Sunday, 28 April 2013

Friday, 26 April 2013

François-René de Chateaubriand writes about the art of living

Over 100 years ago,French writer François-René de Chateaubriand wrote

"A master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between his work and his play; his labor and his leisure; his mind and his body; his education and his recreation. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence through whatever he is doing, and leaves others to determine whether he is working or playing. To himself, he always appears to be doing both."

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Wayne Hemingway - The Story So Far

One of the perks of my job at Glasgow Concert Halls is being involved in the smooth running of some very interesting events and great gigs.

Tonight was one such example as I was working at the Wayne Hemingway - The Story So Far talk at The Old Fruitmarket.

Wayne Hemingway is bringing his award-winning Vintage Festival north to Scotland for the first time this July as part of the Merchant City Festival 2013.

The Red or Dead co-founder had a shop in Glasgow's Buchanan Street in the mid-nineties, and is delighted to be back! As well as producing Vintage Glasgow, Wayne and Gerardine Hemingway will be mentoring up-and-coming students, artists, and designers in Scotland.


Wayne and Gerardine started their fashion empire from a stall in Camden market in 1981 and built up a multinational brand in the shape of Red or Dead. Now they design everything from social housing to sofas.

Wayne talked about how his career has developed, starting off with Red or Dead, moving on to multi-disciplinary social design agency Hemingway Design, and the Vintage Festival brand. 

He challenged the notion of needing an architecture degree in order to design housing, stating that the experience of living in social housing throughout his life meant that he knows what is necessary to design excellent social housing.

Rather like how I was taught on my Environmental Art degree Wayne believes specific practical skills can be learned as and when necessary, but ideas and the desire to change the world for the better comes from within the individual and life experiences can be invaluable.

I enjoy having an art practice that is varied, working in different materials and being involved in different activities, and Wayne expressed a similar wish to have a diverse practice.

I am looking forward to experiencing Vintage Glasgow in July as part of the Merchant City Festival.

Vintage Glasgow is produced in Scotland by The DollsHouse in partnership with Hemingway Design  

For more information please visit

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Motherwell Concert Hall and Theatre

This afternoon I had a trip to Motherwell to meet with Anne-Louise Kieran, the Visual Arts Development Officer for North Lanarkshire Council. Anne-Louise has invited me to exhibit my work at Motherwell Concert Hall and Theatre later this year, and asked if I would be interested in running a couple of day workshops with children to coincide with my exhibition.

Our meeting today was to discuss the practical issues relating to the exhibition such as install and destall details, insurance, framing the work, and also discuss the workshops.

The current exhibition is work by artist and printmaker Bronwen Sleigh. Her work is "an exploration  of tangible spaces."

"She undertakes this investigation through a process of photography, model making and etching which in its final presentation creates an abstract notion of the original space."

My exhibition will run from 4 September 2013 until 30 October 2013.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Carol Bove - The Foamy Saliva of a Horse at The Common Guild

Carol Bove
The Foamy Saliva of a Horse
The Common Guild
20 April – 29 June 2013
21 Woodlands Terrace, Glasgow, G3 6DF

The Foamy Saliva of a Horse
Mixed media on MDF plinth

"Driftwood, peacock feathers, seashells, books and concrete all appear in the work of New York-based artist Carol Bove. In exquisite installations that combine an array of found and fabricated elements, Bove demonstrates an intense understanding of display through the collection of plinths, frames, supports and stands that become as much part of the work as the items they hold.

Presenting objects and artefacts in arrangements that heighten the symbolic meaning and relationship between them, Bove’s meticulous assemblages bring to the fore the cultural, spiritual, mystical and even psychological associations that adhere to objects through time.
This exhibition at The Common Guild comprises a re-arrangement of her highly acclaimed installation ‘The Foamy Saliva of a Horse’ (2011), which was presented at the 54th Venice Biennale. Featuring a collection of found and hand-made objects, such as a piece of driftwood suspended in a polished bronze frame, the installation brings together seemingly random (and even contradictory) objects that, while natural in origin, call to mind the artifice of cultural value and meaning.

