Incubating talent at Gray’s School of Art

The Painting and Printmaking team at Gray's School of Art in Aberdeen, are taking a step back from judging student work this week, to put their own art forward for criticism. The exhibition includes the work of eight committed, professional artists and continues in the School's foyer gallery, until this Friday, 26 February.

Entitled ‘(in)cubus', the display shows off the quality and diversity of contemporary art practice within the staff team at Gray's, planting ideas for students to grow and learn from, a useful extension of the direction they are given in their course work. The title of the exhibition also reflects the nature of how a piece of art might come to be, with intentions that slip and change shape, and in a way incubate, before a piece of work is complete. 

Together, Keith Grant, Francis Convery, Andrew Cranston, Lennox Dunbar, Cameron Ross, David Henderson, Michael Agnew and Heather Ross are displaying a range of works that showcase the professional practice that directly informs their teaching.

Francis Convery, Head of Painting at the School said: "This exhibition is giving students, other members of staff and visitors a useful opportunity to see what we are working on. Increasingly, students are looking for credibility and example, from those who teach them, and instead of lecturing and directing, we are giving a little insight and letting them make their own discoveries in our work.

"It puts us in the same vulnerable position as the students feel when their work is being evaluated and criticised, and stimulates some really interesting discussion. It's also particularly useful for those who wish to become involved in the wider debate of art criticism."

Heather Ross from Hamilton, the only female member of the staff team, has a post abstract expressionist flair, which exults in colour and informed informality. Heather received the accolade of the Shell Premier Award in the Aberdeen Artists' Society Exhibition 2009, another prestigious ‘recognition' for her work in a relatively short professional career. One of the pieces she has included in the staff exhibition, is a fascinating 6ft by 4ft canvas named ‘Augustine'.

With countless national and international awards and exhibition selections between them, members of the staff cohort are well known in the art world. Many of them have international profiles, exhibiting widely but seldom together in Aberdeen, so this is an ideal opportunity for the painting and printmaking staff to make their work more visible locally.

The exhibition is accompanied by a full colour catalogue of the work and includes a short introduction by Andrew Cranston and an essay by the acclaimed poet and writer, Donny O'Rourke.



Notes to editor:
There will be an opportunity to photograph a number of the staff involved in the exhibition, including Francis Convery and Heather Ross, at 11am tomorrow (Tuesday 23 February). Members of the media should meet Katy Jones at the entrance to Gray's School of Art.