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The Scottish Gallery presents Scratching the Surface this Autumn


The Scottish Gallery, 16 Dundas Street, Edinburgh EH3 6HZ

Thursday 29th September 2022 – Saturday 29th October 2022

This Autumn, The Scottish Gallery presents a group exhibition of artworks showcasing a variety of pieces and practices.  Artists include Bill Scott; Derrick Guild; Douglas Finch; Hannah McAndrew; Gregory Alliss; James Maskrey; Joe Fan; Koji Hatakeyama; Malcolm Appleby; Naoko Shibua; Stephen Bird; Vicky Lindo and Bill Brookes.  This vast exhibition divides into two sections, one displaying painted surfaces and sculpture, and one section exploring objects, to encourage visitors to investigate what may be beneath the surface of artworks.

Part I

Celebrating the fifty-year career of Scottish Sculptor Bill Scott, Haecceity showcases a selection of Scott’s mixed-media, bronze and wooden constructions which explored the human experience and how spaces are inhabited.  Scott considered these spaces defined by the changes in society, science and art; an attitude also reflected in his teaching.  A dedicated advocate for sculpture, Scott served on the board for the Royal Scottish Academy of Art, to which he was the first sculptor to be elected President, and Chairman of the Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop.

Derrick Guild’s collection of paintings and objects in his exhibition, Natural History, presents a blend between classical and contemporary, referencing European still life of the 15th – 19th centuries whilst emphasising their anachronistic ambiguity.  Guild aims to create a fluidity between past and present and address its ever-present influence of the human condition.  He comments, I feel the still life format easily allows narrative and metaphor, complexity and simplicity to be conveyed.  Whilst every painting can be read alone, I feel that they are each a single sentence in a much longer and ongoing dialogue.  The objects are, in a sense, three-dimensional versions of my still life paintings.

Joe Fan’s exhibition Curiosities reflects an extensive exploration; Fan studied at Gray’s School of Art where he was taught by Gordon Bryce, spent time at Cite Internationale Des Arts, and returned to Gray’s as a lecturer and visiting lecturer at Cyprus College of Art.  He was awarded the Miller Homes Young Scottish Artist of the Year Award in 1988 and was elected to be a Royal Scottish Academy Academician.  Fan’s passion for his garden and nature is prevalent within his drawings and paintings, offering intricate and detailed surrealist styled works.

The Gallery welcomes a new group of works by Naoko Shibua in Capturing Nature.  These works explore the dramatic changes that are shown through plants and flowers as they grow and wither, capturing the fleeting moments in the stream of time and nature.  Having studied at Tama Art University, Shibua continued her practice at Edinburgh College of Art and continues to create between her two studios in Edinburgh and Tokyo.  Shibua says, I draw ideas from the form of trees, plants, flowers and small birds, not only for visual effects, but also to express the strength and robustness of nature

Culled from his travels through India, Asia and Australia, Stephen Bird’s showcasing of works reflects these influences of English figure and slipware traditions, paintings and artefacts in hi exhibition, What Are You Looking At?  His use of words, collage and found objects as part of the final work, results in powerful multi-dimensional imagery which mirror the global, transcultural nature of myths and ceramic archetypes.

Part II

Internationally renowned potters Douglas Fitch and Hannah McAndrew’s collection A Slipware Tradition reflects their distinct styles and also their shared influence of slip decorated earthenware and historical, traditional pottery.  Partners in the studio and in life, Fitch and McAndrew both work in red earthenware with a restricted palette of colour slips and rich honey glazes in their workshop, hidden away in the Scottish countryside of Dumfries and Galloway.

Gregory Alliss’ unique glass pieces created by kiln-casting and coldworking techniques are explored in Ubiquitous, showcasing his skilled practice and understanding for the fragile yet unyielding material.  Having graduated from Edinburgh College of Art and currently undergoing a PhD into the qualities and potential use of waste/recycled glass and sustainable practice, Alliss continues to investigate the possibilities for glass artworks.  He comments,I am inspired by cloud formations, and the juxtaposition of two types of glass creates a visible line which is used to reference the natural world.  Combining this glass in the kiln pushes the boundaries of the material and reshapes what is possible in the process.

The qualities of glasswork are also explored in James Maskrey’s The Cartographer.  Working instead with hot glass for over 30 years, his work is included in collections at the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Crafts Council.  Creating factual and imagined objects that are inspired from personal experiences, facts and voyages of discovery to investigate traditional craft skills and new technologies.  The works provide a narrative through this traditional craft approach that invites the viewer to interpret them through combinations of snippets of information, title and the objects themselves.

Koji Hatakeyama’s enigmatic bronze castings will celebrate the artist’s longstanding relationship with The Scottish Gallery in Contained, with the return of his bronze boxes lined with gold and silver interiors.  These surfaces represent the landscape and evoke a sense of time with bronze being a material that has a memory of a thousand years.  Hatakeyama states, I create contained vessels; I try to convey the sense that something is concealed or hidden within.  I try to provoke a sense of the spiritual world in my bronze boxes.  The patterns and facets I create on the outside are a direct response to the landscape.

Silversmith and metal engraver, Malcolm Appleby’s A Lifetime Achievement reveres his long association with the Gallery.  Appleby has dedicated his artistic practice primarily to engraving and pushing the boundaries of metalwork; constant experimentation has made him a master of his craft and in 2014 he received an MBE for his outstanding contribution to the arts.  Known for his imaginative use of line and form, Appleby considers gold just another lovely material to work with.

Vicky Lindo and Bill Brookes’ collection, Scratching the Surface, display their large-scaled pieces and ceramics.  The couple’s work draws on subjects as diverse as classical mythology, history, the natural world, and even politics, as well as their own day-to-day lives.  The two work in partnership, with Lindo designing the original objects in clay before Brookes creates the mould and the centrifugal apparatus needed to make each object.  In 2019, Lindo and Brookes won the BCB Award for Dead Dad Book, nine large-form vessels which were acquired for the Victoria & Albert Museum.

Ed Baker
Ed Baker
Ed keeps the local news going at Edinburgh Magazine. To submit content that qualifies for free publication, or to enquire about guest posts & press releases, get in touch at Firefly Magazines.

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