Category: Artistic Research

Beyond Realism – Dada and Surrealism: Modern 1 Visit 11/12/20

Collection of DADA print material

Sheer and unrestrained, innocent joy at seeing these pieces displayed in the gallery. I found them after having walked round one wall of the exhibition, not recognising nor being impressed by much of the collection, I went to look over this glass cabinet, and wow! DADA! Spent a while looking at the contents, couldn’t translate any of it of course but felt very happy and affirming to have seen these legendary objects not only in person but in a major gallery. – did think about the display of such pieces – the glass case is a bit underwhelming in a way that you can walk right past without realising what’s inside. Very emotionally stirring for me to see – but gallery setting flat and boring – not like the environment DADA was created in. Feels like DADA has been archived, put away with care in dustless but unstirring and tepid museum cabinets – wonder what Tzara would think of this conservation.

‘La Representation’, Rene Magritte, 1937

Fleshy. Thought the frame was cool and unusual. Flesh as object- frame packaging. Makes it somewhat more confrontational.

‘Lobster Telephone’, Salvador Dali and Edward James, 1938

‘Tableau Vivant’, Dorothea Tanning, 1954

Massive painting! Loved it, kinda weird – female artist done a big piece which is cool. Cool backstory.

Dorothea Tanning display case

Loved the recipe letter. This woman seems very interesting – must research further.

Max Ernst display case

Cool prints!

Misc Works: Modern 1 Visit 11/12/20

‘List of Names (Random)’ Douglas Gordon, 1990 – present.

Tickled me – on first glance appeared to be a memorial, actually a personal list of people the artist had met and remembered. Depiction of a lifespan/ social life/ human connections – surprised by scale of piece, didn’t realise just how many people the average person will meet and remember. Feels DADA-esque.

Henri Matisse, Jeannette II

‘Jeannette II’ Henri Matisse, 1910.

New Acquisition: La Prose du Transsibérien et de la Petite Jehanne de France  | Unframed

‘La Prose du transsibérien et de la petite Jehanne de France [Trans-Siberian Prose]’ Blaise Cendrars and Sonia Delaunay, 1913.

Part of the cubism exhibition, liked the form/shape of a long folded up collage, strange to see in an exhibition. Liked combination of text and colours.

Alan and Barbara Rawsthorne | National Galleries of Scotland

‘Alan and Barbara Rawsthorne’ Isabel Rawsthorne, 1966.

Female artist! Liked this better than the Damien Hirst next door.

‘Between Kilburn and Willesden Green, Winter Evening’ Leon Kossoff, 1992.

Industrial Belt | Art UK

‘Industrial Belt’ Carol Rhodes, 2006.

Reminded me of the ‘Boring Postcards’ book I read at LAU. ‘just far enough away to deny the viewer insight into the land below’ is an interesting dynamic. Voyeuristic in a strange way, like an alien lifeform spying on human development, what have the worker bees been up to kinda thing. Why would someone choose to paint this landscape?

‘Crucifixion II’ Craigie Aitchison, 1987-89.

Huge scale and bright colours makes it impressive. Don’t know what its about, feels wistful and surreal, like the crucifixion could be a desert mirage. Asymmetry makes it mysterious.

NOW Exhibition: Modern 1 Visit 11/12/20

‘Fullmoon@Bujuku’ Darren Almond, 2009.

A series of framed prints of long exposure photographs taken at night, by the light of a full moon. All photos seem to be daylight at first glance. Interesting idea – didn’t know was technologically possible. Photos mostly boring/run of the mill without context of process.

‘Progressive’ Shona MacNaughton, 2017. Photograph of performance.

“I was nine months pregnant, there was no getting away from that fact. The performance  had to incorporate this physical reality. As I looked at the the language used in local regeneration schemes their themes of new life at the sake of destruction of the old, seemed to echo the progress of my body at the time. The Baby Box, another state sanctioned scheme, which held items which seemed like a basic list to keep this new life alive, neatly doubled as a podium to (barely) keep my pregnant weight aloft, and allowed my self-turned political speech to be heard over the crowd.”

Performance/relational art/poetry thing. Interesting to see exhibited in a major gallery. Nice photos of event – captured energy. Liked that the scripts were displayed – scripts interesting – wonder if they were written before or after event. Should have spent more time looking at in gallery but was pressed.

