Gray’s staff collaborate on contemporary art exhibition in Edinburgh

Two staff members at Robert Gordon University’s (RGU) Gray’s  School of Art have contributed to an exhibition of contemporary Scottish art entitled ‘Archipelago’ at Edinburgh’s Summerhall.

Archipelago 300 x 450Gray’s Fine Art lecturer, David Blyth, contributed two rooms full of new print works, while the show was curated by Critical and Contextual Studies lecturer, Dr Jon Blackwood.

The exhibition, which run until March 17th, also features the work of painter Derrick Guild, from Perth, and Dunfermline’s Alan Grieve.

‘Archipelago’ offers a view of art practices taking place in areas outwith the Central Belt of Scotland and suggests that such practices will become more important in a rapidly changing landscape of cultural funding and consumption.

Dr Blackwood said: “The exhibition came about from preliminary conversations at Gray’s around the work of the German biologist and illustrator Ernst Haeckel, and his two volumes of botanical illustration Kunstformen der Natur.

“From these early discussions the artists began to think of the idea of an Archipelago as a metaphor for independent art practices that take place away from the familiar venues in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

“The contributions of each artist can be read as a solo show, but the exhibition is better followed when the viewer consider the parallels between the three visually different but subtly inter-linked practices on display.

“From Alan Grieve’s scabrous humour, derived from observations of everyday life and legends from the worlds of football, clubbing and music in Dunfermline, to Blyth’s subtle, beautifully produced new suite of prints focusing on an imaginative response to landscape, symbol and material, to Guild’s cannily arranged visual tricks and puns, orientated around a passionate engagement with the history of art and the natural world, this is a show which is a statement of attitude as much as anything else.”

The exhibition opened last Friday and can be seen at Summerhall’s Meadows gallery.

The show is accompanied by a full colour 48 page catalogue, with an essay by Jon Blackwood and representative samples of all the artist’s work. It is published by Summerhall and TP Sandinista, Skopje.

You can view a short interview, which was produced for Summerhall TV, with Dr Blackwood. 


Release by Rob Smith
Communications Officer | Design and Technology
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