Some ideas for wall-mounted cast pieces.
Im currently undertaking a short artist residency in the Aran Island, Co Galway. My affinity with islands continues to draw me to the most outlying and peripheral of locations. These wind battered islands of the north Atlantic have always manipulated heavily upon their peoples, and these communities upon the land. There is a mutual exchange of influence. What you witness here is a rich meld of Celtic culture and Gaelic language, a steely determination and a resolute faith.
This is life clinging to the edge of the land and it realizes itself as a history held in the eyes.
You can read more about Áras Éanna and their residency programme on their website:
September 2014: Artist Residency at Áras Éanna, Inis Oírr, Aran Islands, Ireland
I’m exhibiting as part of ‘Here We Are At Home’ at Ocean Terminal in Leith for the duration of the Edinburgh fringe. The show celebrates Scottish artists and those who have chosen to call Caledonia home.
The exhibition runs from the 8th of Aug - 14th of Sept.
I’ll be showing as part of Tea Green Pop Up Events on Saturday the 26th of July in the Assembly Hall at Glasgow School of Art. The show is open to the public from 12pm-5pm and features a fantastic collection of makers selected from across Scotland and beyond.
If in Glasgow be sure to have a look, there will be some brilliant work on display.
Images from my trip to Saint Kilda in early May. The small group of islands lay isolated in the north Atlantic ocean 45 miles west of the Outer Hebrides, just over 100 miles from the Scottish mainland.
The islands supported a small but steadfast community of native Saint Kildans who clung to existence on these wind-thrashed rocks for thousands of years up until 1930. That year, following decades of increased contact and dependence upon the outside world, the population of the islands fell to below forty and the inhabitants wrote to the government to request evacuation.
Its astounding that the original St Kildans survived in such isolation and perilous conditions. Their way of life only crumbling after centuries of gradually increased contact with the mainland which led to waves of diseases such as smallpox, wiping out three-quarters of the population and also resulting in many able-bodied men abandoning the island in search of work.
Today, you can still see the remains of the settlements built by these islanders - some dwellings having been restored by the national trust. There is also an active MOD military base on the island, built during the cold war.
I dream of returning. Someday.
Thanks to Sea Harris for an amazing trip. http://www.seaharris.co.uk/
Some images of my glass castings will appear in an upcoming issue of Scottish Islands Explorer magazine. The July/August edition will feature images of my work along with a short bio and description of my practise based in the Highlands and Islands.
The issue will become available in mid-late June 2014.
I’ve been doing a bit of drawing lately, here’s a jakey sketch to give you a wee taste.
Some images taken recently onsite of Glasgow’s Red Road flats. The 1960’s development of flat blocks is in the process of being demolished. As of Spring 2014, with two of the buildings demolished, only Tower 2 (33 Petershill Drive) remains occupied; the deconstruction process now having begun on the remaining five.
The site visit was inline with a current body of work being developed alongside Alan Horsley. The proposed result incorporating glass, metal and concrete alongside sound installation.
The first thing that struck me during our time at the Red Road was the bleakness of the situation, the desolation and despondency of the site was stark. To observe the development in this state of dismay, condemned and partially demolished, with only a single forlorn tower block still occupied, its really quite harsh. We see the remnants of a community still existing in amongst ruin. There’s an undoubted poignancy in that these towerblocks were built with the best of intentions and in their inception were relatively sought after. Indeed to many inaugural residents they were considered luxury in comparison to the decaying tenements and slums which they replaced.
Now though, the wind can be heard rattling through the empty shells of the bare structures which have been stripped of their facing in preparation for scheduled demolition; the buildings’ barren frames groan and creak in the silent air. The scars are visible where the first blocks have already been brought down.
It really is overwhelming to think that these huge building which have dominated the Glasgow skyline for over five decades will soon be totally destroyed.
For more information, images and videos documenting the redevelopment of Glasgow I recommend you visit Chris Leslie’s ‘The Glasgow Renaissance’.
Also fascinating to look at is www.redroadflats.org.uk, which tells the human story of the development featuring accounts from former residents throughout the years. www.redroadunderground.co.uk is another interesting webpage with images and film from the Red Road well worth a visit.
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