Friday, 12 February 2010

Problems with permanence

During a recent studio group discussion with Dalziel & Scullion we discussed the concept that NOTHING IS PERMANENT: we are living in a state of flux. If nothing is set in stone, then why make permanent work? I read that Anthony Gormleys Angel of the North will only last in situ for 70- 100 years before it corrodes to the point it becomes unstable. I wonder if Gormley is giving a big two's up to the future? Going by the current practice used by museums and heritage organisations: we are incredibly precious of things that we deem to be from the past, we attach a huge nostalgia to inanimate objects. Will the future conservators attempt to stabilise Angel of the North from further decay? In a recent studio conversation we were discussing a sculpture of a large metal sphere that would self destruct in 100 years. We were unsure of the maker or the concept, but we found it hugely exciting - would the ball explode? How would it explode- is it computer controlled? What if the computer stopped working, as technology is so incredibly unreliable? What if the documentation was lost and the sculpture suddenly exploded in a gallery or museum one day? We found the idea of this happening very funny, which made me wonder, have we become art nihilists?

All around the art school, students are being overly precious of their art, imagining that they will keep these sculptures forever, that their paintings will find a place in an incredible collection belonging to an incredible person. But when we live in an era of a six month lease, disposable contact lenses, replacing your computer every five years, divorce and multiple remarriages, can anything be permanent?

There's no time to be precious, we're in a constant state of flux - if it doesn't fit in yer rucksack then you cannae bring it with you.

Monday, 8 February 2010

I heart FLUXUS

"Long long ago, back when the world was young - that is sometime around 1958 - a lot of artists and composers and other people who wanted to do beautiful things began to look at the world around them in a new way (for them). They said: "Hey! - coffee cups can be more beautiful than fancy sculptures. A kiss in the morning can be more dramatic than a drama by Mr. Fancypants. The sloshing of my foot in my wet boot sounds more beautiful than fancy organ music." And when they saw that, it turned their minds on. And they began to ask questions. One question was : "Why does everything I see that's beautiful like cups and kisses and sloshing feet have to be made into just a part of something bigger? Why can't I just use it for its own sake?
When they asked questions like that, they were inventing Fluxus."

For some years now, I have been a performance artist without realising it.

Saturday, 6 February 2010 Dundee PopUp at GENERATORprojects

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I've just been to GENERATORprojects, the artist led space in Dundee. We met the current committee Lauren Gault, Rachel Walker, Lucy Alexander, Emma McIntyre, Fraser MacDonald and Jessica Carden for a cup of coffee before a tour of the gallery space.

GENERATORprojects has recently undergone renovations and reopens on Friday 19th February for the opening of DROMOS, an exhibition of works by James Alexander Craig, Derek Sutherland and Bedwyr Williams. Buses are running from Edinburgh for the opening night - book your ticket now!

GENERATORprojects exhibits the work of emerging and established artists, there are residencies working with Scottish Sculpture Workshop and Field Projects, London, Offsite projects including Your words and Mouth at Hospital Field (2007) and the upcoming event Kill Your Timid Notion at DCA is linked with GENERATORprojects next exhibition DROMOS.

The committee invites all artists and art students in for a cup of tea and a chat, if you are looking for proposal writing advice, developing your professional practice, or getting involved doing some voluntary work.

The annual members show is accepting all submissions during the month of March, membership is only £10 per year (£5 student/concession) check the recently re-launched website for further details, membership, archive and much more

Friday, 5 February 2010


The MFA studio is rapidly filling up with painting, sculputre, printmaking drawing and photography. Due to the scale of the swatter, there is little space for reflection. This morning, I took the swatter to the back of the Cooper Gallery in DJCAD, where there is a staircase with high ceilings and crisp white walls.

Photography by Elspeth Nicholson.