An exhibition featuring work by Elizabeth Blackadder, John Byrne, Scott Campbell, Ashley Cook, Helen Fay, Alasdair Gray, Kenny Hunter, Marion MacPhee, Murray Robertson, Andy Scott, Alasdair Wallace, Fiona Watson and Adrian Wiszniewski.
Opening Party: Thursday 20th February 2014, 6.30 – 8.30pm.
Exhibition runs: Friday 21st February until Saturday 29th March 2014.
We have an enduring fascination with the creatures we share the world with. Their portrayal in art is the focus of Living Proof, an exhibition hosted by londonprintstudio.
The title of this group show is a reference to Charles Darwin’s voyage around the southern hemisphere on the HMS Beagle in search of living specimens in the early 1800’s. He wanted to find living examples to augment the fossil evidence that led to his theory of evolution and the publication of On the Origin of Species. There may well be a sense of evolution in the range of works on display, with a pan-generational group of leading Glasgow artists – including John Byrne, Elizabeth Blackadder and Alasdair Gray – contributing to the show. The print works range from the humorous to the esoteric, with a broad range of styles and tones in between. The show features prints, paintings and sculpture and was co-curated by artist Fiona Watson and Glasgow Print Studio Director John Mackechnie.
John Phillips, Director of londonprintstudio said ‘Glasgow has an exceptional tradition of printmaking, and the show features many leading Scottish artists. There are some spectacular images. Evolution and the use of animals in art present a fascinating subject.’ Fiona Watson, one of the exhibiting artists maintains that ‘The use of animals in art allows us to reflect on who we are and who “they” are. As our culture becomes more urbanised and virtual, there is a need to explore the natural realm. After all, the animal represents our ancestral partner.’
The lead image for the show, Fiona Watson’s lovely digital print Goats in Trees was inspired by branches of evolution, and the adaptations animals make for their environment. The artist said “The goats in Morocco have perfectly evolved to be able to climb up the trees in an area where there is not much food. It looks crazy but it’s not. Most of evolution is to do with nourishment, food and population control. If there are too many animals there’s not enough food, so it’s all to do with where they get their food from.” It is the intelligence and adaptability of goats that inspired artist Fiona Watson, and perfectly demonstrates the thinking behind the show. “People have drawn animals since the start of time – cave drawings were the first,” she says “It’s a universal subject matter, people identify with it.“
Another, complex image, Murray Robertson’s digital print Deep Water looks as if it might have been produced in the 18th or 19th centuries, with towns, cities and arcana superimposed on and surrounding a flat fish.
Crustaceans feature in Elizabeth Blackadder’s screenprints and etchings – lobsters, shrimps and mussels. Graceful and delicate, like all Blackadder’s work, she has also produced colourful cat images, celebrating the domestic predator.
Adrian Wiszniewski has presented a unicorn series in his wood cuts- Scotland’s national animal, symbol of power and harmony. Sculptural work in the exhibition includes Kenny Hunt’s Lab Mouse and miniature bronze versions of The Kelpies by Andy Scott.
John Byrne’s works feature an image of a crab- like man almost folded in two, reaching out to the shadow of a crab in the corner.
Tuesday – Saturday 10.30am – 5.30pm
425 Harrow Road
Image: Fiona Watson, Goats in Trees, digital pigment print