‘Progressive’ Shona MacNaughton, 2017.

Not a huge fan of the curation of this piece. Think the photos should have been larger, lighting more dramatic. Cardboard pieces look a bit crap, although admire that they’re not behind barriers.

‘The Deccan Trap’ Lucy Raven, 2015. Photographic animation, colour, sound, 4:19 min.
Sound by Paul Corley.
Really liked this film, felt hypnotic as it was so short and repetitive, like continuously digging further and further down through layers of repeating matter – think Minecraft. Makes collage exciting. Only thing I didn’t like was the title text which was difficult to read and ineffective in the gallery setting.
Katie Paterson, Light bulb to Simulate Moonlight
‘Light bulb to Simulate Moonlight’ Katie Paterson, 2008 [exhibition view]
Light bulb to Simulate Moonlight was produced in conjunction with the lighting company OSRAM. It contains a sufficient quantity of light bulbs to provide a person with a lifetime supply of simulated moonlight. Each bulb burns for 2000 hours, and a ‘lifetime’ contains 289 bulbs, a calculation based on the average life-span for a human being alive in 2008 (when the artist produced the work). The viewer enters the darkened room and encounters a light bulb suspended on a long cable from the ceiling. The rest of the bulbs are lined up on shelves, awaiting their turn.”
Cool concept, was affected when I first saw it by how interesting the idea was. To me, looks a lot like moonlight, but Molly disagreed and seemed rather unimpressed. Inclusion of notebook sketches in exhibition a nice touch. An alternative measure of human life span? Artificial naturality – thinking about SAD, lights effect on mood, technology in future worlds. Sustainability and human impact on the planet. Not very interactive – in gallery doesn’t give much but the idea.
Exhibitions – Katie Paterson
‘Earth-Moon-Earth’ Katie Paterson, 2007.

“Earth-Moon-Earth (E.M.E.) radio is a form of transmission whereby messages are sent in Morse code from Earth, reflected off the surface of the Moon, and then received back on Earth. The Moon reflects only part of the information back: some is absorbed in its shadows or lost in its craters.

For this work, Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata was translated into Morse code and sent to the Moon. Returning to Earth fragmented by the Moon’s surface, this historical composition was then re-translated into a new score, the gaps and absences becoming intervals and rests. The “Moon-altered” piece is played on an automated grand piano.”

Nice piece, grand piano fills gallery space well, the automated playing fits the eerie tone of the idea- feels cold and empty and haunting like a trip to the moon. Liked the display of both scores, visual representation helps non-musicians to understand the piece, and it also looks rather pretty. Overall a nice independent piece but lacks heft. Cool way to make use of technology, blending the inaccessible code with widely enjoyed music.

Exhibitions – Katie Paterson
‘Totality’ Katie Paterson, 2016. [exhibition view]
“Nearly every solar eclipse documented by humankind has been brought together in a mirror ball. The images span drawings dating from hundreds of years ago through nineteenth-century photography and up to the most advanced telescopic technologies. Over 10,000 images reflect the progression of a solar eclipse across the room – from partial to total – mirroring the sequence of the Sun eclipsed by the Moon.”
Very cool idea, looks good in gallery, well pulled off – room could’ve been darker. Disco ball as an object is pretty, as well as a scientific collection of images. Physical way of experiencing manmade photographs – although also a manmade technology imitating a real natural occurrence. Mans answer to the solar eclipse? Fun experience in the gallery; interactive, emotive, affecting.
Overall, a great exhibition. Interesting, not too pretentious, good mix of objects and ideas. Good mix of mediums and strong individual artists.

Scottish National Gallery 29/10/2020

Sir Henry Raeburn, Major William Clunes, died 1830

Found it humorous that the first painting that greeted me/caught my eye upon entering the gallery was this huge horse’s rump. Funny to me that this was ever commissioned. Something weirdly provocative/domineering about it – big MASCULINE I AM A MAN energy. Animals in oil paintings represent wealth & status – Major William Clunes had a phatty? Poor horse.

