Tuesday 25 August 2015

Bernat Klein - A Life in Colour - Dovecot Gallery, Edinburgh

Bernat Klein - Grey Harmonies (detail) - Hand-woven by Edinburgh Tapestry Co.

There is a retrospective of artist and textile designer, Bernat Klein's (1922-2014) paintings and tapestries at the Dovecot Gallery, Edinburgh.  (If you haven't been to the Dovecot you must go!)  His textile designs were most famous in the 1960s and notable for their colour and texture. The business was based in the Scottish Borders.

Bernat Klein - textiles

Bernat Klein - textiles

Through the use of impasto, his paintings also exhibit a great deal of texture and are vibrant in colour.  I particularly liked Fornax and Perseus, painted in 2013.

Bernat Klein - Provencal Scarlet
Bernat Klein - Celtic Summer
Bernat Klein - Fornax & Perseus
Bernat Klein - Norma

Perhaps it isn't surprising then that Klein commisioned Dovecot Studios (in the 70s) to produce ten tapestries that might reflect the textures created in his paintings.

Bernat Klein - Grey Harmonies - Hand-woven by Edinburgh Tapestry Co.

Bernat Klein - Scandia - Hand-woven by Edinburgh Tapestry Co.

This is  part of the Edinburgh Art Festival and is on until 26 September 2015.

Monday 17 August 2015

Kwang Young Chun - Aggregations - Dovecot Gallery, Edinburgh

Kwang Young Chun - Aggregation 06 - JN028

This is Kwang Young Chun's first solo exhibition in Scotland and is at the Dovecot Gallery (which is a great place to visit!).  He is a Korean artist who unites American Abstract Expressionism with traditional Korean practices.  His "Aggregations" are made up from variously sized polystyrene triangular forms wrapped in mulberry paper, taken from old Korean textbooks, that has been dyed and tied up with handmade mulberry paper string.  The packaging, with it's Korean text and form reminiscent of the Chinese medicine packages Kwang Young Chun remembers from childhood, adds a strong Korean cultural element and 3D quality to the colours and shapes of the Abstract Expressionist compositions.

Kwang Young Chun - Aggregation 14 - JA003
Kwang Young Chun - Aggregation 14 - JA003 - Detail

The colours are fantastic and the works are fascinating and large scale.  This is really an exhibition you have to go and see.

Kwang Young Chun - Aggregation 14 - NV058 (Dream21)
Kwang Young Chun - Aggregation 14 - NV058 (Dream21) - detail
Kwang Young Chun - Aggregation 14 - JA014 (Dream 4)
Kwang Young Chun - Aggregation 14 - JA014 (Dream 4) - edge detail
Kwang Young Chun - Aggregation 13 - MA004
Kwang Young Chun - Aggregation 14 - JA002
Kwang Young Chun - Aggregation 13 - NV045 RED

Part of the Edinburgh Art Festival, this is not an exhibition to be missed!

Wednesday 12 August 2015

Dovecot Studios, Edinburgh

If you've been to Edinburgh and not found Dovecot Studios then you need to go again.  It's only 10 minutes walk from Waverley Station and well worth a visit. 

When I visited 2 exhibitions were showing in the gallery: Kwang Young Chun - Aggregations and Bernat Klein - A Life in Colour - both on until 26 September 2015.  More of these in later posts ...

After the gallery you can explore Dovecot Tapestry Studio, where hand woven tapestries and gun tufted rugs are made.  You can see which works are underway and view finished pieces.  No photos are allowed in the studio but you might like to see the Stairwell Weave-In ...

Stairwell Weave-In - Designed and woven by Shane Waltener, assisted by Nick Duxbury

and the Glass Onion Tapestry which is a collaboration between Norwegian artist, Magne Furuhomen & the Dovecot Weavers and is inspired by the Beatles lyrics ...

Glass Onion - collaboration between Dovecot Weavers & Magne Furuholmen

You can also indulge in coffee & cake in the Dovecot Cafe

Delights from Dovecot Cafe

This is a gem of a place - don't miss it!

Monday 10 August 2015

Fabienne Hess - Hits And Misses - Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh

Fabienne Hess - Hits And Misses - Digital images on silk fabric (detail)

On dispay at the Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh until 3 October 2015 is Hits And Misses by Fabienne Hess. It is a visual interpretation of the University of Edinburgh's image collection and contains every available image from the digital archive (20,000+) in no particular order.  It illustrates the size of the collection.  Also as part of the exhibition are two monitors - one showing the images from the collection that have been viewed most and another showing a selection that haven't been viewed online at all.  

