital evicts the poor and insultineg suggests dumb solutions to the rippling chain of problems its own ‘subtle' greed creates.
l 1 Dec 2003—8 Jan 2004 THE LIST 105