'Set The Scope' by Jim Ewen at The Anatomy Rooms!

At the start of April The Anatomy Rooms opened its doors for a new exhibition from studio founder Jim Ewen. I've shared studios with Jim in the past and have been a big fan of his art work since. Mixing a few different elements together, Jim has created a body of work, spanning almost ten years that explores 60's kitsch, landscape painting, the material quality of wood and brought these elements together for 'Set The Scope' a solo show presented as part of the studios 'Underpinnings' Programme. 

Set in the small gallery space, Jim installed a series of collage paintings along with paraphernalia relating to mans greatest adventure, to fly into space. Harking back to the space age of 1960s America, the work explores the spectacle of the Apollo launches.
I believe Jim himself might have witnessed some of the shuttle launches on tv at the time, a major event for any family in that era. A projection loop shows the crowd as they watch a launch, filmed on super 8 film while an old cine camera hangs along side. A vintage chair sits next to a small side table complete with a Ladybird 'How it works' book on rockets and flying, the binoculars a final nod to the spectators of the shuttle launch. There's a sense of stepping back in time with the show both in its colours and the atmosphere it conveys, all that's missing is a velvet rug and an ashtray next to some jazzy cocktail.

I've been a big fan of Jim's work since first spying it in his studio at 26. Using characters hewn from vintage magazines and books, Jim places the characters into rather stark landscapes, often with a mountain range on the horizon. Although the characters are isolated and alone, their often smiling expressions bring a sense of peace to the unusual scenes in which they find themselves. Of course Jim labours over each piece, moving and replacing the characters til he finds a good fit. We joked during my visit about how long it can take to finish a piece but for me when the work is solid its ok to take your time. Since visiting Jim's new studio in January 2017 (check it here) a lot has changed and sustaining a healthy creative life throws up challenges but Jim has produced a great show and hopefully there will be more to come from The Anatomy Rooms in 2018. 

Although the show was only on for a short time you can get a sense of it below and see Jim as he worked on his newly finished design for the Painted Doors Aberdeen project, more on that soon. For now, thanks for the memories Jim!

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