A lovely video I discovered on the Those Who Make blog
Bideana ChlasThuill (An Teallach)
Meall a’Chrasgaidh (Fannaichs)
Mullach an Rathain (Liathach)
Ruadh-stac Mor (Beinn Eighe)
Sgurr Fiona (An Teallach)
Sgùrr Mhòr (Beinn Alligin)
Sgurr Mor (Fannaichs)
Spidean a’ Choire Lèith (Liathach)
Spidean Coire nan Clach (Beinn Eighe)
Tom na Gruagaich (An Teallach)
I spent last week in Edinburgh exploring just a few of the thousands of arts events taking place as part of the Edinburgh Festivals. As well as taking in a number of performances as part of the Fringe Festival I also took in some of the exhibitions that comprise the Edinburgh Art Festival including the current exhibition by Ingrid Calame at The Fruitmarket Gallery.
Calame creates works from a very meticulous and obsessive process through which she traces the marks on the floors and walls available at numerous urban locations. The traces of the stains, scratches, cracks and other marks are taken back to the studio where they are compiled and arranged into the finished works.
The exhibition consists of a number of paintings and drawings by the artist with newer works being displayed in the first floor galleries along with a site specific wall drawing created especially for the show. Upon entering the gallery I was greeted with a large work, sspspss…UM biddle BOP, created from mint green enamel paint on trace Mylar. Unlike the other paintings on show this work felt a lot more lively and fluid. I can only assume that the work was created through the same meticulous process that Calame applies to the rest of the work yet this piece appeared like it was constructed from large splashes and splatters of paint.
Of all the paintings on show this was certainly the most interesting. I found it difficult to find any real depth in the other smaller paintings on display, such as …puEEp… (pictured above). These smaller works just didn’t seem to convey the energy that was visible within the large opening piece nor the references to sense of place that was apparent within the drawings that I came to later. These painting are created by taking traces back to the studio and combining them, retracing and layering them. Each step in the process takes the work one step further away from the original source and I felt that this was apparent within the final images.
Although these paintings were very aesthetically pleasing it was the drawings on display that really grabbed my attention. The traces collected on location are taken back to the studio and layered into what Calame calls a Constellation from which she traces parts of the originals layered together into new drawings.
Many of the drawings on display in this exhibition are drawn in brightly coloured pencil, sometimes layered on top of one another and occasionally providing a graduated swathe of colour across the works’ surface. The drawings appear like alien maps that are impossible to read but that I still wanted to dive into an explore. Both sides of the trace Mylar are used which gives many of the works a slightly strange sense of depth whilst following the lines around the surface of the work.
Some of the drawings contain recognisable elements such as the numbers apparent in the traces obtained from the floors of the ArcelorMittal steel factory. These works might have had less of an alien appearance to those more abstract drawings but the sense of place and time was intense. Of course I have not visited the said factory and have no knowledge of it beyond these works but the works conveyed the history of the place as if Calame had perfectly captured that moment that she was there.
The use of both sides of the Mylar was most apparent in a number of more recent drawings hung in the first floor gallery. These large works, created in monochrome grey pencil, are densley packed with marks which all appear to be on the same plane rather than the result of layering a number of original traces. Parts of the drawings have only been completed on the reverse leaving muted opaque areas which caused a strange discomfort when viewed from a distance.
In addition to the new works on the first floor there is a large site specific wall drawing. Unlike the other works this is created from bags of pigment which have been pounded at the wall through very finely punched Mylar. Although the materials are different the artist’s meticulous approach is apparent. The energy which must have been expended in creating this work is visible through the radial bursts of pigment on the wall. Like the other drawings on display it is easy to get lost in the work following a line, exploring hundreds of different explosions of pigments or wandering through the inbetween the spaces.
Ingrid Calame’s exhibition at The Fruitmarket Gallery continues until 9 October 2011. I’d highly recommend dropping in to see it if you find yourself in Edinburgh.
This is my first ever Super8 film. It was shot at Reiff in the far flung North West of Scotland.
The film has been converted to a digital format via a very simple telesync process.
It’s a very rough film as it was my first so you’ll notice periods of the footage that are rather out of focus as a result of my trying to et to grips with the camera. Now that I have a digital version of it I’m hoping to use it as a canvas with which to experiment.
The Spider & The Fly Gallery in Edinburgh opens on the 24 July 2010. As well as stocking a range of art and design work it will host a range of workshops. drop in sessions and other exciting events.
In addition to this it will also be hosting the Cut-Click Mail Art exhibition, featuring a little something by yours truly, from the 24 July 2010 until it heads down to the Milkwood Gallery in Cardiff for the 13 August 2010.
The Spider & The Fly
65 Bread Street
For more information visit www.thespiderandthefly.co.uk