A Guided Tour of Lews Alumni Art Exhibition
Fine Art Course Leader Rosie Blake give us a 'guided tour' of the Lews Castle College UHI Alumni Art Exhibition at Taigh Chearsabhagh
This month we have been very excited to share some work from both graduates of the BA (Hons) Fine Art course, and from lecturers on both the BA and Nc courses.
The shows were part of the ‘LCC – Taigh Chearsabhagh Takeover’, a two-month programme of events which kicked off with the Degree Show and a student ‘Work in Progress’ exhibition. The degree show attracted national press attention as the only physical exhibition of graduate work in the country!
The Alumni and Staff exhibition was developed to bring together our network of artists and celebrate the amazing progress of our graduates in their creative practice. The work on show demonstrates the breadth of subjects and media being explored. I’d like to invite you to take a virtual walk around the space…
We enter the exhibition space and are immediately confronted with a series of 4 large silk panels hung from the ceiling. Margaret Cowie’s cyanotype printed fabric hangings evoke the movement of water and reflections of flowers and tree boughs.
Kirsty O’Conner’s striking ceramic amulets invite the viewer to “please stroke” while across the space her elegant ‘Bird Vessels’ are delicate and poised, as if ready to leap into flight, like the avian creatures that inspire them.
Holly Moffat Hardy’s four etchings invite an intimate engagement. They are ‘house-shaped’, but with a swirling chemical mark they suggest darkness and turmoil within this homely shape, evidence into Holly’s inquiry into the concept of ‘unheimlich’ in domestic space.
Lorraine Burke’s black and white photograph evokes a different kind of atmosphere: dreamlike and mnemonic. The lines of the bird cage and the soft lace interact with both Holly’s work and Anne Monk’s semi-invisible installation.
Anne’s work is inspired by sound bouncing around a space and is embodied in tape. It interacts with its surroundings, leaping cattywampus from one surface to another and revealing itself only in a certain light and angle.
Gina Macdonald uses substances derived from seaweed along with ink, to create her watery abstract paintings. This oceanic scape converses with Deborah MacVicar’s watery palette of curlicues in her painted sketch.
Laura Donker’s documentary film is a portrait of Charmaine Bailie an expert and teacher on botany and advocate of a slower approach to regeneration. Bailie describes the flora of a dense rainforest ecology in New Zealand, where Laura’s research and practice is currently based.
Fiona MacIsaac’s subtle pencil drawing evokes the undulating landscape of Uist, as well as sound waves, geological strata, oscilloscopes - the visualisation of sonorous speech. This wavelike form is echoed in Meg Roger’s immaculate produced solagraph – a photographic print tracing the sun’s arc over a long period of time. Both works speak of deep time, geological movement and cosmic forms.
Peter Ferguson’s large-scale oil painting is a burst of fiery colour! Evocative of a burning winter sunrise or deep autumnal light on a field of wheat.
Jean Newman’s repetitive line drawing creates a rhythmic pulsative form on the page. Criss crossing lines seems to dance across the substrate.
A photograph by Kippin and Neate documents Deborah MacVicar’s intense performance-based work, connecting human with non-human.
Meg Roger’s ‘wind drawing’ gives the wind itself a pen with which to write its scribbled poetry.
Marnie Keltie’s set of paintings, miniscule in size, punctuate the exhibition with the invitation to an intimate look. They speak of small moments of reflection on the vast landscape of this island locale.
While we are all facing new and constant challenges in the pandemic, so we feel delighted, grateful and fortunate to be able to install artwork in a physical space and invite a small socially distanced audience to enjoy it. We are also glad for our supportive relationship with Taigh Chearsabhagh which allows us the use of the galleries.
We welcome you all to our future exhibitions be they virtual or physical!
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