Friday, 19 October 2012

Monument II

An example of one of the paintings I did for my recent painting at the Old Ambulance Depot.
Starting off with the patenation of the copper I drew on the design for the monument (based on various monumental places around the world). This painting was done as a double to the other painting I made for the exhibition called Monument which showed a German WWI monument, run down but brooding.

Monday, 6 August 2012

The Making of It - By Alex Tobin

Alex Tobin has written an article about the recent exhibition I took part in 'The Making of It'. It outlines the exhibitors and his thoughts about the exhibition.. enjoy!

The Making of “The Making Of It”
Alex Tobin

It’s raining heavily when Augustus Veinoglou lets me into the Old Ambulance Depot. Outside the Depot, an increasing layer of water floats the building like an artificial island. Indoors, curators Veinoglou, Scott McCracken and Allan J Robertson have coordinated a series of highly consonant installations into a sort of pan-European archipelago. It seems feasible that The Making of It might have floated here.
Two hours before opening, the exhibition is more-or-less ready to go. Everyone is busily squatting around something: Deniz Guvensoy and Irfan Donmez around the bundles of red Turkish flag balloons they are preparing; Veinoglou, McCracken and Clare Flatley around laptops, talking with Swiss artists Dominik Lipp and Bruno Schlatter over Skype. Lipp, currently shirtless, is gesturing excitedly to a massive felt-tip pen wall-chart behind him in Switzerland. He and Schlatter will be conducting a game of something-like-chess with the crowd here in Edinburgh. As a test run, I roll some dice and show them to the MacBook camera he’s viewing the exhibition through, for which he thanks me profusely.
This casual ease of international communication is a recurrent theme in the exhibition. The assembled works, based on notions of process, represent a fictional European utopia where national boundaries are fluid and pass through each other. For all the disparate cultures present, the works are surprisingly congruous, and communicate fluently. As you walk around the space, fragments of sculptures and paintings disassociate themselves from each other: budding off into independent organisms, or serendipitously coinciding with their neighbours. The whole exhibition is vividly fractal in nature – humorous, colourful, resembling itself at each level.
Talking to Veinoglou and McCracken, this visual affinity sounds more fortuitous than planned. The show has grown naturally from acquaintance and good networking. Each work was developed in the space in accordance with the central stimulus, “Process”. This organic development works in the exhibition’s favour, producing a great amount of visual rhyme and thematic consistency. Eilidh McPherson’s colourful painting Do the fish even know it’s raining?, for example, sits next to McCracken’s The Uncertainty like a close sibling. Flatley’s Process and Veinoglou’s Newcomer neatly benefit from their closeness to each other, each amplifying the other’s structural motifs.
Martin Campbell’s Interactive Workshop dominates the entrance to the exhibition. It’s intriguingly joyful and technical in equal measure – a functional wax-making workspace cast as installation. Later in the exhibition, Campbell will hold an actual workshop here. Joseph Calleja’s – a row of glass panels held under its own weight by a clamp – is tense, eerie and fragile, and seems to defy physics. Roz McKenzie does something very different with glass: her Greed and Puff Piece are political and quite hilarious.
While The Making Of It posits an alternate version of Europe, Donmez’s Alternate Body reconfigures human anatomy in a similar fashion, to particularly squeamish effect. It may be enlightening to imagine the countries of Europe changing places with each other – the same thought experiment with organs is unsettling. Andrew Smith’s series of textured paintings are similarly disquieting – somewhat dark in tone, depicting corrosion of buildings and people.
Niko Mantzios’ The End of the Protagonists and Robertson’s Hinterland share a clean graphic style and urban subject matter. Where Hinterland is stark and bright, Protagonists is warm and quirky. Guvensoy’s Bosphorus considers the titular Strait at the edge of Europe. Pyramidal stacks of Turkish flag balloons surmount a series of map-based meditations on boundaries and coastlines. Taking up the wall at the end of the Ambulance Depot, Bosphorus is an appropriate demarcation of the exhibition’s border, marking the edge of this crypto-European archipelago. Outside the Old Ambulance Depot, a Bosphorus made of rainwater cuts us off from continental Edinburgh.
Union (or ununion) is currently a prominent element of public discourse. The Eurozone is newly introspective; Scotland is considering what being a “nation” should mean. The Making Of It proposes a method of union at the human, sociocultural level. It emphasises the value of cultural networks and fortuitous international acquaintance – celebrating altruistic interaction beyond the constraints of national boundaries.