This is the first public exhibition of Bove’s work in the UK. It follows her participation in several important international exhibitions including the 54th Venice Biennale in 2011 and dOCUMENTA (13) in 2012, in which she realised her first outdoor work.
Installation view of The Foamy Saliva of a Horse (2011) at the 54th Venice Biennale, Venice, in 2011"

Installation view of The Foamy Saliva of a Horse (2011) at the 54th Venice Biennale, Venice, in 2011

The Foamy Saliva of a Horse
Mixed media on MDF plinth

The Foamy Saliva of a Horse (2011) consists of lots of elements which could be seen as separate works in their own right. I am interested in the notion that the work can be presented entirely differently, but remains the same piece of work. When presented at the 54th Venice Biennale, The Foamy Saliva of a Horse, was displayed on a huge plinth, whereas in the current exhibition at The Common Guild (2013), the objects are displayed on the floor, and occupy different rooms in the domestic home setting of The Common Guild.

The experience of viewing The Foamy Saliva of a Horse would be completely different depending on where it was exhibited.

The upstairs room at The Common Guild housed a large rug-like rectangle of peacock feathers next to a metal screen, along with a couple of other objects. The metal screen could be stood in, and had an architectural presence. However, I imagine that this would have been rather different when seen at the Venice Biennale because it would stand on the plinth and therefore may be have seen as an object.

Unfortunately,  I was not able to attend the Friday Event with Carol Bove speaking about her work, but I look forward to watching the video footage of the event.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Artists' BookMarket at The Fruitmarket Gallery

Lots of familiar faces from Glasgow International Artists Bookfair are participating in Artists' BookMarket at The Fruitmarket Gallery this Saturday.

Artists' BookMarket

The Fruitmarket Gallery is excited to introduce the third Artists’ BookMarket, this April. The Gallery will transform into a marketplace where you will find unique artists’ books and publications for sale, come face to face with the artists who make them and join in book-making workshops. Stallholders are travelling to the Gallery from far and wide. You’ll find work to interest you from the likes of Switzerland, Canada, London and of course a bit closer to home too.

Free talks, readings and workshops from the stars of artists’ publishing run throughout the day. Sign up in advance for Isabell Buenz’s 11.30am workshop on altered books, come along with a disused paper or hardback book and have fun learning how to fold, cut, tear and transform it into a piece of sculptural art.

Don’t miss the special offer where you will find Fruitmarket Gallery titles at wholesale prices and there’s rare chance to see the Gallery’s full range of limited edition artworks hung for sale. The Fruitmarket Gallery Café will be open throughout serving freshly prepared lunches and cakes to provide sustenance in between browsing outstanding bookworks.

Participants include: Aglu • Artist Book Collective • The Artists Book Group • Book Works • The Caseroom Press • Commingle Press • David Faithfull • ECA Illustration • Electric Bookshop • Essence Press • Fillip Magazine • Hestan Isle Press • Isabell Buenz • James Sharp • Jane Hyslop • Jennifer Pettigrew • Jenny Smith • Kieran Dodds • Laini Christmas • Made by Lara • morning star • Moschatel Press • Natalie McIlroy • Owl and Lion • Pushpin Zines • sine wave peak • Stichill Marigold Press • Tessa Ransford • Tracy Mackenna and Edwin Janssen • Wil Freeborn.

Please find below the programme of free talks, events and workshops happening throughout the day:

11.30 – Isabell Buenz
Paper artist Isabell Buenz leads a workshop on ‘altered books’. Come along with a disused paper or hardback book and have fun learning how to fold, cut, tear and transform it into a piece of sculptural art.

Isabell has lived in Scotland for over 20 years. After teaching photography and expressive arts in Germany and Scotland, she has concentrated on exploring paper for her own artwork. This versatile material is the perfect medium for Isabell’s unique artists’ books, paper sculptures, installations, and her collections of whimsical paper shoes. Over the last few years the artist has investigated altered books, finding it very satisfying to create new treasures from otherwise discarded books.

Book for this free workshop by calling The Fruitmarket Gallery bookshop on 0131 226 8181.

