Gillian has always looked at her surroundings and taken inspiration from what is around her, feeling privileged and humbled by what she finds.
She is fascinated by texture and shape, enjoying materials which are unusual and tactile and appear as if they have they have their own story to tell. The Ayrshire coastline, where she lives and works, features heavily in her designs. As well as the beautiful scenery, rich in inspiration, the area is steeped in history and heritage. Coming from, and returning to live by the seaside has allowed her work to reflect this both through design and materials used, giving her jewellery an organic and natural feel.
There are two main types of work produced. The first is within the world of fold-forming, or forging, where each piece is individually made by hand and hammer, resulting in unique organic shapes.
The other area is comprised of cast shell pieces as components, where the original moulds have been made from shells collected on the local beach, with the lost wax method then used to produce the metal masters for casting.
“This latest body of work aims to explore symbolically, both the outer political, social and cultural landscapes of our time, as well as the inner landscapes of the human psyche.
These landscapes are painted intuitively and without any pre-editing, or reference to any particular place in mind. They evolve naturally and without scrutiny, which allows for a narrative to unfold.
The writings from Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, “For this appalling ocean surrounds this verdant land, so in the soul of man there lies one insular Tahiti, full of peace and joy, but encompassed by all the horrors of the half-lived life” was a starting point to this work and was influential in anchoring the context both at an existential level and ethereal level.
“Consider the subtleness of the sea; how it’s most dreaded creatures glide underwater, unapparent for the most part, and treacherously hidden beneath the loveliest tints of azure… consider all this; and then turn to this green, gentle and most docile earth; consider them both, the sea and the land; and do you not find strange analogy to something in yourself?” Herman Melville. “
Scottish designer Kirsty Dalton creates her Relics jewellery line by upcycling various fragments of superfluous metals while focusing heavily on colour, texture and decay. Relics takes discarded or scrap jewellery and revitalises it into fresh new designs. In essence, it is a contemporary take on the idea that “one person’s trash is another’s treasure”.
Each piece is one of a kind; individually handcrafted, composed, arranged, painted and set in resin. These works aim to capture the aura of industrial and derelict areas within the urban cityscape, while simultaneously illustrating the beauty such spaces have to offer.
“I wanted to capture an essence of the people around me, by utilising materials that they have used and discarded. By transforming this range of materials, I hope to address the topic of waste, whilst giving the objects and materials the opportunity to be seen with a sense of reflection and perhaps, even admiration.”
Conceptually, this stemmed from Kirsty’s interest in found objects and how they can effect as well as define certain aspects of our lives. “I believe the process of decay and waste encapsulates a great deal about society and our transformative role within it.”
“As a photographer, the Tradeston area of Glasgow interests me very much. Tradeston is bounded by the River Clyde to the north, the Glasgow to Paisley railway line to the south, Eglinton Street and Bridge Street to the east and West Street to the west. The M74 Extension traverses the hotchpotch of abandoned tenements, burnt out wastelands, low rise 1970’s industrial units, and some new flatted developments – a testament to decades of poor planning and congenital mismanagement by the City Fathers. Tradeston should represent “an open goal” for any Glasgow City Council administration, and should be at the heart of regeneration in the city. Up until now, regeneration has progressed (not always well) in many areas, yet Tradeston, so close to the city centre, remains neglected. The city needs to regenerate that part. It would be pivotal in reconnecting the Southside back across the river.
I was keen to document this area as it is now, before any proposed regeneration commences – if it ever happens.
Glasgow must be the only city in Europe with a major waterway running through it which does not exploit that in any way. If you go to many European cities such as Bristol, you can see that they have converted their disused docks and shabby warehouses into bars, artspaces, accommodation and shops to create an appealing area for locals and tourists alike to visit and enjoy themselves.
Somehow I don’t think this is going to happen any time soon in Tradeston R.I.P.”
Alastair’s recent exhibitions:
2016 ‘On Returning’ Harbour Arts Centre, Irvine
2016 ‘An Roghainn’ (collaboration with poet Kenneth Steven) Aros Centre, Portree
2017 ‘An Roghainn’ Stanza Poetry Festival, St Andrews
2017 Excerpts from ‘An Roghainn’ Scottish Poetry Library, Edinburgh
Enzo Marra’s creative practice is concerned with the exploration and pictorial analysis of the art world. He explores the juxtaposing perceptions of those involved and those outwith the industry, their valuing and auctioning, the processes and activities that occur behind the privacy of studio doors, the hanging and display of works animated by the commodified space of the gallery, the milling of observers in exhibition spaces, and ultimately how the public presence then gives life and purpose to the works on display.
The use of texture is of great importance to his practice – lending both added dimensions to the oil paints as well as necessary dominance to his brushwork, which is visible within the final image. The physical dragging and building up of pigment is as relevant in his creations as the tonality and colour balance that they are used to express.
In Siblings, Marra has selected a number of figurative-inspired works, alongside palette-based works, which wholly reflect his own painting practice, whilst providing the leverage to further explore such interrelationships. The intricate balance between studio activity and what is permitted for public viewing, and the concept of authentic and true pigment application, is explored in this series of acrylic, enamel and oil canvases.
