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Today I arrived at the Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop where I will be artist in residence for the next three months.  It’s exciting times with this residency fitting in-between the Into the Wild residency at the Chisenhale Art Place.  After working handout overseas to fund this six month period of research of making it has finally arrived.  So far so good and I can only say the next few months should prove fruitful with a new body of work in the making.

I will have time to update this blog which for the last year has not been given much attention.  For those that are also interested in what is offered here at the Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop please follow the link as its an amazing facility.

http://www.edinburghsculpture.org

 

11377274_10155506350215018_387412810496999647_nI have some work up for auction as part of The Rock Trust Postcard Art Exhibition And Auction 2015. This is taking place in Edinburgh from 5th June – 2nd July in the Summerhall . There will be some well know artists alongside artist like myself auctioning off postcard sized artworks. All proceeds go to helping youth rebuild their lives. If you are in Edinburgh you can check out the work in person. For those not in Edinburgh you can see all the works online and still bid on any works you may like.11350560_10155506351000018_1844357264341163836_n 11351318_10155506350930018_3644827039515469008_n

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It seems like an age since last updating my blog.  For what has been a time without internet it is refreshing to come back to it.  One of the first exhibitions that I will only just miss when I fly home from Japan is Alex Dordoy: Persistencebeatsresistance at Inverleith House in Edinburgh.  For those that are around it will be on till the 23rd of March.  Here is the press release:

Alex Dordoy: Persistencebeatsresistance
Inverleith Gallery, Edinburgh
19 January – 23 March 2014
Review by Catherine Spencer

Although Alex Dordoy’s work explicitly engages with the continual development and concomitant obsolescence of digital and information technologies, his current exhibition at Inverleith House in Edinburgh’s Royal Botanical Gardens also attests to the strongly sculptural element of his practice. Across the gallery’s two floors, Dordoy has arranged a combination of plinth works and wall-reliefs, which address the legacies of minimalism and abstraction, while investigating the mutations established sculptural and painterly forms might take within the pixelated image-overload of online culture.

The plinth works, which Dordoy has christened ‘Congsumers’, consist of rectangular blocks covered with patterns and images, some of which Dordoy has lifted from a jadeite pattern found on Chinese graves, while others are reminiscent of circuit-board imagery and hastily grabbed screen-shots. Embedded at their summits, like discarded fetish objects from an abandoned civilization, Dordy has implanted found items including a defunct MacBook and Converse Hi-Top trainers. These pieces feel deliberately glitchy and overblown, infused with the self-reflexive hyper-awareness of contemporary signs and symbols – and the rapidity with which they are embraced and then cast off – that informs thousands of social media profiles and YouTube videos.

The spectre of outmoded technologies also shadows Dordoy’s ‘Dialta Cuts’, silicone casts made from old photocopiers whose rubbery epidermises hang from the walls. Through the casting process, hard materials are transmuted into yielding ones, while the negative space around the redundant machines takes haunting form. The intricacy of these pieces is very beautiful, but their bodily inferences have the same disconcerting effect as Claes Oldenburg’s soft sculptures, and the latex excrescences of Louise Bourgeois and Eva Hesse. Dordoy mobilizes this blurring between body and object to reflect on the longstanding convergence and tension between the human hand and the technologies it has invented.

In this respect, Dordoy’s exploration of computing and scanning technologies reflects another lineage within abstraction, represented by the work of pioneering computer artists like Manfred Mohr, Georg Nees, and James Faure-Walker. This is particularly apparent in ‘Folded, unfolded, sunk and scanned No. 50’ (2014), part of a series that take their star-like relief-forms from the paper folds required to make a paper plane, which Dordoy then builds up using jesmonite and fiberglass. Dordoy overlays this shape, which comes gently forward from the wall, with abstracted, fractal-like patterns through toner transfer to convey a process of deterioration and breakdown. This work, together with ‘Westerhope’ (2014) and ‘King Pitta’ (2014), which combine oil paint and watercolour with toner transfer, posit that abstraction, far from being the sole prerogative of modernist painting, can also be understood as a post-medium condition that has always accompanied computer and information technologies.

Equally, Dordoy’s installations of ridged sheets of polycarbonate, often used in the construction of greenhouses, underline minimalism’s technological and design affinities. Combined with fluorescent bulbs, these works are the coldest in the exhibition, blending perfectly with the bleached light which floods into Inverleith House during the winter, when the branches of the Botanical Gardens are bare. This isn’t to suggest, however, that Dordoy is without a sense of humour: in the downstairs gallery, looking out over the elegant park and the equally elegant Edinburgh skyline, sits a white totem-pole created from stacked busts of Karl Marx. The original bust was carved many years ago by Dordoy’s father, so that the work feels on the one hand like a personal tribute, laced with a touch of more general nostalgia for the passing of political convictions. On the other, who better than Marx to preside over an exhibition attuned to the precarious place of materiality within digital culture, whereby ‘all that is solid melts into air’?

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I am currently reflecting on a series of images that I have had printed for my upcoming degree show here at Edinburgh College Of Art.  One of two works that I have in the exhibition is based in a disused waterworld in Leith.  The site has been vacant since April 2012 and has proved to be a perfect location for an exploration into a disremembered space.  The idea of value of such a space is prevalent as the local community is still in discussions to reopen this site to bring back a valued asset to the area of Leith and wider community.  The items introduced to the space could belong yet somehow suggest a belonging to another time, place or society.  The obvious nod to expense in the sense of gold and images printed on credit cards suggests the ongoing debate about the site and also the value we put on our own leisure and escapism.

The two images above are part of the series though are not in the exhibition so give you a little taster of the images that will be the show alongside a new sculpture.  The degree show is open to the public from the 1st of June till the 9th.  If you would like any further information please contact me.

