Katie Anderson

Artist based in South West Scotland; interested in people, places, materials and collaborative practice.

Tag: Exhibition

Art in Public [Space]

I’ve spent the past two months, curating/creating a new exhibition exploring art in public in all of it’s different forms. The exhibition runs for just a week in The Stove, but forms part of a month of activity, including film screenings, discussions and pop up events in the town centre.

The exhibition comprises of a sound installation, featuring extracts of conversation with seven different creative people who are approaching art in public space in very different manners, from architects to sign lettering artists, environmental artists to sculptors and discussing everything from performance, the history of public art, community art, the inspirations and challenges behind making work within a public realm.

We’ve also produced a map of permanent artworks in the town centre which you can pick up from the Stove.

Special thanks to everyone who took the time to have a conversation with me.

Join in! Check out www.thestove.org/events for further details. #ArtInPublicSpace #ConversingBuilding
This is part of A Year of Conversation, a series of events and conversations happening across Scotland in 2019. Find out more online #AYOC2019.

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Land Form Plastic

Every artists action leaves behind it a material trace.

New work that I have been developing is being exhibited as part of an upcoming show at the newly refurbished Kirkcudbright Galleries.

The group show, Energise, curated by Upland opens 13th October and runs for a month until 9th December.

Full details available here

SURGE, and they just don’t make them like they used to

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Great to see this work finally up in the Patriothall Gallery in Edinburgh at the beginning of the month, after it’s been sitting about in my studio/in my brain for quite a while. Patriothall is a great exhibition space, very well hidden down an alley way in Stockbridge – the poshest place in Edinburgh, surely. SURGE, a group exhibition curated and organised by Upland, featured a really nice mixture of familiar and new works by 12 artists from across Dumfries and Galloway, and made a nice collection in the space. This has been my first exhibition in the central belt (!), but persuading new audiences into a space like this turns out to be trickier than it might have been. However, great to get the work out, framed and onto the wall somewhere, and spot the red dot tucked away underneath one!

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It’s always the favourites that go, and so it is this time too, but so glad it has gone to a good home (big thank you to Clare for the support!).

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My first experience also with a professional framer, and have to say how beautifully framed these look with thanks to Sam Cartman for sorting me out last minute and getting them finished perfectly.

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Also, thanks to Upland for all the organising and for selecting the work-in-progress. It’s interesting to continue to look, playfully at the art gallery situation as a potential site or location for artworks, even if I often feel a bit puzzled as to their purpose once there. Potentially as a stepping stone towards the more personal, domestic environment gives the artwork a lifespan and new location to relate to.

‘they just don’t make them like they used to’ arrived after a long period of learning how to lift floors during my studio renovations last year. The length of the nails, coupled with the beautiful, heavy floor boards made the task arduous and lengthy, as the floorboards were lifted, possibly for the first time in their 170 year life; and this sparked an importance of keeping traces of this lifting, moving and replacing, of acknowledging the makers and tradespeople who came before.

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Also, on the way back to the car, we spotted this excellent ghost sign, with layers of businesses and lettering on show. Super nice.

I’m on the hunt for gallery spaces for next year in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, Newcastle or somewhere else out with D&G, that might be interested in a proposal for an exhibition featuring sculptures, film and photographs (possibly audio) as an installation exploring landscape and the documentation of one of my site specific pieces. If you’ve got any suggestions of places that might be interested or that I could approach, please give me a shout.

they just don’t make them like they used to

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Been feeling a little playful lately, and enjoying the luxury of my studio that is no longer a building site. Stitching and something that could only very loosely be described as embroidery, appears every so often in my work, and has done since my very first foundation art course way back whenever. I’m not exactly technically capable, but having helped out with The Stove’s Stitching Our Story project for the afternoon – Deirdre Nelson advised a useful approach to stitching handwriting.

During the rebuild of my studio, I’ve been gathering odd objects and ruminating on them throughout the more repetitive stages of renovation, so a series has started to form around the making of everyday objects.

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Floor board nails. Serious beasts to extract from the boards and beams they have presumably sat within since the buildings erection in 1840. I’ve been treasuring handfuls of them, as much for the effort involved in pulling them up in the first place. (Most of the floor remains fortunately untouched, but some sections did have to be lifted to make way for the large quantities of insulation I’ve carefully packed into every available space..)

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A small series of these works are now to appear as part of an Upland exhibition later in the year at the Patriothall gallery in Edinburgh! Full details of SURGE available here

‘Do you know how many times I’ve thought about writing on the paper that I’m writing on?’

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Formative
[fawr-muh-tiv]
adjective

  1. giving form or shape; forming; shaping; fashioning; molding
  2. pertaining to formation or development

Interesting challenges. How, as a context-driven artist, to make a piece of work for exhibition for which I will never visit or explore the context for. For the artist to create a new piece of work to be sent to a continent which I have never stepped foot on, never breathed the air of, and have nothing but imaginings and drawn perceptions.

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Part of me asks, what right do I the artist have to dump my ideas on an audience so far removed from my own environment? The other part looks for potential connectors, new links, networked points between our measured and counted degrees of separation. We live, of course, in possibly the most globally connected time we’ve known.

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The work has become a sort of call and response first move, exploring traditionally – romantically – held notions of communication still clinging on in a lost nostalgia, the delicate art of letter writing. No screen shots or font choices,  not even a  high-art finish or depth of mark making, letter writing is in it’s form personal, unique, the conversational made tangible. This work is also an invitation, to explore our lack of connection and our notions of distance travelled.