Friday, 3 August 2012

The Making Of It.. The making of

These are some pictures showing the progress of a painting I made for my recent group exhibition, the 'Making Of It'. The painting is Untitled at the present. I used a large very thick piece of wood to make the painting on, several people commented that they thought it was a door frame.

After sanding, priming, sanding, priming etc. I drew out the figure and blocked in the basics. 

More blocking, and no he has not got a terrible disease...

Once I had blocked in the figure I started building up the layers on the face and hands.

Then the coat got some colour and I roughly painted in areas of shade. More layers on face/hands as well.

Once I had finished the coat area I began on the blue checked fabric at the bottom, adding in light and shade.

Then colour to the background.

I then started to paint in the face and hands. This was followed by more detail on the blue check and the background.

I then thickened the black line around the homeless man to increase contrast.

Several steps ahead... I have completed the background by adding various layers of colour and added concrete to the surface.

The final step was to add in the metal poles of the railings. This was doled on to the surface and sanded to a smooth consistency. 

And voila!

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Making of It.. Opening

The opening for 'The making of it' was very successful, despite the truly abysmal weather! There was a great turn out with many people braving the torrential rain to come. The performance piece by Dominik Lipp and Bruno Schlatter went very well too with much participation. The event was filmed and I will post the video once someone sends it to me.

People generally milling around the exhibition. Note Martin Campbells coloured wax bowls on the right, he will be doing an interactive workshop with the public on Saturday.

The performance being set up via Skype.

Bruno and Dominik.

The performance involved Dominik and Bruno giving instructions to members of the public they chose (via a camera on our end so they could see the crowd) who they then told to draw certain things on to the board they were being projected onto. This continued until the board had been covered and at the end of the night when everything was shut off the final results could be seen.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Making Of It - Hanging

Here are some pics of the hanging of The Making Of It.

This shows the venue itself, just of Brunswick Street. It is a nice place to exhibit, just down a vennel and just off Leith Walk itself. The space was pretty huge which was useful to accommodate all the artists involved! The space is run by an advertising agency in the building in the background, they were very helpful with all aspects of the show.

Myself and Scott discussing hanging.

 Scott painting the wall as part of the installation of his painting.

Allan doing his thing... Allan is going to paint his picture throughout the exhibition resulting in a sort of 'performance' throughout the exhibition. If you go in on the opening the painting will have altered by the end of the exhibition. He got stuck in straight after hanging to get a head start.

And Augustus' work being set up

The exhibition opens on the 16th of June from 6pm till 9pm and is open everyday thereafter until the Thursday the 28th for Leith Late.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

The Making Of It

Towards the end of this month I am taking part in an exhibition at the Old Ambulance Depot on Brunswick Street in Leith. The exhibition runs from Saturday the 17th June until Thursday the 28th June. It is open 6-9pm on the 17th for a preview and during the week it is open 10am-5pm with a special late opening event on the last day to coincide with the Leith Late festival.

This exhibition involves 14 artists from around Europe working with totally different mediums/subject matters. It should make for an enjoyable and ever changing exhibition! As well as 2D works there will also be live performances by Martin Campbell, Augustus Veinoglou and Dominik Lipp. Also some of the artists, for example Allan Robertson, intend to make paintings during the duration of the exhibition allowing visitors to see the space changing if the keep coming back. We also have a dedicated blog for the duration of the exhibition were we will be posting images and video of the performances and other artwork in the exhibition -  

We are also involved in two festivals for the duration of the exhibition - firstly the Embassy Annuale and Leith Late festival on the closing night from 6-9pm.