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I am currently in the closing stages of my degree here at Edinburgh College of Art.  Final casts are being made for the pieces I intend to present in the degree show that opens end of May 2013. Georgina Boltons’ work from last year at ECA and her degree show springs to mind when I see work that was successful and its good to see her work currently on show at the RSA New Contemporaries in Edinburgh.  If you cannot make it to the RSA show then have a look at Georgina’s blog and website to see further works. Click Here

 


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Today was the final push to finish installing works for the exhibition opening tomorrow night.  The partly renovated Newhaven Station has had its moments in the last two weeks.  Though luckily no break ins or flooding.  We have battled through the cold and the lack of power to hopefully put together a good show.  These images are taken from two installations that I have made alongside other sculptural works.  I will post further photos of the works and also those by Richard Taylor and Claudia de la Pena.

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NEWHAVEN STATION

‘A site for new art works and a new use of space’

Open Install Afternoon: Tuesday 12th March 2013, 12–5pm

Preview: Friday 22nd March 2013, 7–9pm

Exhibition: Saturday 23rd March–Friday 29th 2013

Newhaven Station, 85 Craighall Road, “Bridge No. 12”, Edinburgh, EH6

Newhaven Station is an explorative exhibition into the transformation of space by three Edinburgh-based artists, responding to the North Edinburgh site with new video, sculpture and wall-mounted works.

Richard Taylor, Dickie Webb and Claudia de la Peña, all artists who have previously worked on separate projects, come to together for the first time with works investigating Newhaven Station’s current stasis.

Since its discontinued use as a railway station in 1962 the building has evolved from a carpentry workshop into an abandoned space ripe for development. In its present reality Richard Arnot, the owner of Newhaven Station, has gifted the artist’s use of the station as it nears a final transformation into freelance office space.

The artists will respond to this flux in the station’s use, peeling away layers of history and community, to decipher new avenues in their individual practices and discover journeys as a collective group. Richard Arnot, “As a resident of North Edinburgh I felt this would be an interesting project to support. It’s great to be able to provide much needed space for Richard, Dickie and Claudia, and to see how Newhaven Station might continue to contribute to a steadily expanding cultural scene in the north of the city.”

Holly Knox Yeoman, the exhibition organiser, first realised the potential for the space during Doors Open Day Edinburgh 2012 and has since been working to coordinate an exhibition of artists’ work. Yeoman adds “I grew up round the corner from the building and was always intrigued by its destitute structure. Through Doors Open Day and meeting Richard Arnot, it was fantastic to see the building returning somewhere closer to its former glory. The site-responsive works produced between the artists will hopefully create a welcoming invitation to local people, furthering dialogue surrounding the nature of the building as a forgotten landmark.”

Open Install

On Tuesday 12th March, the doors of Newhaven Station will be open, welcoming people in to the space to meet the artists and enquire into the process in which they are working to create their works and exhibition. Independent curator and writer Kate Grenyer will also be present, observing the creative interactions between the artists, initiating critical discourse beyond the exhibition.

For further information please email – hollyknoxyeoman@hotmail.co.uk

Artist Biographies

Richard Taylor

Richard has produced a new set of work including free standing and hanging sculptures, wall mounted drawings and objects, and floor-based dioramas. Each work will reference the other through a ‘mini-game’ status. ‘Mini-game’ is a deliberate positioning of a certain lost character that finds itself during sessions put aside in the studio. In order to address this status the works, as they are visited and re-visited over a period of time, may look unfinished in their overworked state, require closer inspection and participation, or will only reach completion through site-specific response.

Richard Taylor (b. 1985, Sheffield), a 2007 graduate from Leeds University, is an artist and writer based in Edinburgh. The roots of his ideas start as short stories or small pencil drawings that depict intentions or actions addressing ulterior characterisation or modes of production. Recent projects have seen ideas develop into collaborations, performances, installations and published works. In 2012 Richard exhibited with The Mutual and artist Jennifer Picken at GI 2012; undertook a residency at AWA Gallery in Amsterdam; performed at [STATE] of Uncertainty in Birmingham; and showed work at an open studio event in Chelva, Spain.

Dickie Webb

Dickie’s site responsive approach to Newhaven Station will parallel the building’s transitory state and renovation, creating a heterotopic environment that appears distanced from the here and now.  As considered material choices echo the surroundings, additional frameworks and scaffolds – displaying metaphorical forms, images and panels – will allow the viewer’s imagination to project an experience that is greater than the station’s architecture, transporting them to a place with uncertain boundaries.

Dickie Webb (b. 1979, Oxford) is currently in his final year of Intermedia Art at Edinburgh College of Art and splits his time between New Zealand and the UK. This nomadic life stimulates considerations within present work, questioning our changing relationship with disremembered spaces. Recent projects have included subtle object abstractions using processed materials to create sculptures that sit somewhere between the familiar and imaginary.  He has exhibited work at The Kitchen Gallery, Clermont College, Batavia, Ohio, USA and at The Demarco European Art Foundation, Edinburgh.

Claudia de la Peña

Claudia will create new sculptural pieces that react to the pictorial potential of Newhaven Station. Through a series of site-specific gestures, she considers the symmetry of a more personal artistic intervention alongside the broader re-engagement of this previously disused, yet historically rich, space. This positive renewal is pertinent to her sympathies towards the recycling of found materials, both in function and substance.

Claudia de la Peña (b. 1988, Edinburgh), a 2011 graduate of Fine Art from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, is a cross disciplinary artist currently based in Edinburgh. At its core, her work is an investigative tool to create and understand meaningful dialogues between materials, both in physical and symbolic realms. Her practice is often site specific using found, made and raw materials punctuated with photographic elements.

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