These works have enabled Marra to be selected for the Creekside Open in 2013, 2015 and 2017; the Threadneedle Prize in 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2016; Beep Wales in 2014 and 2016; Gfest in 2010; Charlie Smith Anthology in 2011; the Open West at Gloucester Cathedral in 2012 and the John Moores Painting Prize in 2012 and 2016.
Marra was a prizewinner in the Creekside Open 2017 – selected by Jordan Baseman – and was included on the shortlist for the 100 Painters of Tomorrow. He was also given an honourable mention in the Beers Contemporary Award for Emerging Art 2013.
Six Foot Gallery is delighted to present the 2017 edition of our annual BEST OF DEGREE SHOW. The exhibition features the work of graduating artists, handpicked from Scotland’s leading art institutions. Artworks range across a variety of themes and mediums, as a representation of the diversity of Scotland’s emerging artistic talent.
Started in 2016 by Europe-based photographer Alexandra Sarah, @ButtermilkWave is an ongoing project – a concept, an abstract idea through which the artist focuses mainly on intimate minimalistic portraiture – with a hint of fashion – to express her own state of mind.
Just like buttermilk itself, the portraits are both bitter and sweet, with a touch of acid and darkness, yet still soothing and ever-flowing. This represents the artist’s mentality; her personal experience with depression contradicts with her positive outlook and faith in the world, her heaviness of heart fighting every single day with her lively character.
Even though Alexandra Sarah employs image processing software, such as Photoshop, to better create her concept visually, she does not use it to alter personal characteristics or erase “flaws” – for she does not believe they exist. By engaging into more minimal approaches, and through the use of mostly cold and pastel tones, she makes her subjects her sole centre of attention, and brings out the genuine beauty that lies in each and every person.
This exhibition has been a development from an earlier project ‘The First Ladies of Football’ which explored the history of women’s football a subject that has been until recently a relatively understudied subject.
Women’s football has been one of the fastest growing sports with an increasing media presence and yet very little is known about its origins and development. This project aims to address this deficit by presenting up to date research supported by artwork and images to tell the history of the Game. ‘Game for Girls’ made its debut at the Annan Museum during the summer of 2015 and to tie in with the upcoming European Championships a new tour of the exhibition kicked off last month at the Scottish Parliament. Among the audience for the show was Dumfriesshire MSP Joan McAlpine along with sports minister Aileen Campbell and local MSP Humza Yousaf, and later in the summer the exhibition will take up residence at the Devil’s Porridge Museum.
Besides artwork, a series of information panels have been produced which explain the development of the game with each panel focusing on a specific part of the story. The first panel for instance focuses on the birth of the game and the first references to women playing football; subsequent panels cover the first association games taking the narrative up to the present day.
Alongside the Game for Girls exhibition, Stuart is also exhibiting a series of landscape oil paintings.
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Living and working in Edinburgh, Silas Parry explores sculptural form and materials in a context of environmental destruction. Through this, he discusses the other organisms that share our world; he is interested in how we relate to other forms of life, as we contribute to ecological change. His sculptures and installations often look to non-human (sea-life, extraterrestrial, fictional beings, planetary forces), and science-fiction futures. He has become increasingly fascinated by encounters with unexpected beings, that can re-frame our role in the environment. These new forms of life result from our political present, yet destabilise our place at the centre of the story.
“Surf ’N’ Turf is a positive take on the end of the world – an attempt to embrace our dark future, and the choices taking us there.
Because in this time of change, we’re no longer in control. We will re-discover the importance of non-human species and powerful, unknown forces. There will be moments of discovery, as organisms around us act in ways we can’t predict.
In the deep-sea Abyssal Zone, we’ve found unexpected life, thriving in fast-changing and inhospitable conditions. And perhaps, far below those midnight layers, there are glimmers of hope; a way to survive.
The title is taken from dishes popular in US steakhouses that combine seafood and red meat. Touching on two major causes of ecological destruction (overfishing and industrial cattle farming), surf ’n turf dinners present an image of abundance without dilemma or consequence.”
After spending her childhood in a hospital room – filling the walls with drawings to pass the time – Francesca’s passion for art led her to Glasgow School of Art. Francesca then spent five years developing her design and embroidery skills, graduating with an honours degree in Textiles. Since then, she had the opportunity to learn, and progress her work further, in a costume department creating 18th century embroideries and costumes. Finally after being surrounded by so many talented and inspiring people, she decided to produce a collection of her own work, entitled A Journey from IBD to Italywhich combined two projects she had previously explored.
Her aim for the first of these projects was to turn something ugly into something beautiful – her experience of “ugly” was her childhood illness of ulcerative colitis and osteoporosis. Francesca looked at examples of the cells of the disease, as well as objects and textures which reminded her of both these cells and the crumbling of bones resulting from osteoporosis. She then tried to create “beauty” from her own interpretations of this research. The other personal project was her travels in Italy, during which she documenting the shapes and textures she saw in everything she passed – from the stones in the old cobbled streets to the beautiful mosaics and marble colours in the churches. These two projects are brought together in her cut works and embroideries.