John Singleton Copley, The Surrender of the Dutch Admiral de Winter to Admiral Duncan at the Battle of Camperdown (The Victory of Lord Duncan)

This painting represents the majority of pieces shown in this gallery/the old tradition of oil painting to me. All male, heroic poses and some duke dressed in his finest spotless uniform illuminated from the background workers. Boats and disasters – wins and losses and war and losses. In the gallery this painting is huge – takes up an entire wall, (and the walls are very big) – intended to be impressive but from modern eyes just screams of male narcissism and privilege. Not a fan.

Sir David Wilkie, General Sir David Baird Discovering the Body of Sultan Tippoo Sahib after having Captured Seringapatam, on the 4th May, 1799

A sign about reviewing gallery collections after recent events (BLM implied) accompanies this work in the gallery. It talks about colonialism and there’s some attempt at acknowledging British involvement/crimes. Not much of an effort tbh. I liked this painting much more in the gallery than online as it’s so big it takes up an entire wall, and as such the body of the sultan lays at eye level with the viewer, while the general is hidden by light reflections. I thought the lower part of the painting was quite beautiful, feeling very soft and intimate, almost romantic. I like that the display of the piece in such a way, intentional or not, changed the narrative and meaning of it, for me at least.

Thomas Gainsborough, The Honourable Mrs Graham (1757 - 1792)

I liked her dress, the fabric and trim detail looks absolutely beautiful, and she has gorgeous diamond shoes. I need a dress with that neckline and bust shape, and the pearls and central red jewel are beautiful. Noted in the gallery how pale this woman is painted – white like porcelain. Also thought that the display caption was rather romantic and mysterious.

Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, The Meeting of Anthony and Cleopatra

Funny pose – Cleopatra gives no fucks, I wish more women in these paintings had the attitude of staring over men’s heads like they pay them no second thoughts other than as servants.

Rembrandt (Rembrandt van Rijn), A Woman in Bed

Caught my eye because of the nude /naked debate (John Berger, Ways of Seeing) at first I thought it might be a genuine (semi)naked piece, the lady seems off guard and the posing is somewhat natural, however after having thought about it a bit more I’ve concluded that this is indeed more of the (semi) nude, as the women is clearly posed. The piece is also linked to a story from the Old Testament, of Sarah and Tobias, therefore making it a posed, staged, fake scene. The golden jewellery worn in the hair also points to this conclusion – what woman willingly sleeps in jewellery of her own accord.

Jan Lievens, Portrait of a Young Man

Probably my favourite piece seen today. Love it. Beautiful painting, light/colour/darkness/contrast is compelling, inviting, mysterious, antiquated, seductive, secretive. Robes painted to create a fine and supple texture. Compelling, intriguing and handsome face. The caption only adds to the intrigue “Once thought to be a self-portrait, the pose and costume of the sitter were probably significant in some way that is now unclear.” Lovely stuff.

Sir Henry Raeburn, Reverend Robert Walker (1755 - 1808) Skating on Duddingston Loch

This painting stands out from its surroundings because it looks almost surrealist in comparison to its neighbours. I think its a combination of subject, pose and background – but most notably the pose. Kinda weird and I think I liked it.

Pieter Jansz. Saenredam, The Interior of St Bavo's Church, Haarlem (the 'Grote Kerk')

Gorgeous, detailed, sense of place just from looking at it. My only critique is that while the artist has clearly tried to accentuate and dramatize the architecture to the utmost degree, in a manner that is mostly convincing, the figures on the left side of the piece don’t quite match the scale of the piece at all. They look like dwarves or mythical creatures because they are the same height as the pews. When I noticed this it distracted me from the grandeur and beauty of the painting, but also adds some charm and interest to the piece. The chandelier is particularly beautiful.

Not sure if meant to be an artwork or not – probably as it is cordoned off but I could not find a plaque for it. Would love to touch/lay on it. Inviting & seductive.

Cariani (Giovanni Busi), Portrait of a Young Woman as Saint Agatha

One of my favourite pieces at the gallery. Firstly I was caught by the face of the girl depicted, which seemed to me somewhat different from the typical oil-painted female face – she has more character and is therefore more realistic, I feel as though I’d like to get to know this woman. Secondly, the story behind the piece (and why she has a pair of breasts on a plate), a woman who was punished for refusing the advances of a man, but her expression in this piece is unbothered, she doesn’t look like someone to be pitied – a bad bitch from ancient times. Poss lesbian??