 There is a map for Leith Late so you can go to all the venues on the night:

Friday, 11 May 2012

Damaged Painting

At my recent exhibition in the Whitespace Gallery I was photographing some paintings for my upcoming exhibition at the Old Ambulance Depot (Entitled 'The Making Of') including the below image. And while doing this I managed to drop said painting flat on its face smashing the rather sensitive bottom section.. I was obviously pee'd off with myself. However this was a good opportunity to re-make and renew the painting as a whole. I managed to, Time Team style, attach many fragments of cement back onto the board by cleverly guessing where they had been before. Once done I added a fresh (souped up) layer of cement to fill in the cracks, I have now finished the empty areas once more and am once again quite pleased with the results. I remember seeing when I was in Germany, a refurbished synagogue in which they had glued the fragments of paint back on to the walls individually and exactly where they had come of the walls. I was giddily excited by this insane attention to detail and the finished product was quite amazing and this little project made me think of that. 

Anyway the below painting will not be in my upcoming exhibition but is going to feature in some future plans... I will be posting more info on the upcoming exhibition soon

Photo of damaged painting after repair

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Whitespace Exhibition

My recent exhibition at the Whitespace Gallery was a show involving myself and Roz McKenzie. The work was a mixture of drawings, painting and contemporary stained glass. To see more of Roz's work click on the link above.. 

Roz's stained glass panels were in lightboxes which we built ourselves and hung on a particular wall of the gallery to get the right level of light (direct light from strip lights on the panels would have ruined the effect).


My work mostly involved drawings but included the watercolours and oil painting hung on this particular wall. The big painting is titled 'Arsenic Mine' and is based on drawings and photographs I took in Cornwall of abandoned arsenic mines which ran down to the cliff edges. I have previous posts on this blog and my other website. The watercolours were looking at 10 Downing Street and the Houses of Parliament. I was interested in the odd way in which these places represented the heart of our 'democracy' while at the same time looking like a cage. I found the image of tourists staring at fairly mundane scenes through bars at the police officers within like some sort of bizarre zoo. 

More hanging Roz's stained glass panels.

These small drawings took up the last wall of the gallery, they were all drawings I have done in-situ. They are mostly from the various places I have been in the previous year - Wells, Erfurt and paderborn. These drawings represent a sort of travelogue of my travels.

Downing Street/Parliament watercolours with reflections.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Redruth and the world of tomorrow...

Having just finished my last exhibition at the Whitespace gallery and I am now in the process of making work for the next one I am having in June. This exhibition will be quite an exciting event involving artists from a wide variety of countries and backgrounds/styles. Watch this space for more info...

As part of my proposal I plan to show a quadriptych of paintings with the each showing a different aspect of the others paintings in some respect. I am examining what I think of large scale utopian dreams with the often harsh reality of these movements. The obvious ones being nazism, communism and 60s building programmes. 

Despite this I am an idealist! I love both the run down gritty side of the city but also find the architecture of various utopian dreams fascinating as well.

To this end I am painting the images below as part of the series of 4:

Redruth, Cornwall. This image is a painting of a building that stood next to the main station in Redruth, in a twist of fate the building apparently no longer exists. I like the idea that my painting shows a ghost image of what was and that in the duration of painting this it ceased to exist.. With this image I am looking at the anomalies that exists within a culture such as our own in Britain, at once vastly wealthy and yet deprivation and ruin still exists. A non-utopian ideal.

'The world of a past-present, today', collaged imagery. This painting is taking various images and collaging them together. In this picture I am looking at the utopian ideal of clean lines, straight buildings and huge plazas. But even in this image I am looking at creating a sense of unease, the image is empty - no people or any nature either. And the building could just as easily be a prison as a modernist housing block.
The sky was an important element for me in this painting - lifting the eye above the area at the bottom of the painting but also heightening the sense of emptiness of the city. 

I hope to show these paintings plus 2 more and one large piece (space permitting!) in the next exhibition.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Exhibition at the Whitespace Gallery Edinburgh

I am having an exhibition at the Whitespace Gallery in Edinburgh from the 10th till the 15th March. It will be open daily between 11am and 4pm. The opening is on the 10th and drinks will be served! We hope to see you along, the address us 11 Gayfield Square, Edinburgh, EH1 3NT.

Below are examples of some of the works to be exhibited: