Monday, 6 July 2015

Craig Lee

Craig Lee's work hits you with strong pure colour and thick textured impasto of paint. It is work created through the joy of paint being core to Craig's practice.
"My work is created through an initial period of play - making gestures - from which I can then respond to, develop and discover a design. As a result of this process, my paintings reveal themselves sometimes quite quickly, or in other cases over a much longer period of time. Working with paint in such an intuitive manner, allows the materiality of paint to speak for itself, rather than being held by any other conceptual comment I could make. The Paintings in their minimalist design allow for an engaging and condensed form, which offers clarity and an image to an investigation into a process. I aim to create a synthesis between intention and process and effectively explore colour and surface which is so particular to painting." Craig Lee

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Didi Jellema II

I wanted to share some further magic from Didi Jellema's sketchbooks which had many beautiful studies of landscapes, landscapes of 'home' home in East Lothian at Humbie and home in The Netherlands.
"The work that I am creating portrays a childhood formed around two separate countries and cultures, Painting memories that have played out on the backdrop of two opposing landscapes, painted in two separate pallets. At its core my work is focus on the topic of diaspora, of identity as a way of belonging and identities that are tied to place, history, culture and tradition." Didi Jellema

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Didi Jellema I

Didi Jellema has just graduated from Gray's Art School Aberdoon in Painting. Didi's sketchbooks were phenomenal, rich with media; thought and gatherings of sights and atmospheres, everything you dream of a sketchbook being.
"To live in diaspora is to be haunted by histories that sit uncomfortably out of joint, ambivalently ahead of their time and yet behind it too. It is to feel a small tingle on the skin at the back of your neck and know that something is not quite right about where you are now, but to also know that you cannot leave. To be unhomed is a process. To be unhomely is a state of diasporic consciousness." Lily Cho, To Turn To Diaspora, 2007

"I inhabit a place of diaspora, a place that is an in-between. Akin to being adrift at sea, I am adrift between homelands, countries and nationalities. My paintings are a woven mass of childhood memories, of voicing myself in two languages, of sailing between two countries."  Didi Jellema

Friday, 3 July 2015

Rebecca Elizabeth Fry I

Rebecca Fry's work played with oranges as a medium and as a subject through which to explore mortality and sexuality.

Rebecca Fry's work explored ideas of mortality and sexuality With a wall of stitched orange peel flowers and orange peel people curled like fortune telling cellophane fish.
"My work relates to the life cycle and female connection with nature. Not just through the process of fertility, growth and aging but through shape and organic form."       Rebecca Fry

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Hannah Murray II

A giant pin cushion heart was another element of Hannah Murray's degree show at Aberdeen resulting from a chance discovery of sweetheart pincushions.

"Created during the First World War by soldiers recuperating in military hospitals, sweetheart pincushions were made primarily as a way of passing the time, but were also sent home as tokens to wives and sweethearts. The delicacy of their creation belies the fact that they are made by soldiers, the tiny, intimate stitching and intricate bead work a stark and sobering contrast to the  sheer brutality  of  war. (see example below)

Charged with a poignancy by the circumstances of their giving, unlike anything which I have held onto, the impact they have goes beyond that of the receiver, touching to those coming across them generations later. Many were made out of scraps of fabrics and material, others from kits made up for military hospitals; all were sent as tokens, reminders of love. They embody the intimacy - the delicacy - which can be found in human relationships and which I hope, through my artwork, to further explore." Hannah Murray

Wednesday, 1 July 2015


Theatre on the beach; personal, absorbing and self contained interaction with a story, soundscape and installation that is immersive and engaging; made even more magical by the simultaneous interaction with the elements and environment.

Drift is a drama piece created by Symon MacIntyre of Vision Mechanics, in collaboration with a talented team of historians, writers and designers and Nordland Visual Theatre.

Drift transports you, with the narrative and song of Gerda Stevenson, through history to learn the story of, 61 year old Shetlander Betty Mouat who was stranded at sea for 9 days in 1886, with only a quart of milk and two biscuits to sustain her, in what must have been a terrifying ordeal.
Betty was eventually discovered when the boat she was traveling in; 'The Columbine', grounded on Lepsoy in Norway. She returned to her home on Shetland where she lived until she was 93.

               Betty Mouat outside her croft on Shetland 

Drift is touring to Nairn Beach, near the harbour, 3-5 July, Skaw Beach (UK’s most northerly beach), Unst, Shetland Isles, 10-13 July, St Cyrus Bay, near Arbroath, 23-26 July and then is moving on to tour in Norway next summer.

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Hannah Murray

Hannah Murray's work has a nostalgia for tradition and the overlooked and neglected familiarity of cultural customs.
I have attempted to convey the intimacy and deep embedded nature of many customs by creating richly dense grounds, overlaying it with suggestions of familiar imagery: horse shoes and coins for luck, bells foretelling a wedding and thimbles for spinsterhood. The objects themselves are inoffensive, with the use of repetitive imagery, such as that of the figureless dress being key to promoting a sense of familiar. In the simplicity of such objects, however, lies the thread that makes up the fragile structure of human bonds and the unyielding nature of age old customs - both religious and secular - which we cling to. Hannah Murray

Monday, 29 June 2015

Rebecca Murray

"Natural disaster makes an example of mankind, regularly washing the land clean of mans development, restoring a sort of balance by reminding us that we are part of the land not in control of it. The focus of my work stems from this fascination and is fuelled by my own first hand experience of a forest fire in America during the summer of 2013.I have seen the destruction natural disaster can cause. This wildfire consumed vast areas of forest and destroyed homes and businesses, engulfing whole areas in acrid choking smoke and brought major cities to a standstill.
Exploring themes such as loss and destruction, isolation and redevelopment. I aim to document the fragility of mankind through the creation and destruction of a model environment."
Rebecca Murray 

There were a number of artists at Gray's this year whose work was quite dark in its sensibilities and observation. It was interesting to hear Rebecca's account of being in an emergency zone with wild fired and the chaos of survival. Rebecca's work was very compelling and appealing causing morbid fascination not only with the process of creation or destruction of all the burnt toy cars. In using toy cars as a metaphor these pieces also evoke reactions to loss of innocence and childhood.

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Samantha Marwick

"When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world." John Muir

Samantha Marwick has just graduated from Gray's School of Art in contemporary art practice (Photography). Samantha's show was really delicate and beautiful, I particularly loved the music box filed with dandelion seed heads it was like stumbling on a tiny piece of magic.

It is interesting how in all of the four main degree shows in Scotland, young artists are pulling back from the noise and bustle of our modern consumerist shallow world and trying to open their and our eyes to the minute and incredible wonders of the everyday world of nature around us.
"Perspective plays a huge role in my work. Our need to control nature is futile and in a day and age where consumerism is bigger than ever I find the need to remind people of the smaller lifeforms to put into perspective the simplicity and gift of life in itself." Samantha Marwick

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Jessica-Lucky Airlie

In my last few posts showcasing the emerging talent of Scotland's Art Colleges, I am featuring graduates from Gray's School of Art, Aberdeen.
These silk typed letters are Jessica-Lucky Airlie's exploration of female bonds and relationships.
They are fragile and almost remnants of the past, with their use of old fashioned (old technology) type. The texts tell private often embarrassing stories about girls transition into womanhood.
"The overall softness of the work creates a space of reflection, which allows the viewer to question their own experiences while feeling part of something bigger; a sense of acceptance despite the stress and tension experienced whilst becoming an adult."  Jessica-Lucky Airlie

Friday, 26 June 2015

Chelsea Frew

This is the work of Chelsea Frew from Glasgow School of Art's Degree show last week.
Chelsea has graduated in communication design and her work explored Glasgow's transitions and transformations during the last 100 years, particularly the cities spread into new satellite towns.
Chelsea's show had a very large installation (top image) allowing you to walk into her illustration and experience the city's bustling streets, while her sketchbooks 'Here, There and Everywhere' are a complete treat, a visual feast, celebrating the city of Glasgow and its people.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Ruth Crothers

A wonderful page from the sketch book of Ruth Crowthers produced on a visit to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.
Ruth has just graduated in textile design from Glasgow School of Art with a collection of printed textiles for fashion inspired by cabinets of curiosities and trips to Edinburgh and Glasgow museums, her work is full of humour and wonderful observation.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

David Stobart

David Stobart's degree show featured painted words on plastic covered stretcher frames which gave them a uniquely oily surface and a very different feel.
David Stobart works frequently with text, often using lyrics as his main source material.
The words appear as recognisable marks of language but are abstracted from reading material as very few complete words are legible.
“I produce visual art objects that encompass components of performance; song and painting in conjunction with ideas of a song-writing practice. The outcomes of my practice are paintings, photographs, sound installation, video, books and live events. Within the music spectrum I occupy the role of the writer of lyrics and singer of words. Consequently a practitioner of semantic satiation, and the loss of meaning to a word, encountered through repetition. Equally, this is true of the painting style I developed as my primary and now secondary outfit for this vein of work. Exploring a lyrics function and recognized letterform within a song. Focusing on the words similar visual performance on canvas to the audible harmony of a word when sung, in both instances seduction of an audience is prioritized.” David Stobart

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Rachel Blair

It has been a very long time since I featured any jewellry on this blog but I was especially touched by the fragility and beauty of the work of Orkadian Rachel Blair at Glasgow School of Art last week. Raches work reminds me of burnt love letters, of loss and damage but it is also stunningly in its subtle hues and its patina.
"My pieces are mainly constructed from silver and gold wire frames with tension set wound papers. These papers are all hand dyed and wound individually to create intricate patterns incorporating the flaws and ripples. I uses papers to create pieces that have a sense of preciousness, papers that are usually worthless, but when manipulated and set in a precious setting have a much greater meaning. By using paper, my pieces have a limited lifetime. It is the wearing away of the precious papers within a materially precious band that is the interest. The piece is always under tension and stress, but aesthetically complete." Rachel Blair