Available for pre-order and shipping from early December is this beautiful audio/print package from Water Of Life, limited to 300 copies.
Tommy Perman - artist and musician (formerly of FOUND) and Rob St. John - environmental writer and musician - began the Water of Life project in June 2013, aiming to use water as a divining rod for exploring ideas of 'naturalness' in Edinburgh’s urban environment. Water of Life is an alternative travelogue, where water is a conduit for exploring new geographies: field notes from a liquid city.
Recordings made with hydrophone, ambient and contact microphone recordings of rivers, spring houses, manhole covers, pub barrel rooms, pipelines and taps are mixed with the peals and drones of 1960s transistor organs, harmoniums, Swedish micro-synths, drum machines and iPads: a blend of the natural and unnatural; modern and antiquated; hi-fi and lo-fi. Drum beats were sampled from underwater recordings, and reverbs created using the convolution reverb technique to recreate the sonic space of different bodies of water.
The package comprises: a letterpressed folder on recycled card, a 7" record pressed on recycled vinyl and a set of essays by Rob and prints by Tommy exploring the themes of the project, riso printed using soy inks on recycled paper.
Pre-order one of the 300 limited edition packages online and find out more about the Water Of Life project.
Posted by Simon Lewin on November 11th, 2013
This weekend sees the opening on an exhibition of recent box constructions by Shetland born Alex Malcolmson, made mainly from wood; carved and painted, sometimes using found materials.
The ‘boxworks’ of Joseph Cornell are an inspiration to Malcolmson, in addition to the works created by Picasso when he used collected items from his studio environment. Malcolmson is an experienced sailor and has voyaged aboard the Bessie Ellen, a traditional West Country wooden sailing ketch built in 1904, to Denmark and Sweden, sketching and absorbing the details of the ship. Other strands of interest for Malcolmson lie in architecture, charts, ship dioramas, lighthouses, and marine folk art.
The slatted birds started with the idea of an upturned boat; a motif he has used in other ways, drawing on the tradition of decoy making. Folk, naïve and primitive art; the kind of objects made for use and ornament, often by unnamed makers, is the main source of ideas for the work featured in this exhibition Seamarks.
The exhibition opens on Monday 11th November and runs until 25th November 2013. There is an opening event on Saturday 9th November 2013 from 12pm until 2pm.
Open Eye Gallery, 34 Abercromby Place, Edinburgh EH3 6QE. Visit the Open Eye website.
If you're unable to visit Edinburgh, Alex Malcolmson will be exhibiting alongside Angie Lewin at our next St. Jude's In The City exhibition in London in May 2014. Sign up to our newsletter for details nearer the time.
Posted by Simon Lewin on November 5th, 2013
Currently showing at the Open Eye Gallery in Edinburgh is Shelter, an exhibition of recent lithographs and screenprints by Edinburgh based printmaker Gill Tyson depicting buildings or forms of ‘shelter’ in the remote and rural landscapes where she encountered them. A castle, a farmstead, a telephone box or tower can be glimpsed in the distance or through trees, inviting the viewer to venture in.
Gill Tyson was born in Heysham, Lancashire and studied at Edinburgh College of Art and Edinburgh University, receiving an MA (Hons) in Fine Art in 1979. She is a former Chairman of Edinburgh Printmakers and has served on the City of Edinburgh Visual Arts Awards Panel.
She recently completed printmaking residencies in Ireland and Wales and received awards from the Hope Scott Trust, The City of Edinburgh and Scottish Arts Council. She has work in many public collections including Aberdeen Art Gallery, Smithsonian Collection and the Parliamentary Art Collection-House of Lords. Tyson has exhibited in the UK, Europe, the USA and Canada and in 2012 she was one of the artists representing Britain at the 6th International Kyoto Hanga, International Printmaking Exhibition in Japan.
Posted by Simon Lewin on October 4th, 2013
Rebel Landscapes is a journey into Scottish folklore, tradition and landscape, explored through a programme of carefully curated, archival 16mm film and specially commissioned live soundtracks played by four artists loosely working within the folk music idiom.
The original Rebel Landscapes event premiered in Edinburgh in 2011 to a sell-out audience, and spurred on by this positive response, Screen Bandita decided to undertake the touring of the programme to the geographical areas central to these archival films. In essence taking these historical documents back to the communities and settings that originated them.
The short film selection is drawn from the Scottish Screen Archive's extensive 16mm print collection and explores themes relating specifically to folklore: local traditions and customs, dances, crafts, fishing, crofting all feature, as does the landscape.
The live musical scores have been created specifically in response to the moving image by contemporary folk musicians Wounded Knee, Hanna Tuulikki and Rob St John with Tom Western, who will be performing thoughtful and engaging pieces to films Eriskay: A Poem of Remote Lives, 1934, The Crofters of Wester Ross, 1939, and Isles of the West , 1939.
Find out more from the Screen Bandita website.