Transform

Transition

Transatlantic

Transcontinental

Translate

Transmute

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To see this work in the flesh (as all the best letters are recieved in person), visit 107 Projects in Redfern, Syndey (Australia) from the 11th of May to check out exhibition Transmute. For more details on the exhibition and the venue, visit the website here

In Which she attempts to talk about Exhibitions

2015 began with the purpose of specifically working outwith the gallery setting. In this way, it failed entirely. In the end up, I worked on seven exhibitions, including curating one. I visited almost none, in contrast to my regular gallery trekking up until then. By the end of SUBMERGE, the year had more become an exploration in what the gallery context means for art making, and specifically who the audience is that the work is being created towards. Although there is of course an entirely self-driven part of myself, that demands to be let play in the studio without speaking or even considering the world beyond, I still strive for art that communicates, discusses, asks questions, involves and co-creates with those that travel to see it.

I’ve stropped and stormed about gallery audiences and white cube gallery contexts- but none of my whining ever really identified the real challenges of creating meaningful, useful, interesting work for meaningful, useful or interesting exhibitions. I kept asking what exhibitions were for. If they were to share art – new and otherwise – with the art community, then some were successful enough. But the art community is looking often without looking; they may be some of the art world’s biggest fans, but the over-saturation can lead to a deadened look in the eyes of some art-family veterans as they make quick march around the exhibit halls, room and inbetween spaces. But they can be a sympathetic, and caring crowd. If there are buttons to be pressed, objects to be examined, swings to be swung on, it is the art crowd that will play. They have permission. And the knowing of where they stand. But what to say to our art-loving art-making crowd? One opening in many, little will stand out beyond the closing drinks and afterparties, never mind beyond the close of the exhibition itself. Gallery culture invites us to step in from outside, to pause in the chapel-like quiet, adjust our eyes and breathe in deeply the cool and still air, before emerging back into the world, refreshed and suitably cultured.

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Serious art face, suitably cultured expression. Thank you to Barry Young for the image

I made new work I loved, I saw the work of others that I loved even more, but still was not satisfied. The lack of engagement, communication, feedback and even awareness of audience dulled any enjoyment involved in the making, planning and install. Conversations about the work were so limited as to make the whole endeavour feel nothing beyond ego-centric self-congratulatory navel gazing.

Curating was in many ways, a different experience. Inviting artists to create a space with me, my first desire was to reject ‘exhibition’. After a month or thereabouts, this became obviously impossible due to my creating an exhibition, or, ‘space-filled-with-art-that-things-can-happen-in’. The desire to have an arts space where exhibitions don’t happen prevailed throughout and added to the general confusion.

Things I have learned about exhibitions in 2015:

Exhibitions are all about context. They are not just a bunch of art objects curated in a white cube space. Instead consider an exhibition for the place in which it is to be concieved/recieved. Whether on a micro- level, or a global level (or both), it seems that the most interesting exhibitions are those that feel relevant, connected and driven by momentum and currents.

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Exhibitions still ring with me a romantic notion of Victorian expos – of new discoveries, inventions and ideas. This has possibly led to my disillusion with exhibitions over the past few years: too many experiences of staring vaguely at any variety of work between beautiful, mundane, awe-inspiring or gruesome, but in a completely disconnected enivronment of clinical emptiness, or run-down art cliche. Leaving a gallery space and crash-landing into the outside streets air of the everyday threw the importance of the work out as often as not. The few works that stuck held seemlessly to the places they were shown (not necessarily made for), or played creatively with the context of their being.

Interior of the Great Exhibition, 1851, Egypt, Turkey & Greece

The act of journeying to visit works, still stands. This is an increasing challenge in the exhibition context, rather than the opposite as might seem apparent. Journeying to a nearby out-of-context location is more challenging than travelling several hours to experience a work where it makes sense.

Exhibitions are not about the texture of your walls.

Invigilators are all powerful. They can curate individual experience without even directly speaking to a visitor. Each conversation had shapes the context of the exhibition, not just for the visitor but also for all those involved in creating it in the first place. By creating the exhibition-as-forum, each artwork becomes a conversational starting point, inviting tangents of all descriptions, exchange, uncertainty and redefining of the collective creation. Interesting.

Good conversations do not need too much curation, just the right context, the right invitation, and good soup.

The best exhibitions should be about creating conversations.

The unexpected can be a magical gift in making a good experience truly relevant and exciting, even if by the same turn can wreak havoc and uncertainty with the general populus. (This is not an excuse or rallying call for flooding).

Exhibitions can tell powerful stories, that grow and change with each visitor.

 

This exhibition is not complete.

Huge thank you to all the artists, curators, producers, gallery folk, visitors, friends and general stumbled-in-here-whilst-looking-for-something-else types, that have had the patience and kindness to work with me and share conversations over the past year whilst I stumble around figuring out what being an artist is about. Thank you all for such great opportunities!

 

 

 

 

Summer Exhibition – One week to go!

No time to stand and stare! A couple of days off and then back to the studio, which feels like I’ve barely been there for the past week or so whilst all the Guid Nychburris shenanigans have been kicking off. However, onwards is the theme for me this summer so onwards we head. 
Next off, the WASPS annual summer show in the Lesser Town Hall in Kirkcudbright.

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Running from the 29th of June (next Saturday), for six whole weeks to coincide with the main exhibition up the stairs – there’s little excuse not to visit. The walls are up, I’ve even thrown some paint at them in an attempt to present something bordering on respectable – but this is looking like a full on week to get things finished up.