I had a couple of days away last week to hang an exhibition in Aberdeen. I can back so regenerated and inspired, ready to write mighty blogs of art waffle, but there is literally never any time to keep up with things at the moment, despite staying up until 3am etc. However I shall briefly attempt to back track.
I went with Lynn Bennett-MacKenzie to hang an exhibition of both our work in the Weatherford offices in Aberdeen, which is a three floor space curated by Gwen Black. It was a brilliant experience for many reasons, getting together with like minded Artist women, having time out and talking art, drinking silly cocktails & planning an art revolution, seeing galleries, hanging work & learning off the expert Gwen some tricks in hanging work, getting an insight into the alien world of the office building, and seeing tonnes of ART.
Gwen is also involved with the Aberdeen Art society which currently has an exhibition in Aberdeen Art Gallery. Now when I hear art society, I tend to imagine a backbiting clique of hobbyist painters painting twee little chocolate box landscapes, or for the bigger societies possibly a backbiting clique of professional artists splodging colour about in the preordained style of one of the colleges/schools. cynical and jaded? apologies. I've never been to Aberdeen Art Gallery, on the ground floor is some big name contemporary art, good stuff ( Alison Wyatt, Jenny Saville, Clive Barker ) and some emperors new clothes pretentious childish rubbish ( Damien Hirst ). We only had time to zap in one of the other main rooms upstairs with some victorian work which blows me away & brings a lump to the throat, so wonderful to see these pictures much loved from well thumbed books in their original form. Dante Rossetti, John Waterhouse. wonderful.
But back to the Aberdeen arts society exhibition, what a surprise! a good surprise! really fresh strong work, narrative work, decorative, figurative, portraits, textiles, illustrative, all the things I usually only see on the outside in 'urban art' , friends work or withing the comic/ illustration communities. So inspiring to see work that is cross 'genre' expressive, works on many layers, very much of its time & place, a real Scottish theme, but utterly contemporary. wonderful to see applied arts being shown seamlessly alongside visual arts without collapsing into 'craft' or trying to be something it is not.
Definitely go and see it, there is plenty for non-artists there too, accessible and at the same time clever. fresh. We also popped in at the Fochabers 'Just Art' gallery on the way back which had a textile inspired show on, also a lot of very exciting work.
Its made me realise how much I let my work get squashed and shrunk by letting all the reductive labelling and definitions get to me. Working in isolation with only the internet for company its hard to take that leap of faith in ones own work ( time constraints aside! ). It was very exciting for me to see what looks like a whole movement/ push towards work with content/ meaning, work that says something beyond the name of its creator.
Anyway I'll not waffle on as I'm desperate to clear the desk & get creating again!
The Weatherford Offices are not a public building but if you want a viewing contact me & i'll arrange it.