Posted by Simon Lewin on August 23rd, 2013
We spend a fair amount of time up in North East Scotland and I've noticed that Ben Rinnes is creeping into a number of my prints and watercolours, such as Ben Rinnes Jug with Feathers (below). Probably not surprising considering the fact it's one of the views from my studio.
At 2733 feet it's Morayshire's highest freestanding mountain but not quite tall enough to be classed as a Munro - that said, from its summit you can see eight counties - Aberdeenshire, Banffshire, Moray, Nairnshire, Inverness-shire, Ross and Cromarty, Sutherland and Caithness.
In Ben Rinnes Jug with Feathers, the mountain forms the backdrop to a still life featuring a cherished Mocha ware jug with feathers, teasels and a few beachcombed objects.
Here are a few images of the painting and Ben Rinnes through the year (the sunrise image hasn't been edited!).
Posted by Angie Lewin on June 30th, 2013
From 19th June to 14th September 2013, photographer Harry Cory Wright will be exhibiting at Eleven, a gallery in London.
Hey Charlie is a celebration of over fifty years of Cory Wright's involvement with a particular bend in a river and the field beside it. These joyful images are the culmination of a lifetime of experience of the place in which he grew up and to which he has stayed connected throughout his life.
For many years Harry worked exclusively with a large 10" x 8" Gandolfi plate camera but this exhibition sees him combining this and digital approaches...
"The particular - and somewhat self-important - nature of the 10 x 8 inch negative has always elevated the picture taking process and given weight to the final piece. I have found that working with digital cameras has allowed me to retain the importance of 'being there' and the photographic element of 'witness', and to add a further distillation of those aspects in post-production. In this series, where there is such a blend of real and fantasy, this combination of working methods has been invaluable."
A number of years ago I was lucky enough to spend a day in Norfolk with Harry - it was illuminating hearing about the way he approaches the capturing of his images.
Find out more about Hey Charlie which runs from 19th June to 14th September at Eleven, 11 Ecleston Street, London SW1W 9LX.
Posted by Simon Lewin on June 16th, 2013
On Friday 12th July 2013 our friends at Caught By The River and the BFI are celebrating the launch of A London Trilogy: The Films of Saint Etienne 2003-2007 with special guests, filmmaker Paul Kelly and Saint Etienne’s Bob Stanley, Sarah Cracknell and Pete Wiggs.
From a beautifully conceived film-poem and an imaginative exploration of the Lower Lea Valley to an uplifting documentary on a London landmark, the collaborations between electronic indie trio Saint Etienne and filmmaker Paul Kelly (Lawrence of Belgravia) document London’s ever-changing environment and landscapes with music by the band.
Released together by the BFI on one DVD for the first time (on 15 July 2013) the trilogy of Finisterre, What Have you Done Today Mervyn Day? and This is Tomorrow is accompanied by rare and previously unavailable short films.
The event takes place at Rough Trade East with the screening of a selection of the shorts followed by a Q&A with Paul Kelly and Bob Stanley.
Posted by Simon Lewin on June 12th, 2013
My neighbour in Hackney had an inspirational formal garden of box hedging, lavender and Alchemilla mollis with a backdrop of white stemmed birches.
Our garden was a little less formal but we shared the foxgloves that would appear in cracks in the paving or in the shade beneath the birch trees. You'd often find yourself viewing the garden through their tall spires.
In our Norfolk garden, red poppies, teasels and perhaps inadvisably planted bronze fennel were the random additions to our gardening efforts.
Here in Edinburgh it's the Welsh poppy that's a very welcome invader, giving the garden its character, finding a home in just about every gap in brickwork edging, beds and pathways, even growing in the stone walls. It's easily weeded out and the fun is in keeping a balance.
Sadly, despite its clear blue flowers which perfectly compliment the yellow and orange of the poppies, the alkanet isn't so welcome. Once its tap roots are have taken hold it's a devil to pull out.
Posted by Angie Lewin on May 29th, 2013
Whilst the weather hasn't been as idyllic as we'd imagined when planning our trip to Tuscany, the converted barn that we're staying at in the hills close to Sansepolcro is about as perfect as it could be, surrounded by olive trees and wild flower meadows.
After the rain yesterday I collected a few unassuming local specimens to paint in detail. View larger images over at my Facebook page.
Posted by Angie Lewin on May 9th, 2013
We managed to sneak in a quick trip to Sissinghurst the other week. Maybe it's a bit ambitious to try to make the large scale planting schemes of these great gardens work in a small garden, but the spring-flowering anemones, snake's head fritillaries, trilliums and hellebores were just so beautiful and understated. I'm going to try to emulate it in our long, well, long-ish, narrow front garden in Edinburgh.
The Charles Rennie Mackintosh watercolour below shows the unique chequerboard pattern on the fritillary's purple flowers. Apparently, Vita Sackville-West called it "a sinister little flower, in the mournful colour of decay" which seems a bit harsh.
Posted by Angie Lewin on May 6th, 2013