11.45 – Natalie McIlroy
Installation and video artist, Natalie McIlroy, will discuss her recent series of artist booklets titled Archivo Ahora created whilst on residency in Belalcazer, Spain last year. Combining performance, photographic archive material and sculptural elements, the books investigate both the passage and stillness of time. The limited edition of the booklets paired with handmade Spanish leather envelopes will be on sale throughout the day.

12.30pm – Ken Cockburn
Ken Cockburn will read from Snapdragon part of a new series of poetry books from The Caseroom Press called Caseroom Translations. This is the first in a projected series of bilingual publications featuring a selection of the best contemporary poetry from Europe and beyond. Snapdragon features the work of the German poet Arne Rautenberg and features design and illustrations for the covers and end-papers by Jantze Tullett.

1.30 – Tessa Ransford
Tessa will be reading from her publication Don't Mention This to Anyone: Poems and Prose Fragments of a Life in the Punjab. Inspired by the rediscovery of an Urdu phrasebook, Ransford takes the reader on a journey to explore the differences between ‘then’ and ‘now’, linking the reader to a world now lost to most. These poems question what it is to be both British and Indian, drawing on the author’s memories and experiences to celebrate and uncover an ‘Indian’ self. This collection of poems reveals the influences that have been formative over four decades of Tessa Ransford’s writings.

2.15 – Artist Book Collective
The presentation will be a short history of Artist Book Collective and the use of social media to create exhibition opportunities and build relationships between artists.

2.45pm Owl & Lion
Owl and Lion will be running a workshop to make a delightful star book with cut out designs.

Owl & Lion is an artistic endeavour led by Master Bookbinder Isabelle Ting. Bringing together fine binding, hand printing, letter press and teaching, the Owl & Lion has an imaginative identity and skilled craftsmanship that stands apart from factory made goods on the high street.

3.00 – Jenny Smith
Jenny Smith will talk about her new artist book “What is the best advice you have been given?” and the project that inspired it. She will also discuss some of her favourite laser cut artist books, by other contemporary artists.

3.45 – Electric Bookshop
Electric Bookshop brings together people with a common interest in technology, literature, design and publishing to meet and talk about the brave new world of books in the digital age. They'll be telling us what Electric Bookshop is all about, and discussing their Alt-W funded project Pressed For Time, a publishing time-machine, which will provide unexpected and immersive experiences for intrepid book readers.'

4.30 – Tracy Mackenna and Edwin Janssen
Artists Tracy Mackenna and Edwin Janssen have collaborated since 1997 after meeting as participants in the biennial Manifesta1. Their diverse combined practice encompasses publishing, often utilising their own occasional ‘Ed and Ellis Productions’ imprint. The request to talk about the place of publishing within their practice at Artists’ BookMarket prompted them to devise the new publication 'Published Matter: A Talk in 24 Cards’. This publication will be launched at the Artists’ BookMarket for the special price of £19.97.

New Work Scotland Programme Symposium

Looks like this event will be really interesting...

New Work Scotland Programme
Symposium | Part 2 

New Work Scotland Programme Symposium
Part 2
Thursday 25 April | 6-8pm

This event will consider how international organisations and curators support and work with emergent practitioners and how a residency opportunity can develop an artist's practice and networks.

Speakers will include; Devrim Bayar, curator WIELS, Brussels; Daniella King, recently curator, MASS Alexandria, Egypt and Fiona Jardine, artist and writer.

A selection of work by artists who participated in the MASS programme will be screened as part of the event.  

Devrim Bayar is curator at WIELS Contemporary Art Centre and teaches contemporary art at La Cambre School of Visual Arts in Brussels. She was editor-in-chief of CODE Magazine between 2005 and 2009.

WIELS Contemporary Art Centre focuses on presenting temporary exhibitions by national and international artists, both emerging and more established. In addition to regular exhibitions, WIELS houses nine residencies for young artists and an active education programme. WIELS Residency Programme is an international laboratory for talented emerging artists from all over the world. WIELS provides a unique framework for artists to pursue their practice and engage in current debates and research, which examines the potentials of contemporary artistic production.