Paolo Caliari, Venus, Cupid and Mars

Kinda cool painting. Very big in the gallery, definitely a nude for the enjoyment of rich men, but I like that the man in this image is shrouded in shadow, a second thought as the artist didn’t include him in drawings or prepare his spot with white paint. Free the nipple. Also look at his weird ass FOOT. WHAT THE FUCK MAN HE WS DEFFO AN AFTERTHOUGHT HAHAHA

Night Walk For Edinburgh

‘Art Walk For Edinburgh’, Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller. Participated in/viewed 28/10/2020 at 8pm with mum and mums boyfriend.

Night Walk for Edinburgh; 2019; Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller - YouTube

“Following Janet Cardiff’s voice and walking in her footsteps, as you participate in Night Walk for Edinburgh you will be led through the backstreets of Edinburgh’s Old Town, unravelling a disjointed tale – part game-playing, part surrealistic poetry, perhaps even a murder mystery – layered with history, invention and memories. One of the biggest hits of last year’s Edinburgh International Festival, Cardiff and Miller’s Night Walk for Edinburgh is now a permanent part of The Fruitmarket Gallery’s collection. Commissioned for the city of Edinburgh by The Fruitmarket Gallery.

Night Walk for Edinburgh is a 50 minute walk through the Old Town of Edinburgh after dark. Following a film on your tablet or smart phone and a soundtrack on your headphones, you will walk up Advocate’s Close and along a route that weaves around the Royal Mile before returning to where you started. The route involves c.120 steps up and 30 down, and uneven ground, and is entirely in public, un-invigilated space. It is intended to be a solo experience, but as the walk is at night we suggest that you may want to enjoy it in pairs or small groups with a maximum of 6 allowed per slot. Although it is important that everyone has their own screen and headphones.”

^From the Fruitmarket Gallery website,INFORMATION,returning%20to%20where%20you%20started.

“‘Walking is like the flow of history. One footstep after another,
one event after another. Every time we choose an action or
direction we change everything that might have been.’
Night Walk for Edinburgh
Janet Cardiff (b.1957, Brussels, Ontario, Canada) and George Bures
Miller (b.1960, Vegreville, Alberta, Canada) last showed their work in
Edinburgh in 2008, with their Fruitmarket Gallery exhibition The House
of Books Has No Windows. They return to Edinburgh to explore its
streets in a new video walk. Cardiff and Miller have been making audio
walks since 1991, and began making video walks in 2001, for locations
across the world including San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
(2001), dOCUMENTA (13) in Kassel, Germany (2012), and the
13th Sydney Biennale (2014). The only other walk they have made for
the UK is The Missing Voice (Case Study B) (1999), an audio walk that
takes you through the streets of the East End of London from the
Whitechapel Gallery.”

“In both the audio and video walks, Cardiff ’s voice leads the listener’s
footsteps, gently nudging you along the route, whilst also offering
disjointed observations and reflections that as a whole weave a
nonlinear, and often unsettling, narrative. Filmed and edited by Miller
using a Steadicam and binaural sound recording, the video walks
– called ‘physical cinema’ by the artists – add a second layer to the
sensation of moving through the city. Created using multidirectional
microphones in place of ears, binaural recording results in a sound
environment that is spatially logical, and can often be difficult to
distinguish from its real world equivalent. The effect can be uncanny,
as sounds and images double up, merging fiction and reality, in turn
intensified by the dreamlike quality of Cardiff ’s voice.”

“Through such well-trodden streets, this is neither history walk nor
ghost walk, though it evokes both. Staged at twilight, it not only sits on
the threshold of day and night, but also slips between the gaps of the
usual tourist trails and guided walks, as you navigate the city obliquely,
as if on another plane of reality. At one point Cardiff says: ‘Sometimes
I don’t know if my imagination is leaking into my reality, or if I’m
remembering something.’ Repetitions of signs and figures accentuate
this feeling, flitting between the incidental and the significant, like
clues in a detective novel. Edinburgh emerges as a city of doubles, of
Jekyll and Hyde, of the old and the new, of parallel realities, mingled
with uncanny sightings of Cardiff ’s red-coated doppelgangers. This
atmosphere is redoubled when the screen glitches and jump cuts to
another reality, in which a forensic team appears to be investigating a
crime that took place on the streets through which you move. Who has
been killed? And when did this take place? Like Cardiff ’s unfinished
book, that she tells us she left on the plane, the walk does not offer
answers, creating unease – what have these streets seen?”

