Scottish Art News: February 2016

This month sees a large multidisciplinary show on concrete and Scottish architecture in Dundee Contemporary Arts, a huge student arts festival in Edinburgh (ESAF) and new exhibits from Ingleby, Collective, Transmission and more.

Feature by Adam Benmakhlouf | 03 Feb 2016
  • Tomba Brion by Carlo Scarpa, San Vito d'Altivole, Italy

On 13 February, the quinquennial British Art Show comes to Edinburgh for its eighth outing – read our preview of its enquiry into new and traditional media as a means of response to contemporary technological advancement in the latest issue of the magazine. Also this month, we've interviewed Jamie Crewe, who from 20 February occupies Transmission's Scottish Solo Show slot with But What Was Most Awful Was A Girl Who Was Singing.

Closer to the beginning of the month in Edinburgh, the Ingleby Gallery presents the work of Glasgow-based painter Andrew Cranston. With his creations often sliding off-kilter, Cranston often combines art historical themes with other literary, personal and cultural references. Taking quite seriously the technique and craft of painting, his well-executed works can operate subtly but with severity coming from a painterly nuance. Titled Paintings from a Room, the show continues from 6 February-26 March.

From Mikhail Karikis' Children of Unquiet, part of British Art Show 8

Also running in Ingleby during this same period, Glasgow-based artist Jonny Lyons presents Dream Easy. His work often takes the form of black and white photography of singular events that have previously involved a well-crafted slingshot, or sawing himself off a timber length from a height into water below. There’s a conscious recklessness and the kinds of 'anarchic events' of playing out in a field, or also 'the physical humour of early silent cinema.'

This month also sees the return of the Edinburgh Student Arts Festival for its second outing. As an impressive organisation of students from five separate institutions, they’re coming back as an award-winning showcase of the latest talent developing in the city. Through the entire duration of the festival from 12-19 February, there is a free visual art exhibition across The Biscuit Factory, City Art Centre, Gayfield Creative Spaces and the Scottish Storytelling Centre. There are also performances, workshops and a special Valentine’s Day market event on Sunday 14 February in Summerhall, with work on sale from over 17 creatives, and presentations from art and science group ASCUS.

From 20 February, The Collective Gallery host recent GSA MFA Graduate Katie Schwab as part of their art graduate programme Satellites. In her practice, Schwab considers conventions of showroom presentation, home design, and craft education, as well as the interplay of function and decoration, with her work spanning 'textiles, video, ceramics and functional furniture which are brought together in communal installation.'

From Katie Schwab's Living Together, showing at Collective Gallery

Also from 6 February, but in Glasgow’s Mary Mary, there is a new group exhibition: Geographies of Dust and Air. Bringing together the five exhibited artists is a shared slightness of sculptural form, reworking of materials, and a kind of incongruous depth of surface or texture than would be expected in wall-based work. Summing up the intention of the show, Berlin-based Manuela Leinhoß’s explains her aspiration: “I felt a need to make my sculptures even more fragile, more transparent, almost floating.” Leinhoß’s are the only floor-based works to be included in the show, but nevertheless continue to resist formal definition.

Finally, on the 26 February there is the preview for the new show from Dundee Contemporary Arts from 7-9pm. As part of the large scale Festival of Architecture, DCA presents Grey Gardens, exploring the use of concrete forms in art and architecture from the 1950s to present. Sitting between the different disciplines, artist duo Smith/Stewart will present a response to Peter Womersley’s Port Murray house in Maidens. The show also features the award-winning studio of textile designer and painter Bernat Klein in photographs by Colin McLean.