Aug 28th 2020
We will showcase three Visual Arts Scotland members bi-monthly, spotlighting their work & practice.
These showcased members will be chosen by a guest curator. The invited curator will select makers & artists that interest them from our amazing membership. This will be based on a theme of their choice.
Curator: Stuart Bennett, Senior Lecturer at Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh
Stuart Bennett is a Senior Lecturer at Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) University of Edinburgh currently, where he teaches Fine Art and is currently working on ECA’s Summer 2020 graduate showcase and events. He is a Trustee of the Council for Higher Education in Art and Design (CHEAD) and recently joined the Board of Trustees for Collective, Edinburgh. Stuart has developed exhibitions and location specific projects and has written and spoken about his work nationally and internationally. His work as an artist and educator is concerned with the activity, environment and tools of making and how the experience of creating things can be demystified.
The last of Stuart's three choices is Hannah Gibson
"I decided to think about ‘touch’ as a way of determining who to highlight – it’s been on my mind quite a lot during lockdown and I wrote about it for Susannah Beaumont’s Design Exhibition Scotland website at the start of the Covid-19 restrictions. https://www.designexhibitionscotland.co.uk/dont-touch/
All three chosen artists have touch and trace at the core of their work and offer salve and respite in these difficult and unprecedented times. Hannah in a very corporeal way, making feelings visual and visceral by disrupting the frame, helping us see more than an image"
"My practice attempts to restore a communication between the material world and physical realities by exposing the elasticity of paint and its ability to provoke potential associations and feeling. This allows the work to be elusive of a clear descriptive narrative, encouraging the questioning and probing of the painting medium.
The use of ceramics has become a tool to reimagine the “painterly mark” as they become tangible objects. These self-proclaimed relics exist in various forms inhabiting within and outwit the frame, and set out to interrupt the viewers reading of the work."
Tell us a little bit about your artistic background/education
Born Glasgow 1996. On leaving school I applied to Fashion/Textile courses. I didn’t see this through as I had change of heart, and decided to go to college to focus on painting. However, It’s worth mentioning as I think you can still see the interest in the history of clothes and fabrics ripple through the current work.
I graduated in Painting from Grays School of Art 2018. I have been living and practicing in Glasgow since 2019.
Could you describe your practice?
With a desire to access the tactile imagination, I explore the materiality and elasticity of paint and its ability to provoke potential associations. The work is playful and fluid , with an expressive quality embracing accidents and chance. I often make digital drawings and collages that I use as starting points for paintings. Through layering and warpingimages of intimate surroundings, ancient objects and fabrics - the paintings end up reflecting a sort of primitive dream.
What are your art influences? Which contemporary artists/makers do you admire and why?
I admire artists such as Raoul De Keyser and Sergej Jensen .I’m drawn to the aesthetic subtleties in their work, portraying a quiet confidence in
their use of paint. Laure Provost , the way in which she creates these immersive alternate worlds for you to step into, they prod your senses. It really interrupts your way of reading your immediate surroundings. I hope that my paintings have the ability to offer a similar type of escape. Ceramicist Paloma Proudfoot, I have mentioned her as a contemporary maker I admire before for the uncanny quality of her work. She also takes you into another realm with her objects that remind you of something you’ve seen in a museum , yet manipulated somewhat - they equally seduce and disturb.
What makes a good day in the studio for you?
When I have made a complete mess. When I leave the studio and cannot really retrace my steps from the day, yet the work has moved forward or ideas have formed. It reassures me I have let the work develop without overthinking. Equally when I know I have pushed through moments of self doubt or solved a problem, this is also a good day in the studio.
In the studio – music, audiobook, podcast, Radio or silence?
It really depends on my mood. Over the past couple of months I’ve been listening to Chats In Lockdown with Emma Cousin (podcast), where she speaks with artists about how the current situation has impacted on their practice / livelihood. I found listening to the various experiences really insightful, reassuring and encouraging and i’m sure it would be for any artist.
If I am tense I will put on NTS radio, otherwise I am happy working in silence.
What is coming up next for you and where can we see more of you work?
I used lockdown as an opportunity to experiment and push myself out of comfort zones. My use of ceramics as a means to take the painterly mark to a tangible object has been developing and I hope to push this forward.
I am also working on a new collaborative project – “banquet”. This is of course outside of my own direct practice, however I am working on ceramic pieces to serve as “cutlery” for the event. The project is setting out to host events that incorporate the visual arts into the dining experience. Offering a space for all artistic disciplines and other creative areas to come together and re-evaluate our ideas around eating/ consuming and the gallery space. Times are difficult for planning these types of gatherings but we are optimistic and hope to get started in the near future.