Jul 11th 2019
Every Month we will showcase three Visual Arts Scotland members, spotlighting their work, routine and practice.
These showcased members will be chosen by a monthly 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: Andrew Mackenzie, President of Visual Arts Scotland
Theme: Associate Membership - recent graduates, emerging artists/makers
Andrew Mackenzie was born in Banff, North East Scotland, and graduated with an MFA from Edinburgh College of Art in 1993. He lives and works in the Scottish Borders. His work has been exhibited extensively, most recently with The Paul Kuhn Gallery, Calgary and Sarah Myerscough Gallery, London
‘’I have chosen three artists from our associate membership. This is the VAS membership category for recent graduates and emerging artists, and mostly the result of our commitment to visiting the degree shows across Scotland each year, and selecting up to 4 or 5 artists and makers from each. This is one of the most vital and rewarding parts of what we do in VAS - we showcase the work of 5 graduates in our annual show each year at the RSA. In 2018, we also mounted a show at Summerhall in Edinburgh focused on out associate membership.’’
''Corrie Thomson presents intriguing installations which are reminiscent of objects and furniture encountered in everyday life, but reconfigured with a surprising twist. There is a sense of play here, of turning expectations on their head, or of reflecting the familiar world back to us in the 'wrong' order, causing us to question what we see. For example, a wooden crafted v-shaped object, like a sun lounger built for an alien or a set of wings, is placed mysteriously on top of a bed-like steel frame, using steel rod and wood to make delicate 3 dimensional line drawings in space. Her materials include oak, birch, steel, bronze and copper.''
My practice loosely revolves around the suggestive nature of the sculptural object. I work
primarily with sculpture and installation. My work is heavily informed by architecture, furniture
and the design and engineering of everyday objects and the patterns and forms that emerge
through the close investigation of these processes. Within my work I like to look for where
the overlap lies between the maquette and the sculpture, the model and the object. Balance
and precarity lie at the heart of my work. I love to play about with the positioning of materials
and objects, creating obscure sculptural arrangements.
Tell us a bit about your artistic background/education:
I studied Fine Art at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design. It wasn’t until I got to art school that I realised there was more to making art than painting and drawing (the only thing I was exposed to at school). The wood and metal workshops were where I felt most at home at art school. They were places of experimentation where everything just clicked into place. I had a sudden realisation that learning these processes was within my reach and that I was more than capable of making and designing physical objects myself. There is a calmness involved in making things which has always given me so much satisfaction.
Could you describe your practice?
The sculptural arrangements I create always have a combination of meticulously designed and constructed objects and other elements or materials that are practically unaltered. A lot of my practice is about balance. It’s like drawing in 3D. Going heavy on some areas, and light on others, like I would do if I was doing a pencil drawing.
What are your art influences? Which contemporary artists/makers do you admire and why?
I’m most influenced by things like, scandinavian architecture, furniture and the design, engineering or craft of domesticated objects. I like to think about how people, objects and buildings occupy space. I also absolutely love looking at architectural drawings and technical drawings of things like boats, aeroplanes or furniture. They’re incredibly beautiful to me, and I find it fascinating working out how something is made.
What makes a good day in the studio for you?
A good day at the studio means getting in early - that’s a big one. If I get in later than 10:30/11am I start to feel under pressure and against the clock. I set myself tasks for the day, like sand these bits of wood, order these materials, finish drawings for this idea, etc. Also, a good day in the studio is when someone doesn’t make a noise complaint about me occasionally using a loud tool or two…
In the studio - music, audiobook, podcast, Radio 4 or silence?
If I’m working on new ideas or doing admin then I have to have complete silence, otherwise I get too distracted. But if I’m doing a task that I can get quite absorbed in like sanding, or whittling or waxing wood I’ll have the radio on for a bit of company: either Smooth Radio or Radio 6 usually.
What is coming up next for you and where can we see more of your work?
Right now my main objective is to develop my making skills. I started whittling recently and in April I went on an artist boat-making residency with the Archipelago Folkschool, both of which have inspired me to start gaining a better understanding and knowledge of wood and making in general. This month I’ll be starting a Woodcraft course at a college in Glasgow which I’m hoping will kick start this new journey for me.
Also, Page/Park, the architect firm, are taking part in the Sculpture Placement Group’s ‘SculpTOURS’ in collaboration with Glasgow Doors Open Day. I already have one piece of work installed at Page/Park and I will be exhibiting a few others in the same place for this occasion. It will be open to the public over the third weekend of September.