A collective of artists, who are supported by both Creative Scotland and Young Scot’s ‘Nurturing Talent – Time to Shine Fund’, each bring you varying perspectives of paradise in an upcoming exhibition at the VoidoidARCHIVE gallery.
The theme paradise may at first seem a limited starting point and one which will lead to cliched outcomes; this obstacle has led the artists to think of new ways to approach the concept – giving a fresh take on it. The work is inquisitive, informative and provokes questions surrounding the theme. Some artwork more direct in terms of addressing the artist’s ideas and some more subtle.
Emma Hislop, who is soon to embark on a degree at GSA in Sculpture and Environmental Art, is investigating the encapsulation of a personal paradise. Quoting her directly: “My work has centralised around the idea of…what I hold dear, if this can be preserved and if in doing so does the preservation alter the personal paradise. Meaning that this memory of personal paradise place has never been truly real and is an illusion. The place I explore is that which is what I call ‘home’. As I live between my parents and partner’s parents, I have no real place with him that is ours and can be truly comfortable except in those personal, most private moments. This is a journey of the encapsulation of my most dear of places and an attempt to hold onto them as much as possible.”
Object-making is an important part of Hislop’s practice, as well as documenting this process. One of her pieces titled Paradise Capsule is a “One of a kind artist made capsule…made exclusively for a ‘perfect stranger’ and consists of trinket boxes containing handmade objects. These objects, or rather miniature sculptures, began as personal, vivid experiences and they now embody distant memories and feelings.” Although based around paradise there are more underlying concepts in Hislop’s work; she also investigates what a drawing can be and paradise in relation to personal obsessions.
In contrast to Hislop’s work which takes on mainly three-dimensional forms, Ryan Mitchell’s current work consists of print, paint and photomontage. She often works across a broad range of media and disciplines such as the above, sculpture and film. The work that will be exhibited as part of Paradise, aims to playfully examine and highlight the conventional notions of paradise that we are exposed to through a variety of different outlets, be them sincere or suspect. In other words, questioning whether we have predefined perceptions of paradise.
Mitchell’s process began by collecting old Kodachrome slides and newspapers which were then combined to create photomontages. These then led to photo etchings and paintings. You. What awaits you? is a painting that explores the relationship between the objectification of women and conventional perceptions of paradise. Female figures whose heads are replaced by flowers become objectified and our attention diverted to their bodies. The analogy between the female figures and the flowers reflects the conventional and old fashioned notion that women are ‘delicate flowers’ – pretty ‘things’ to be admired. The flowers also allude to the idea of a blissful, paradise environment; in this instance the female figures symbolise a ‘gateway to paradise’. Other work that will be on show includes a series of photo etchings and photomontages.
Freya Wilson, who is also soon to start her degree at GSA in Painting and Printmaking, mainly focuses on ‘using traditional materials in interesting ways.’ Her love of paint is apparent to anyone who has seen her work. However, more recently Wilson has began to incorporate text and poetry into her practice. A poem she has produced as part of her work for Paradise derives from ‘a feeling you have in a certain place or at a certain moment. For me I enjoy hearing birdsong in the morning, and compared it to my own understanding of singing – the awareness of breathing brings its own sense of paradise.’ On the night of the opening on 31 July, Wilson will perform a poetry reading to accompany her paintings.
Although only three of those partaking have been mentioned there are many more whose work will be exhibited, they are as follows: Claire Mcginlay, Angus Robertson, Kevin D’Arcy, Lorna Pollock, Megan Gallacher and Rachael Docherty. Each bring diverse responses to the theme, especially given the wide range of backgrounds and degrees they are soon to embark on including Painting, Sculpture, Fashion and Textiles. You can find out more about each of them on their blog here.
Paradise will be at the VoidoidARCHIVE gallery, Glasgow from the 31 July – 2 August with the preview on 31 July (7pm – 10pm). Following the preview is an after show at The Poetry Club (10pm – 2am) where Kyle Webster & Lewis Morton (Dark Partials), Robby Brown & Adam McCaffery (Ensoul) & Ryan Shybani (Renegades of Funk) will be bringing you a mixture of funk and electronic.
Find more events in our weekly bulletin here.