|IN RESIDENCE - press release|
|Hospitalfield Trust has supported and encouraged emerging artists since it was established in 1890. The aim of the RSA residency programme is to provide emerging professional artists with a period for personal development and the exploration of new directions.
This residency is offered in conjunction with the Governors of the Patrick Allan-Fraser of Hospitalfield Trust and with the aid of generous sponsorship from the Sir William Gillies Bequest Fund, The Friends of the Royal Scottish Academy and the Scottish Arts Council.
For the first time in 2004, the RSA have formed a supportive relationship with the Scottish Arts Council and, through their National Lottery initiative, £1,666 has been secured for each resident to assist them with travel, materials and project costs.
“The Scottish Arts Council is pleased that such a partnership with the Royal Scottish Academy enables a shared investment in the creative development of Scotland’s visual artists. The bursary given by the Scottish Arts Council enables artists to buy materials and equipment, and importantly, to take the time to develop their creative practice within the unique environment offered by Hospitalfield” - Wendy Law, SAC
In my application to develop work at Hospitalfield I wrote about my desire to explore the relationship between architecture and religious belief. Religion, that is, not in the letter of belief, but the method, the process by which an experience of truth or meaning is mediated - icon, ritual and the theatre of space. In particular I was drawn to forms of cloister, (and the thoroughly religious development of the hortus conclusus), to monasticism and also to ruination - and questions of how the past accumulates layers of new meanings through preservation.
Arbroath is full of accessible metaphor and symbolism for this analysis, from the Abbey ruins so loaded with national definition, to Stevenson's Bell Rock Lighthouse - an illuminating presence in local sea stories. I was also particularly drawn to the site of St Vigean's, a settlement since before the time of the Picts.
I occupied a range of spaces in the house and grounds as temporary 'studios', installation sites or performance spaces. Ultimately settling on the fifth floor room of the main tower, once used as an observatory. In this room I archived, sifted and sorted the works I was making all over the house - hours of video footage, old and new photography, found objects, props from performance works and other miscellany.
Much of the work became influenced by my taking up the practice of dowsing - described as 'the art of searching'. I quickly found myself going from using it in the field - understanding the architectural developments of a historic site, or cycling through the landscape following a path of energy linking significant sites - to using it in the studio - experimenting with measurement and alignment in the creation of drawings or temporary structures. Of particular interest were 'crossings' - vast straight topographical energies crossing at St Vigeans, lines of energy crossing through the alter of Arbroath Abbey, the crossing of the alignments of the Abbey Chancel and Bell Rock.
The works shown here are based around such a crossing (also conveniently aligned) and the films and objects on display attempt to show something of the obsessions, connections and processes by which I make work. I develop projects in a very intuitive way, allowing coincidences, mistakes and surprises to occur. I also see any reading of a project possibly only in accumulation. In video work this has led to an interest in layering of image, through repeated re-projection of footage onto different objects and surfaces, such as the hessian hung here. Overall, this ensemble, whilst part gallery installation, is more a recreation of 'studio' space. It also alludes to further outcomes of site-specific work, in particular at some of the historic sites that have<
Web Link: http://www.royalscottishacademy.org/pages/exhibition_frame.asp?id=97
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