ROSS SINCLAIR: THE REAL LIFE ROCK OPERA VOLUME 1
Travelling Gallery, touring throughout Scotland, until Fri 4 Jun
Ten years ago artist Ross Sinclair - inspired partly by the lyrics of a Kraftwerk song and suffering from a hangover - popped into Terry’s Tattoo Parlour on Glasgow’s Chisholm Street and emerged ﬁve hours later with ‘Real Life’ tattooed neatly across his back.
Since then ‘Real Life’ has been the major preoccupation of his work. He’s not being arch or ironic. He is genuinely interested in how people live their lives, how we locate ourselves in relation to our cultural heritage and the social and institutional structures which surround us. That makes it sound plodding, but it’s not. It’s more homespun, more DlY. There’s the time, for instance, when he built himself an island - complete with plastic grass and stuffed wildlife - which he sat on to sing popular Scottish songs from the past 300 years. Or the time he created the New Republic of St Kilda out of cardboard boxes and reinstated the island’s original residents by playing the film of their departure backwards.
Sinclair used to be the drummer for the Soup Dragons. They had hits on both sides of the Atlantic and played
doggerfisher, Edinburgh, until Sat 6 Mar .0.
With no discernible theme to this group show other than all the artists being female. Solar Lunar brings together an unexpected mix of sculpture. paintings and drawings which complement each other. And of the six on show. the work of three artists stands out.
Camilla Low's perspex sculptures occupy the centre of the gallery. A line of yellow and black diagonal shapes. like the design on a Pringle jumper, seems to defy gravity, casting interesting patterns. shadows and reflections in the space while two sheets of spray-painted interlocking perspex create a delicate tension. Thr0ugh Low's translucent panes of colour, Melanie Carvalho's paintings
Ramona by Camilla Low
are visible. There are just two of her works in the show (it would have been good to see more). each painting depicting the same garden in Goa. Night Palm 7 of rich, deep indigo blues perfectly captures a summer's
News from the world of art
Glastonbury, but when the whole thing imploded under the weight of men in grey suits, he snuck back into art school to ﬁnish his degree. He enjoys the freedom that being an artist allows in terms of media (he builds things, makes videos and CDs, sings, paints, performs) and the autonomy of being a single uncompromised voice.
His current show in the double-decker bus which is the Travelling Gallery (it will be appearing in a car park near you soon) is called The Real Life Rock Opera Volume 1. It revisits familiar themes: home, faith and real life. For it Sinclair has set up his own micro record label and produced a CD of songs - traditional, religious and some he’s written himself. They are being piped into the bus, as one component of the exhibition, and 10,000 copies of the CD will be given away free to visitors. ‘Amazing Grace’ and ‘Bonnie Mary O’Argyll’ rub shoulders with ‘Real Life is Coming Round the Bend’ and ‘Real Life is the Only Life for Me’. It’s a kind of aural face-off: Real Life v the weight of tradition. He’s preserved the dirge-like quality of the hymns (enhanced by faltering, wavering and often out of tune vocals) while seeming to chivvy them along with the bump and clatter of something more contemporary.
(Kate Tregaskis) I For tour details see www.cac. org. uk/venues/travelhtm
night. Through the fringes of palm trees. the fiery glow of fairly lights populates the composition, and the overall image radiates with luminescence. In Night Palm 2, Carvtho further reveals her ability to depict that special quality of night time light.
In the small room to the back are two intriguing individuals by Moyna Flannigan rendered in watercolour. Using a sketchy black outline. the detail given to the face and hands brings the fictitious characters to life. White faces, red rosy cheeks, hands concealed by red gloves. a moustachioed fella resembling a circus ring master. Compared with similar works shown here in Flannigan's 2002 Festival show, in these newer, more developed studies. it's almost as though they really do exist.
New Work Scotland Programme
Gallery is calling for submissions to its annual New Work Scotland Programme 2004, a year-long programme of exhibitions which has helped to launch the careers of David Sherry and Katy Dove. among others. Open to Scottish-based artists in their final year MA or BA or to artists who have been out of Scottish art college for under three years, this year‘s selection panel includes David Burrows. Paul Carter. Sorcha Dallas. Jonathan Owen and Sarah Munro. Priority is given to those artists who have not previously had a major solo show. To receive an application form email: firstname.lastname@example.org with your address. or phone 0131 220 1260. Deadline for applications is Friday 30 April.
STAYING WITH THE COLLECTIVE, it is also looking for proposals for a project that will take place during the Edinburgh Festival. The gallery’s aim is to commission an innovative artists’ project which will not be located in the gallery but somewhere in the city. Open to Scottish-based artists, the deadline for the submission in Friday 2 April. For more information call Sarah Munro on 0131 220 1260.
SUBMISSIONS ARE ALSO INVITED for Machinista 2004, a yearly open submission online exhibition (see http://wwwmachinistaorg for more details). The three themes are ‘Art From the Machine‘ (works created by a machine or an artificial intelligence system); “Artists Against Machinic Standards' (the use of customary programs as an art experiment) and 'FuII-Screen Robovision' (moving image work).
THE UNIVERSITY OF DUNDEE has been awarded almost £1.5m by the Art and Humanities Research Board to create a cultural resource dedicated to the preservation of work from the first two decades of video. The REWIND project will establish an archive, major exhibition and publication to enable the public to access archives of 705 and 805 film.
19 Feb—4 Mar 2004 THE LIST 87