^From official guide for NWFE

^Some screenshots taken from about halfway through the video. Unfortunately I didn’t twig that I could screenshot the video earlier, otherwise I would have very much liked to have recorded a few of my favourite moments, such as the scene in the window near the very beginning, the horse statue and creepy men in glasses coming towards you, as well as Kathryn Joseph and Adam Clifford’s performances.

A very enjoyable experience. I loved the medium and the idea, blending reality and experience with film and fiction – a treat for the senses. I particularly enjoyed the audio, as mentioned above audio was recorded using multidirectional mics, so with headphones on the sounds are so eerily realistic that I found myself constantly unable to tell if they were coming from the film or not. There was one particular moment around the second-to-last screenshot I’ve included, where there are a group of menacing looking dark figures above you on the path, and the audio captures their speaking and the heavy breathing of a ventilation system to your right, and the vent is also really loud in real life, so the effect is really disconcerting and overwhelming and makes you feel incredibly paranoid – the narration also reaches a critical point here as she talks about the plot of a book which seems to match the films events and you really question the reality/narrative of the piece.


  • Guided walks as a medium to experiment/work with myself
  • Look into other Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller works and other walking tour works
  •  Love love love Kathryn Joseph’s performance – very unsettling and strange – been listening to her other songs 
  • Look into other performers
  • Wasn’t a fan of the more cliché fantastical elements – the poem notes and murder mystery/forensic team were a bit cheesy. Maybe I like less literal narratives for video work
  • Liked narrators passion for unusual vents – small details in the city that show craftsmanship
  • Would really like to do the tour again by myself but not sure I would feel safe
  • Like that you have to book tickets & turn up at a certain timeslot to allow the video to play – feels like more of an event/performance than if you could just do it whenever and view it on YouTube – more like an art piece? –does art to me have to have some element of exclusivity/removal??
  • Love relationship between film and viewer-entangling the viewer as participant – like the point where you go under the bridge where the violinist plays and you think a man may come up behind you because you’ve already seen it happen once – but you hadn’t seen the outcome
  • Liked that some of it almost felt like trespassing as it took me to places I didn’t know existed and didn’t know I was allowed to go – new places and details pointed out, new appreciation for the city but not in a too historical way
  • Audio audio audio audio

‘Room With a View’ – Google Arts & Culture

Films exhibited in Googles ‘Room With a View’, a collection of student work created during the coronavirus lockdown, curated by Amira Gad. 

‘Comprovate necessità’, Saladin Faroudi. Accademia di Belle Arti di Bologna. ‘It’s a personal response to crisis, uncertainty, and altered states of being.’ Sense of unease, pretty Spanish landscape eerily deserted + inclining noise, repetitive thuds. Liked use of audio.

‘Virus’, Sara Guerinoni. Accademia di Belle Arti di Bologna. Again lol ‘It’s a personal response to crisis, uncertainty, and altered states of being.’ Felt very accurate to young persons experience in covid times. Liked simple animation style – not too gaudy. Use of sound very effective – news reports closing in, v accurate. SpongeBob/fantasy is our break.

‘Viola’, Daniele Fugarese. Accademia di Belle Arti di Bologna. ‘The work wants to showcase the importance of personal priorities’. Pretty colours and set. Narrative of co-dependence/romantic relations/love/living in a bubble. Very nice, my favourite. Feels wistful for older romantic times, nostalgic. Echoes of history. Time. Time spent together, collecting, nesting, comfort. Idealist. Youth and old age.

‘Indoors’, Lorenzo Natuzzi. Accademia di Belle Arti di Bologna. ‘Indoor is a short video about a feeling, I always thought that my house was a safe place, but the quarantine took the safeness to another place, far from that walls, leaving the rooms empty like the streets during that time.’ Pretty shots, must’ve used a nice camera. Like that the scenes feel genuinely lived in. Nice clock editing to show time – sound v nice. Feels ghostly.

‘Memes’/Untitled, Sizuo Chen. Central Saint Martens. Deliberately weirdly animated fashion illustrations. Video as whole meh but liked the facial animation and combination with speech – really disconcerting, creepy, cool way of exhibiting otherwise average/boring drawings.

