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.
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.
Rob and Tommy will play music from their upcoming 7″, essay and print release, using recordings made with hydrophone, ambient and contact microphone recordings of rivers, spring houses, manhole covers, pub barrel rooms, pipelines and taps, mixed with the peals and drones of a 1960s transistor organ, harmonium, Swedish micro-synth, drum machine and iPad: a blend of the natural and unnatural; modern and antiquated; hi-fi and lo-fi. Drum beats have been sampled from underwater recordings, and reverbs created using the convolution reverb technique to recreate the sonic space of different bodies of water.
The performances will accompany screenings of the 1964 film ‘Rain on the Roof’, an Edinburgh Water Corporation production featuring a forward-looking blend of pastoral, mechanical and futurist visions for the city’s aquatic landscapes. The film has been specially digitised by the Scottish Screen Archive for this rare screening.
Full details of Rob and Tommy's performance in Edinburgh can be found on the Summerhall website.
Another treat for fans of the work of Eric Ravilious is this exhibition of prints by the celebrated artist and designer which runs until 8th December 2013.
Ravilious' career was cut short by his untimely death in 1942 whilst on an Air Sea Rescue mission off the coast of Iceland in the course of his duties as an official War Artist.
Acknowledged in his lifetime as a master wood-engraver and exceptional artist/lithographer, the exhibition explores Ravilious' development as a printmaker, offering insights into his methods and placing his work in the context of British art, design and industry between the wars.
Simon Martin, Curator, says: "Together with Edward Bawden and Paul Nash, Eric Ravilious was one of the most important printmakers working in Britain in the 1920s and 1930s. His animated sense of rhythm, line and visual decoration give his prints a playful sense of design, whether as black and white wood engravings, colour lithographs, or as transfers on the ceramics that he designed for Wedgwood."
We're looking forward to getting our hands on a copy of James Russell's latest book for Mainstone Press.
Ravilious Wood Engravings features a selection of Ravilious wood engravings over its 80 pages, including at least one that's never been published before.
From the press release...
"Although a brilliant watercolourist, inventive lithographer and talented designer, Eric Ravilious (1903-42) was above all a wood engraver. It was in this demanding medium that he first found artistic expression in the early 1920s, and over the next two decades produced some of the finest engravings of the age. And what an age it was! Starting shortly before World War One, a succession of talented artists and designers explored a medium whose most famous British proponent, Thomas Bewick, had died almost a century earlier.
In his lifetime Ravilious was acknowledged as a modern master of wood engraving, and for Ravilious: Wood Engravings we have selected illustrations that show the evolution of a remarkable talent. Ravilious thrived on the limitations imposed by the medium, squeezing entire scenes into the tiniest vignette. Some of the engravings have the mysterious quality of his watercolours, while a wry humour animates others, such as his portrait of publisher Robert Gibbings being carried off by a giant cockerel. Running through the book is a sense of the pleasure Ravilious took in his work, which he approached with great skill and a light heart. While staying with his parents in Eastbourne he would cut his blocks with their canary fluttering around his fingers, and subsequently he always whistled when he worked.
When Ravilious died on active service as a war artist in 1942, at the age of 39, he had already achieved remarkable success. His short but spectacular career is described in a full-length introduction, which also sets his achievements in the context of the interwar years. Accompanying each illustration, meanwhile, is an extended caption designed to illuminate the engraving in an informative and entertaining way. In a manner familiar to readers of Ravilious in Pictures, author James Russell sets out to discover the places that inspired Ravilious, explore the remarkable books he illustrated and meet the people he portrayed. Ravilious: Wood Engravings is both a collection of beautiful, surprising pictures and an entertaining portrait of a wonderful artist and his world."
We'd recommend you visit James Russell's excellent blog for lots of related writings.
If you'd like to see more of Ravilious' work, we'd recommend a trip to the Pallant House Gallery in Chichester where their Eric Ravilious Prints exhibition runs until 8th December 2013. More on that soon.
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.
I realise this is akin to copying someone's homework but I'd been trying to put a few words down about Ultramarine's latest album - the first in fifteen years - when I came across this review by Kevin Pearce over at Caught By The River...
"Elements of This Time Last Year will seem familiar, but they are stripped down, taken apart, manipulated and put back together in pleasantly surprising ways. Fans of Ultramarine will welcome the presence of skittering jazzy beats, the itchy funk, the dub daze, the Brazilian traits, the fusion flourishes, burbling and percolating electronics, and so on. But what is very apparent with this record is the underlying acoustic warmth, like the gentle guitar motifs chopped up and treated and stirred back into the mix in such a seductive way. The LP as a whole is such a curiously attractive blend of the ancient and modern, in sound and technique, it is almost impossible to really pin down."
Couldn't have put it better. Read Kevin's review in full.
The album's artwork has been designed by illustration/print studio Heretic who have recently worked with the Sonic Cathedral label, Tim Burgess, Andrew Weatherall’s Asphodells project and The Quietus. We're delighted Heretic and Ultramarine will be contributing to the next issue of journal Random Spectacular - sign up to our newsletter for details.
You can also purchase a copy of Heretic's limited edition poster marking the release of the album.
We went along to the opening of Jonathan Gibbs' latest exhibition in Edinburgh earlier today.
Fish Bone features a number of new wood engravings, paintings and drawings.
Jonathan has lived and worked in Scotland for many years but acknowledges the importance of the “churches, fields, shorelines and elements of landscape from East Norfolk, where my family comes from”.
Having trained at Central School of Art and Design and the Slade School of Fine Art, in addition to the creation of new work for regular exhibitions Jonathan is a Head of Illustration at the Edinburgh College of Art.
Writing about Jonathan’s 2006 ‘Flint & Straw’ exhibition at the Open Eye Gallery, Alan Powers suggests that “at first sight, his paintings and engravings evoke a mid-twentieth-century mood, suggestive of territory between Ben Nicholson and Eric Ravilious – fastidious, linear and deeply sensitive to place”.
The exhibition runs until 25th September 2013 at Open Eye Gallery, 34 Abercromby Place, Edinburgh EH3 6QE.
We're also very pleased to feature Jonathan's limited edition wood engravings at our online gallery specialising in British printmaking.
I popped into The Scottish Gallery earlier this week to see Stephen Bird's My Dad was Born on the Moon exhibition of ceramics and paintings.
Stephen Bird was born in Stoke-on-Trent in 1964 and studied fine art at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee. He has made paintings, ceramics and sculptures since the early 1990s and his work is exhibited internationally. He is now based in Sydney, Australia and lectures at the National Art School in Sydney.
The exhibition runs until 4th September 2013 at The Scottish Gallery, 16 Dundas Street, Edinburgh EH3 6HZ. Visit The Scottish Gallery website for further details.
Spent some time today looking at, listening to and playing Sarah Kenchington's Wind Pipes for Edinburgh installation which was commissioned for the 2013 Edinburgh Art Festival.
This elaborate work is created from over 100 decommissioned organ pipes, assembled from salvage yards and eBay, powered by six large bellows.
The installation can be found in Trinity Apse, just off the High Street. This originally formed part of Trinity College Kirk which was demolished in 1848 to make room for Waverley Station. It was intended that the entire kirk would be rebuilt from carefully numbered pieces of masonry, but ultimately just one transept and the choir were rebuilt on the current site, renamed Trinity Apse.