Masters Show up and running!

After the stress of assessment and installation of this show, it is finally up and running. Beginning with a busy preview evening, it has continued over the weekend with visitors from all around the area and plenty of events and talks to listen to.

It’s live!!

Finally, after four very intense days of work Forgaither has gone live on Issuu.  You can read it here.

This is a digital publication co-produced by the 8 students on my course who are graduating this summer.  With a lot of help from Louisa Preston (of Stirling University and St Andrew’s University) we have managed to navigate the ups and downs of this kind of collaboration and I think we’ve done a pretty good job.

Try getting eight artists in one room to work on one project and differences of opinion are bound to happen.  However, that aside, it has been great fun and a brilliant learning experience.


Masters Show 2016

A den is about privacy, about safety and about giving yourself a breathing space, whether alone or with a group, in a building or in the landscape.

In a woodland den you can look out through undergrowth and branches into the outside world while still retaining that sense of alone-ness. You can give yourself time to withdraw and space to think, exercise your imagination or just dream.

In my den, you also help to create it.  Use your finger-knitting skills, or come and learn the art of finger knitting to help make a portable den using a simple frame with many layers of finger knitted fronds.den fronds

Join in the conversation and be part of a bigger, ongoing project, a project which is about creativity, encounters with people, with place and the traces left behind.

This den will be on show as part of the Masters Show at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, University of Dundee, from 19th to 28th August.  Come and try some finger knitting!!

The Familiarity of Known Relationships

This project is developing fast.  I’ve jumped from the thinking stage to the planning stage in one quick leap. It could be quite frightening if I let myself worry too much about it simply from a point of view of keeping everything under control aFingerknitting for the Den projectnd not letting anything escape – I don’t want it to end up a bit like trying to get hold of my cat to take her to the vets – as fast as you get hold of one end, the other is wriggling free and scratching in the process.

People are coming forward wanting to be a part of the project, and that’s even without any sort of advertising.  Last semester when this idea first began to develop, I was worried that I would not get enough people creating ‘fronds’ for me to create a den of any size with but I am starting to think that won’t be a problem.

Maybe one of the main attractions is that no skills are needed?  The process of finger knitting is a comforting memory for many people, often associated with childhood and this is exactly what I want to tap into.  TS Elliot apparently talked about the ‘familiarity of known relationships’   I’m not absolutely sure where the quote actually came from but I think something like that is going on here.

The first finger knitting session will start soon.

Nicky Assmann – Radiant

In the Tent gallery in Rotterdam was some work by Nicky Assmann.  My favourite was a series of acrylic hanging triangles.  These colourful triangles which looked very like bunting rotated and as I walked around them reflections came and went, colours changed and all in all created a magical experience.

radiant rotterdam

The colours were vibrant, the movement held my attention and totally immersed me in the life of the piece, even the colourful shadows on the walls were part of it.  It made me think of Summer – I guess that’s the ‘bunting’ effect.  The main effect for me, though, was the feeling of total immersion it created – the movement, colours and reflected light held my full attention.  However, I think the size of the installation was vital – the effect would not have been so intense had the installation been any smaller.

All her pieces concentrated on physical sensory experiences.

radiant rotterdam2.jpg

This one was one of the pair of copper sheets called Aurora Studies – perhaps because of the colours in the Aurora Borealis.  The sheets have been treated to cause them to oxidise and these colours are the result.  It would be good to see these sheets again in a few months or even a year’s time as the oxidisation process will have further progressed and I believe they will look very different.




Public Art in Rotterdam

When I visited Rotterdam, I expected an industrial city.  I had pre-conceive notions that it would be like any other major industrial city. However, I was so wrong!

As well as interesting architecture, Rotterdam appears to love its public art.  As with the buildings, there is art around almost every corner.   Art in green space as in many cities ….

bent screw rotterdamjust legs rotterdam

… art on walls …

rotterdam mural

… art on street corners …

street sculpture

… and even a Picasso!

picasso girl

There was public art everywhere, most of it very good and together with the architectural style it made Rotterdam a very pleasant city to walk around.  The architectural style of the city centre was eclectic to say the least.   Every building inspired me to take a photo of it, each building was different from the previous one.  One noteable feature was the mixture of uses that each building was put to. Most buildings seemed to have shops, offices and flats.  One even had a two storey bicycle park!

This mixed use meant that the city centre was always busy and vibrant.  Everything was lit up – even the cranes were lit up at night!  Restaurants surrounded the marinas and there was a lot of life everywhere.  This visit completely changed my preconceptions about this city.