‘Bathroom’, Leonardo Lomurno. Accademia di Belle Arti di Bologna. Again ‘It’s a personal response to crisis, uncertainty, and altered states of being.’ Like this guys chin/lower lip piercing. Transitions between locations/moods/people v nice, emotive, confusing and agitated feel suited to corona experience. Like vaguely cyclical structure, house feels claustrophobic, maze-like or piled on top of each other. Some acting pretty cringe – reminder to myself to never grab my knees and contemplate life on a toilet (on film).

‘Karma’, Daphne Jiyeon Jang. The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh College of Art. ‘Jang’s ‘moving sculptures’, are designed to unravel the frozen time of antiquity and hint at hidden narrative meanings in the past, that still reverberates in the present.’ Like the idea of using a sites architecture in video projection – fucking with the fabric of a place. Chatter funny and makes you curious about the lives of the sculpture women – humanises them. Patterned overlay on dresses also humanises. Audio and filming could be better.

Bright Shadows: Scottish Art in the 1920s (City Art Centre)

Visited 06/10/20.

One room exhibition in the basement of City Art Centre. Varied collection (although almost all 2D work) and I enjoyed looking around. One annoying attendee playing a loud game on her phone. Family of gingers also in attendance.

‘Cecile Walton at Crianlarich’, Eric Harold Macbeth Robertson. Oil on canvas, 1920.

This piece is new to the gallery and as such was made the “face” of its ‘Bright Shadows’ exhibition. The hair, hat and build of the lady pictured certainly do scream 1920s so you can see why they chose it. In the gallery the accompanying information describes how this piece was scandalous and revolutionary for its time as the lady is painted nude in a relaxed, outdoor environment, she seems comfortable and in control, staring towards us, and indeed the sitter was the wife of the artist. I’m personally in two minds about the piece. While it is refreshing to see a nude where the lady seems relaxed and real, to me this still feels nude rather than naked. The sitter is deliberately posed, and even if the pose is relaxed this jars in my mind with the idea of her having more control. It also got me thinking about the exhibition of the piece and its use in promotional materials, particularly posters hung up around the city. To me, this doesn’t seem like a moment that was intended to be put on display to the public. Her body centres the piece, your eyes drawn to her flesh before even her face. It feels like a holiday snap, a moment shared between lovers, with the woman’s body admired under the males gaze. I wonder if she thought, while she was modelling for this painting, that her body would be used to advertise a City Art Centre exhibition 100 years later. The pair also divorced 7 years after the creation of this painting, with both of their careers falling apart shortly after and Eric turning to alcoholism. This piece perhaps then represents the bitter sweet happiness of the past, its resurfacing a little sad.

‘The Ramparts, Carcassonne’, James Mcintosh Patrick. Lino print on paper, 1927.

Really liked this piece in person – less so when viewing online.

‘The Pink House’, 1928 and ‘Iona, Mull and Ben More in the Distance’, 1929. Samuel John Peploe.

Peploe was one of the four Scottish Colourists – along with Cadell, Fergussen and Hunter. My favourite of the two pieces was ‘The Pink House’ because I found it really evocative of the feeling of being in a warm foreign street, on holiday and feeling free.

“The Scottish Colourist S.J. Peploe was first introduced to Iona in 1920 by his friend and fellow artist F.C.B. Cadell. He proceeded to return to the island almost every year until his death in 1935. The peaceful atmosphere offered him a sense of freedom and mental rejuvenation, while the brilliant white beaches proved an enduring source of inspiration. Peploe’s paintings of Iona cemented his reputation during the 1920s, and still remain among his most iconic works.

Rather than depict the grassy southern end of the island, the artist favoured painting in the north, taking advantage of the views towards Mull. He often worked outdoors, sometimes in a single sitting.”

Artwork by Alexander Graham Munro, KASBAH TAGUENDAFT, HIGH ATLAS, MOROCCO, Made of pastel

‘Kasbah Taguendaft, Morocco’, Alexander Graham Munro. Pastel on paper, 1920s.

This was my personal favourite piece in the exhibition. It is very beautiful in real life, the colours are absolutely gorgeous and the landscape dreamy, foreign, hidden in hills, mysterious and like something from a story.

