Thursday, 17 April 2014

The Last Stand by Marc Wilson @ Peacock Visual Arts!

So along with the wonderful Preserve Print show Peacocks also have a great exhibition in the main gallery with photographs by Marc Wilson. Marc has spent the last 4 years documenting a huge part of our war time history in the shape of the concrete bunkers, towers and barracks which now sit like forgotten monuments to a by gone age. 'The Last Stand' is an apt name for this body of work as many of the sites are falling into the sea, soon to be buried and lost forever which seems quite sad when you think about the purpose of these buildings.

Even along our own unique stretch of coast line you will find the distinctive pill boxes, slowly descending into sandy graves along the Don Mouth and the heavy anti tank concrete blocks, protecting against land invasion from abroad are left unprotected from their own environment. Thankfully Marc has taken on the task of documenting as many sites as he can both in Britain and abroad. The selection of his photos show a uniform approach to his subject matter although the landscapes and surroundings vary the subject is kept sharply in focus. There's a stillness to each image that counteracts the life which once rushed through these concrete dens, full of young men eager to fight for their countries, to even die for their countries! 

Its stunning to see what remains of the forts in Normandy and compare and contrast to our own sites like Loch Ewe with its huts left to weather with the elements, their only inhabitants being the sheep whom now protect the land or the barren concrete pillars in the Shetland isles. There's a hell of a lot of history that is sadly being lost for many reasons, especially in this disposable age where real war hasn't touched British soil since WW2 but its great that someone like Marc is helping to document and preserve these sites. My own pics of the show really don't do Marc's work any justice so I highly recommend making your way down to Peacocks to see them up close, you can also purchase copies of the prints in varying sizes. The Last Stand will be on show until the 10th of May.                     .

Monday, 14 April 2014

Monday Mixtape # 28 - Audio Vavafesto 6!

Todays mixtape come from VaVa Records, an interesting mix kicking off with Radiohead and my current favourites Future Island. Ill need to try and get a track list as there's some gems in this mix and an awesome way to start the week!

Friday, 11 April 2014

'Preserve Print' @ Peacock Visual Arts!

Preserve Print is that beautiful calm before the storm when 4th year printmaking students from Grays School of Art get to show off their work in a pre degree show show. The pressure is probably just starting to build up as dissertations are handed in and work begins on the final push for June but the pre degree show is time to take stock and look at the story so far. 

The walls in Peacocks reception gallery are adorned with works ranging from traditional prints, patch works and sculptural pieces. Print makers seem to have a knack for pushing the boundaries of what print making can be and this years troupe are no exception. Along with the current 4th years you can view work from the current Graduates in Residence Lauren & Kirsty who stayed on at Grays for an extra year to use the facilities and produce new work, you can check out photos from their own mini exhibition in the Grays reception here

As always there's some great work on display with the circular string piece and the giant tapestry pieces mixing things up nicely along with the strange broken checked rock like landscapes. You can check out work from the 2011, 2012 and 2013 pre degree shows by clicking on the dates and make sure to check out this years show in person at Peacock Visual Arts. Congrats to all the students on a great opening night and a fun show!

The Adelphi Lane Mural & Sir David Gill Exhibition!

A few weeks ago some artists from the Owlcat Artist Collective were commisioned to create a special mural for the Adelphi Lane. The Adelphi Lane has often been overlooked but thanks to the Adelphi Kitchen and some forward thinking city folk the lane has become an attraction both for the eyes and the belly, just check out their facebook page!

At first I wasn't that fond of the mural in progress but as the artists started to fill in the blanks it came together nicely and really does show off some of Aberdeen's rich heritage. One bug bear I have though is that none of the news outlets who covered the story really mentioned Sir David Gill who appears in the mural. A prominent astronomer and pioneer of navigation techniques for his time, Gill is someone from Aberdeen's history who should be celebrated and has been with the Maratime Museum exhibition celebrating his life in Aberdeen and his achievements. The show closed at the end of March but was on while the murals were being painted just a minute up from the museum but none of the news outlets mentioned this, and if I had pulled my finger out I might have been able to write this sooner. You can still check out the special booklet produced by the Maratime about Sir David Gill available for download here.

Moans aside its great to see a fresh use of public space that can hopefully lead to more opportunities for public art of this nature and a better use of boarded up buildings and dead space like the old E&Ms building next to Jamie's Italian or the mega wall now surrounding the old council head quarters site!