Fabienne Hess - Hits and Misses - Digital images on silk fabric

Although there are coloured items within the images the overall impression is one of neutral shades particularly beige.  Hess states how overwhelming she found the image archive when going through it and how unremarkable some of the most viewed items were and yet how beautiful some were that had never been looked at online.

Fabienne Hess - Hits and Misses - Digital images on silk fabric
Fabienne Hess - Hits and Misses - Digital images on silk fabric

Fabienne Hess - Hits and Misses - Digital images on silk fabric (detail)
If you're in Edinburgh pop in for a look it's only 10 minutes walk from Waverley station.

Friday 7 August 2015

Charlotte Lodge - Craft of the Hills Exhibition - St Andrews

The Craft of the Hills exhibition is on display at the Byre Theatre, St Andrews until mid August 2015 ...

Charlotte Lodge - Eco Print on Silk

Charlotte Lodge, textile artist, was one of the craft interns at the Centre for Stewardship in Falkirk on the Living Lomonds project, a landscape conservation programme delivered by a partnership of organisations in Fife and Perth & Kinross.  She is one of the exhibitors in this exhibition.

Plant dye samples

In her "Colours from the Hills" work, Charlotte has made a number of plant dye samples on natural fabrics from plants she has found whilst working on the project.

Dandelion and Bluebell flower dye samples

Dye results from rosehip, horseshestnut, oak gall, sweet wooodruff, nettle & wild cherry

In "Footsteps across the Hills" Charlotte went on to produce prints of her walks in the Lomond and Benarty Hills by picking plant matter and wrappping it as she went and then steaming it in her dye pot on her return. (Note: plants were selected from windfall, or dying plants or those found in abundance.)

Charlotte Lodge - Eco Print on Silk

Take a look at her work and the other interns work in the exhibition if you're in the neighbourhood!

Monday 3 August 2015

Clothed by Plants - Pittenweem Arts Festival 2015

The Pittenweem Arts Festival 2015 is in full swing and I particularly enjoyed the Clothed by Plants exhibition.

Wrap - Linda Green

This exhibition has been inspired by Angus MacPhee (1916-1997), a Scottish outsider artist who lived for some time on South Uist in the Outer Hebrides and is known for his garments woven from vegetation e.g. grasses.  Most of his works were made while he was a resident in Craig Dunain Psychiatric Hospital near Inverness.  He was known as the "Weaver of Grass" and for the 50 years he spent in the hospital he chose to remain silent.  Angus's work was discovered by Joyce Laing, artist, art therapist and collector of outsider art.  She established the Art Extraordinary Gallery in Pittenweem.

Kimono - Joyce Laing

I loved the work of Joyce Laing, Linda Green, Caroline Dear and Joanne B Kaar who were all exhibiting in Clothed by Plants. 

Gu Aonghais - slippers for Angus - Caroline Dear

Woven landscape: grassland - Caroline Dear

shift/dress - Caroline Dear

Caroline Dear has made 3 pieces.  "Gu Aonghais" - a pair of slippers for Angus & "Woven landscape: grassland" are both made of the grasses and flowers typical of South Uist.  Caroline imagines the woven landscape piece acting as a mat for the slippers when they are not being worn.  Her third piece is a life size dress made of Hair moss and contructed using her own stitch - very ethereal!

Decorative Collars - Linda Green

Linda Green has been inspired by the skills of Angus Macphee and the horse collars made from Marram grass straw on South Uist. The result is a series of beautiful decorative collars on a wearable human scale.  Each collar is different using local plants and the techniques of leno woven structure, tapestry weaving, hand beaten bark paper, leaf paper and knitting.  They are rather fabulous! (More of Linda's work can be seen at Weft textile studio on East Shore.)

Hats - Joanne Kaar

Finally I loved the hats by Joanne Kaar (visit her blog for much better pictures).  Made from the leaves of crocosmia, flag & blue irises and soft rush, they have been variously coiled and stitched to make these fantastic creations.

If you are in Pittenweem this is definitely a "must see".  (Lovely cakes & coffee at Funky Scottish on the High Street too!)