‘Rest Time in Life Class’, Dorothy Johnstone. Oil on canvas, 1923.

“Dorothy Johnstone was just 16 when she enrolled at Edinburgh College of Art. Having excelled as a student, she joined the college’s teaching staff in 1914.

This painting offers a glimpse into one of Johnstone’s classes. A life model is shown taking a break from posing, while students discuss and refine their compositions. Johnstone herself appears in the top right corner, working at an easel.

Rest Time in the Life Class was displayed in 1924, the same year that Johnstone married the artist D.M. Sutherland. She was subsequently obliged to resign from her teaching position, as married women were barred from holding full-time posts. Although opportunities for women artists slowly improved during the 1920s, discrimination remained common.”

I liked the accompanying study portraits, and was interested by the story of the young artist at ECA.

‘Spring Morning’, David Gauld. Oil on canvas, 1927.

I was really drawn to this piece in the gallery. I liked how washed out the colours were, which, combined with the outskirtsy subject, made the scene appear dreamy and forgotten. I also liked the large scale, and found the choice of frame interesting (large, antiquated and brown).

“David Gauld is one of the lesser-known artists associated with the Glasgow Boys. During the 1880s and 1890s he was one of the innovators of the group, creating illustrations, paintings and stained glass designs with a strong Symbolist aesthetic.

Spring Morning is characteristic of his later work. Gauld was drawn to semi-derelict buildings in rural locations, and painted many such scenes of farmhouses, barns and mills glimpsed through trees. The setting of this picture has not yet been identified; it could be somewhere in Scotland or France.

Gauld was elected as a full member of the Royal Scottish Academy in 1924. This canvas was exhibited at the Academy’s annual exhibition in 1927.”

‘Daydreams’, Francis (Fra) Henry Newbery. Oil on canvas, 1920.

“a painter and art educationist, best known as director of the Glasgow School of Art between 1885 and 1917. Under his leadership the School developed an international reputation and was associated with the flourishing of Glasgow Style and the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his circle. Newbery helped commission Mackintosh as architect for the now famous School of Art building and was actively involved in its design.

Born in Devon to a shoemaker and his wife, Newbery went to school in Bridport, Dorset where he qualified as a teacher, and later as an art master. While working and studying in London he won an ‘Art Master in Training’ scholarship in 1881.

At the Glasgow School of Art he was a vigorous and innovative headmaster. He gave teaching posts to practising artists rather than relying on certificated art masters. He established an art club allowing students to branch out from the national art school course, and employed several women teachers, unlike most other UK art schools of the time. Newbery established craft workshops and introduced embroidery classes where his wife, Jessie Newbery, played an important part. Overall, he wanted students to have a strong training in traditional techniques, while developing their unique individual talent. His own painting was associated with the Glasgow Boys‘ and he was close to James Guthrie and John Lavery.”

Fra just seemed like a cool dude. He advocated for greater gender equality in arts teaching, and the Newbery family are apparently interesting artists.

City Art Centre at 40: Highlights from the City’s Art Collection

Visited 06/10/30 at around 2pm.

Small exhibit (one room), not much relating to my interests but still enjoyed the visit.

‘Rocks, St Mary’s, Scilly Isles’, Wilhelmina Barns-Graham. Oil on board, 1953.

Artist a friend of Barbara Hepworth. Surrealist natural forms/abstraction. Like smoothness and weird landscape.

‘Poppies’, George Henry. Oil on canvas, 1891.

Oriental inspiration. 2D-ness makes garden seem denser and secrets.

‘The Flight of the Swallows’, John Henry Lorimer. Oil on canvas, 1906.

Artist painted a number of paintings set in surroundings inspired by the beautiful Kellie Castle, where him and his architect/furniture designing younger brother Robert Lorimer holidayed in their youth. This piece reminds me of Peter Pan. The flight of the swallows is said to be allegorical of growing up and leaving childhood, hence the weeping girl to the left. A very beautiful painting to see in person – soft and dappled brush strokes and large in scale. I liked the reflections in the mirrors.

‘Irish’, Sol Lewitt. Set of eight prints with book and box, 1997.

Ian Hamilton Finlay, bookmarks. ‘Leaf leaf leaf bark’, 1978 and ‘Arbre (Tree)’, 1979.

