Saturday, 12 August 2017

'Soul Soup' by Caitlin Hynes at Parx Cafe!

'Soul Soup' is a new solo show from Caitlin Hynes, currently on at Parx Cafe. Caitlin has been quiet of late hosting a series of workshops and classes with the Creative Learning team, helping people of all ages to make, play and discover the joy of creating. And this element of joy and happiness is something that's present in a lot of Caitlin's work. 

Quietly beavering away for the past few months, the show is a masterclass in Caitlin's unique style and execution. Mixing screen print, drawings and ceramic works, the show is another step into Caitlins world. The drawings and prints have become more detailed and full while here grasp of ceramics if greatly informed by her clear creative vision. As we walked around the space small details began to emerge the works and everyone seemed to be enthralled by it. As I looked at each of the small ceramics on the table I noticed a little drawing next to each one, the blueprints for spoons, trinket bowls and ornaments. Every surface seemed to have something on it, the windows and windowsill a display board for many of the smaller works while a large table formed a centre piece for some of the larger works.

Parx cafe themselves have been doing a great job in providing exhibition space, hosting many shows in the last 12 months. I haven't made it down to as many as I'd like and was running late for Caitlins opening but we made it. It will be interesting to pop past on a normal cafe day and to see how the work sits in the space. I've spent hours looking at Caitlins drawings and prints, distorted animals and people seem to float in their own world, removed from our own and yet somehow still accessible. Certainly everyone who attended the opening seemed impressed and happy to step into that world for a few hours, some even taking the plunge and putting a red dot next to pieces they bought. As far as prices go Caitlins work is quite affordable, maybe even too cheap but I think its an investment that will keep giving as you can't look at them without smiling. 

'Soul Soup' is a nice step in Caitlins already impressive career and with a move to Edinburgh in the near future I'm sure well be seeing a lot more coverage of her work. The exhibition is on show at Parx for the next few weeks so be sure to get down for a proper look and take home something special while you can! Massive love to Caitlin who is a constant inspiration, on many levels and thanks to Duguld Allan for the snaps.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

'This Will Ruin Everything' by Recoat at The Lighthouse!

Now in its final week, this is your last chance to see the 10 year celebratory show by Recoat, 'This Will Ruin Everything'. Currently on at The Lighthouse in Glasgow, the show is an exploration of Recoat and their first 10 years including gallery shows with some of the biggest names in graff and street art, community mural projects, European art exchanges and a whole load more!

The show is about more than looking back though, instead they chose to explore how many of their collaborators straddle multiple worlds and disciplines. Where is the line between artist and record sleeve designer, illustrator and furniture maker? With so many incredible artists its a chance for Recoat to explore some of the great projects they've executed but also to exam the impact of the modern mural phenomenom, what it means to bring art into communities and why engaging with people is so important. And that for me has always a huge part of what makes Recoat so successful at whatever they do. From the first time I stepped into the old gallery space to speaking to Ali and Amy last week, they've been full of warmth and so welcoming which I think is becoming a rare trait in these times, especially in certain creative circles. As Ali said, when you have Will Barras crashing at your house its hard not feel humble. If you don't know who Will Barras is, a quick google will help. 

The Lighthouse exhibition is just one part of the 10 year celebrations, a successful crowd fund campaign raised enough money to cover printing costs for Recoats first ever book, also titled 'This Will Ruin Everything' which you can purchase here . After trawling their extensive archive the guys have produced a retrospective tome which captures some of their incredible adventures. Film screenings, panel debates, life drawing classes and artists talks have all taken place over the last 2 weeks and I was lucky enough to bring a group down from Aberdeen to see the show and take part in a collaborative mural painting workshop which I think everyone enjoyed.

The show features the work of 40 artists, designers, architects and painters both from Glasgow and further afield. Of the top of my head you can see work by Fist, Elph, Kirsty Whiten, RueFive, Lucy McLauchlan, Matt W Moore, Florence Blanchard, AskewOne, Fraser GrayChris MacFarlane, Will Barras, Susie Wright, David Galletly, Baxendale Studio, Jennifer Argo, Kid Acne, Ade Adesina, Risotto Studio, Mark Lyken, Emma Dove & Nawer to name a few. And there's just as many that I didn't get a note of but when you google these names you'll find projects stretching across the globe and some of the finest contemporary artists of our time!

Being a huge follower of the street art scene, seeing these names emerge and gain popularity its been nice to see their work come to Scotland and having a chance to engage with it. The In Common murals created for the 2014 games are a constant reminder of the power of art to touch people, to promote the best side of a place but also to re-define a city, much as Nuart can do for Aberdeen. 

Its incredible to see what Recoat have achieved in 10 years and its not come easy, its been hard work for sure from working in freezing gallery spaces to constantly having to defend their public art works but I'ms sure all the blood, sweat and tears have been worth it. Although titled 'This Will Ruin Everything' I think the opposite is true, the show cements Recoats importance to Scotlands cultural landscape on many fronts and I can't wait to see what the next 10 years hold for Amy & Ali, not to mention all the incredible talents they've nurtured and helped bring into the fold. Here's to you guys!