Fiona Jardine is an artist, writer and curator based in Glasgow. Fiona studied at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, Dundee and is a graduate of the MFA at Glasgow School of Art. Since graduation in 2003, she has exhibited widely in cities in the UK as well as Rotterdam, Mexico City, Athens, Antwerp, New York, Paris and Montreal. Fiona is currently pursuing a PhD programme of research at the University of Wolverhampton.

Fiona completed a residency in Beijing as part of Collective's, How to Turn the World by Hand programme, which formed part of her research in her exhibition Five Foot Shelf that took place at Collective in 2012.

Daniella King is a curator and writer, currently resident in London. Most recently she was Programme Curator at MASS Alexandria, an independent study and studio programme for artists in Egypt. She recently contributed to The Right Dissonance (London, 2011) a collection of interviews between emerging curators and artists and Hatje Cantz's, On One Side of the Same Water: Artistic Practice between Tirana and Tangier (Germany, 2012) and has written for Frieze, Art Monthly, Ibraaz (where she is an editorial correspondent), Universes in Universe - Worlds of Art, Portal 9, and Harper's Bazaar Art.

MASS Alexandria was founded in 2010 by the Alexandria artist Wael Shawky and provides an opportunity for independent study and learning for artists in Egypt. Through its programme, MASS Alexandria aims to complement existing art education schemes, with a focus on the conceptual aspects of artistic production. Monthly workshops, seminars and lectures are led by artists, art educators and curators. Through the exploration of contemporary artistic practices, the programme also encourages students to work closely with cultural, artistic and scientific ideas in the fields of art history and theory and inter-disciplinary studies. 

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Farewell to Gallery 3

Having spent the weekend getting yet more documentation and then packing all the work, the time had come to move everything from the gallery.

The legend that is Kev helped load up the van and we took the majority of the work to my studio. Thank goodness that the lift was working as there was a lot of stuff to take up the three flights of stairs!

My studio is now crammed full, and it will take me a good while to sort through everything and clear some space for me to make work!

We then returned to the gallery to load the remaining sculptures into the van, and then delivered these to the Briggait where they will be exhibited for a while.

Monday, 15 April 2013

In conversation

Debbie kindly offered to take some photos during the event on Thursday evening, and here they are!

We are all looking at the door because one of the mischievous  little boys who often pulled the shutters down on me when I was inside, popped into the gallery in the middle of our discussion.

We managed to get rid of him by supplying him with a stash of cakes!

Friday, 12 April 2013

In conversation event

Thanks to everyone who attended the event at Market Gallery tonight where I was in conversation with Julie-Ann Delaney (curator at National Galleries, Edinburgh) and Martin Craig (Learning and Access curator, GoMA, Glasgow).

Topics we discussed included the issues of labelling work, medium specificity, the process of making work, accessibility, titling work, and how the residency has impacted on my practice.

I am very grateful to Martin and Julie-Ann for agreeing to speak and for sharing with us their experience and insights.

Thanks also to the committee and the wonderful Market Gallery volunteers who, yet again, provided valuable assistance and documented the event.

I hope to share the documentation with you once it has been edited, so keep checking the blog.

I'm disappointed that the exhibition is in its final day now, and that this weekend will be spent de-stalling the work, wrapping it and moving it, but some of the works will be exhibited again in different venues, details of which I will reveal in due course.

Monday, 8 April 2013

Helen Shaddock in conversation with Martin Craig and Julie-Ann Delaney - Thursday 11th April - 6-8pm - Market Gallery



Helen Shaddock in conversation with Martin Craig, Learning & Access Curator, GoMA and Julie-Ann Delaney, Curator, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.

Thursday 11th April
Gallery 3, Market Gallery

Coinciding with her current Studio Project exhibition at Market Gallery, Helen Shaddock will discuss her work with Martin Craig, Learning & Access Curator, GoMA and Julie-Ann Delaney, Curator, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.

Topics to be covered include interdisciplinarity, sculpture and painting in relation to Shaddock's work.

Refreshments provided.