Leaf/Bark was on display and I found Tree online. I like the simplicity, reminds me of my own use of postcards with simple prints. Never thought of using bookmarks before but I like that they have a vaguely practical but outdated use, like a postcard. Discardable object made exhibited artwork.

‘Terpsichore’, Maud Sulter. Photograph, 1989.

“This photograph is from a series of portraits of creative black women by Maud Sulter, who is of Ghanaian and Scottish parentage. The series is called Zabat and shows each woman as one of the nine Greek muses. The word Zabat describes an ancient ritual dance performed by women on occasions of power, and her use of it signifies Maud Sulter’s call for a repositioning of black women in the history of photography

The model here is the performance artist Delta Streete who had created the costume she is pictured wearing as part of a dance performance and installation called The Quizzing Class, which explored relationships between women, particularly that between slave and mistress. Here Streete is presented as Terpsichore, the muse of dance.

Maud Sulter produced the Zabat series for Rochdale Art Gallery in 1989, the 150th anniversary of the invention of photography. It was a direct response to the lack of a black presence at other celebratory events and exhibitions.”

Found it quite powerful & commanding in the gallery. Makes you rethink the pieces you’ve already seen and their lack of black subjects.

Not Pictured:

‘The Patched Fool’. Poetry book.

‘Three Poems In Exchange For Haiku’, Lorine Niedecker.

Views of Edinburgh at City Art Centre

‘National Gallery and Castle, Edinburgh’, Nicol Laidlaw. Etching on paper, 1925. Shown in the exhibition ‘Bright Shadows: Scottish Art in the 1920’s’.

“The Scottish National War Memorial was the most significant public art project to take place in Scotland in the 1920s. Designed by the architect Robert Lorimer, and located within the precincts of Edinburgh Castle, the Memorial was devised to honour the causalities of the First World War on a national scale. Construction work began in 1923 and continued until 1927.

This etching by Nicol Laidlaw records the progress of the project in 1925. A series of cranes and temporary structures can be seen on the horizon, gradually transforming Edinburgh’s architectural skyline.

The revival of printmaking was a major trend in Scottish art during the 1920s. Increasing numbers of artists earned a living making etchings for a buoyant commercial market.”

‘The Enchanted Capital of Scotland’, Jessie Marion King. Children’s book illustration, 1945. Shown in the exhibition ‘City Art Centre at 40: Highlights from the City’s Art Collection’.

Bright colours and playful style stood out to me in contrast with the countless “serious artworks” and dreary grey views of Edinburgh.

‘The Entry of George IV into Edinburgh from the Calton Hill’, John Wilson Ewbank. Large scale oil painting, 1822. Shown in the exhibition ‘City Art Centre at 40: Highlights from the City’s Art Collection’.

Stands out to anyone as a very impressive painting due to its scale and subject.

‘View from the Mound, Edinburgh, Looking West’, William Crozier. Oil on panel, 1929. Shown in the exhibition ‘Bright Shadows: Scottish Art in the 1920’s’.

A snowy day in Edinburgh. Mysterious, inviting and scenic.

‘North Bridge and Salisbury Crags, Edinburgh, from the North West’, Adam Bruce Thomson. Oil on canvas, 1930s. Shown in the exhibition ‘City Art Centre at 40: Highlights from the City’s Art Collection’.

‘the beautification of our public buildings in Scotland’ – a new view of the Old Town.

‘Princes Street Station’, William Wilson. Pencil on paper, 1926. Shown in the exhibition ‘Bright Shadows: Scottish Art in the 1920’s’.

Historical record – interesting.

‘The Saut Buckets, Edinburgh’, 1926 and ‘Edinburgh Tenements’, 1934. Ernest Stephen Lumsden, drypoint etchings. Not sure which specific piece was shown at City Art Centre.

Not Pictured:

‘Moonrise Over St Giles’, Katherine Cameron. Illustration for Haunting Edinburgh, 1920s. Shown in the exhibition ‘Bright Shadows: Scottish Art in the 1920’s’.

‘John Knox’s House and View of High Street’, Joseph Gray. Etching, 1920’s. Shown in the exhibition ‘Bright Shadows: Scottish Art in the 1920’s’.