CHRIS FREMANTLE

What art have I seen? Oral Suspension

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on March 15, 2019

Photo courtesy of Look Again Festival

David Blyth and Nick Gordon collaborated on this at once jokey and nuanced exhibition in Look Again‘s new space on St Andrew Street. It’s great to have a space on a street in central Aberdeen, but this exhibition should have been in the Aberdeen Art Gallery in terms of its scale and ambition. Open at exactly the point the City further cut its commitment to the arts, this shows what outstanding work is happening in the North of Scotland: an ecosystem being damaged by short term thinking.

Nick Gordon is a graduate of Gray’s, a sculptor and part of the group running a new printmaking workshop on Orkney. David Blyth teaches at Gray’s (and taught Nick).

The works are weavings of traditional folklore with newly discovered uses of the skate (and it’s iconic shape) are complemented by the artists’ investment in the project, taking skate oil supplements during the whole development of the work and offering ‘traditional’ recipes including a skate skink.

The human symbolic relationship with the skate is complex, not least because of the curious sense of a human face particularly in the landed hanging skate. Strange as this is, it is complemented by the strangeness evoked by other aspects, hinting at secret societies and mysterious rituals.

Image courtesy of Mood of Collapse blog

Jon Blackwood’s short text associated with the exhibition highlights connections with local conservation organisations, and the general threat to skate populations (some being on the IUCN Red List). He quotes Donna Haraway alluding to the complexity of connection and interdependence.

This exhibition demonstrates how art can take us into a deeper relationship with the more than human, but also how both art/culture and other living things are undervalued and threatened by our current insistence on valuing everything through the market.

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What counts as ‘impact’?

Posted in Failure, Research by chrisfremantle on March 11, 2019

Does an email citing a published ‘output’ inviting you to submit papers and join an editorial board of a new Journal count as impact?

I’m asking this because I regularly get emails mentioning the paper Gemma Kearney and I had published in the International Journal of Art and Design Education which, according to Google Scholar, is the 3rd highest rate Visual Art Journal.

I’ve pasted a typical email in below.

The paper, Owning Failure, has been cited three times (again according to Google Scholar), but I’ve had countless emails about it.

Other papers are more frequently cited, but this is the only paper ever mentioned in these invitations.

So good Journal, low citations, lots of soliciting emails… is that any sort of impact?
From: Journal AJAC
Sent: 08 March 2019 07:37:13 (UTC+00:00) Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London
To: Christopher Fremantle (gsa)
Subject: Dear Fremantle, C; Kearney, G: Invite You to Submit Papers and Be Editorial Board/Reviewer Panel Member

International Journal of Literature and Arts
(ISSN Print:2331-0553 ISSN Online: 2331-057X)
Open Access Policy (OA) Peer-review 50-70 Days Paper Publication
[http://img.literarts.org/logo/w523582388996.png]<http://www.literarts.org/home>
Dear Fremantle, C; Kearney, G
International Journal of Literature and Arts (IJLA) is a peer-reviewed academic journal, establishing a solid platform to all academicians, practicing managers, consultants, researchers and those who have interest in emerging global trends in literature and arts.
Having been greatly attracted by your paper titled “Owning Failure: Insights Into the Perceptions and Understandings of Art Educators”, we wholeheartedly invite you to submit papers and join the Editorial Panel/Reviewer Team.
Become the Editorial Board Member/Reviewer
We have been dedicated to building IJLA into a world’s top journal. Well-known experts are cordially welcomed to join the Editorial Board/Reviewers Panel.
Have any interests of joining the Editorial Board/Reviewers Panel?
Please find more here: http://www.literarts.org/joinus
Advantages of Joining the Editorial Board/Reviewers Panel:

1. Quickly improve your perceptibility in your research fields.
2. Get cutting-edge materials on latest scientific discoveries.
3. Authoritative certification in PDF format launched by the editorial office.
4. Have your personal profile listed on the journal’s page.
5. 10% off of the original APC.

Submitting Your Article
IJLA was launched with the aim of promoting academic communication all over the world in a more productive way.
During the past years, lots of scholars have contributed many papers to the journal. With your contribution, experts from all over the world will achieve more in the process of scholarly research. We invite you with sincerity to contribute other unpublished papers that have similar topics to the journal. Your further research on this article is also welcomed.
If you are interested in submitting a paper, please learn more here:
http://www.literarts.org/submission
Here attached the abstract of your research which has impressed us most:
Title: Owning Failure: Insights Into the Perceptions and Understandings of Art Educators
Keywords: failure; artists; practice-led; pedagogies; learning
Abstract: Failure forms an important dimension of art and design and is inherent in creative endeavours. This article explores current literature on failure in the art and design context and offers a contribution through qualitative research drawing upon interviews with lecturing staff in a UK art school. The findings from this research emphasise the complexity of the concept of failure. Three key themes emerged regarding respondents’ perceptions of failure: failure as a process, as a means of learning and as an issue in assessment culture. This research is exploratory in nature, and whilst the limitations of the small sample are accepted, the article contributes to the dialogue and discussion surrounding the often emotive concept of failure.
Regards,
Margaret Fredricks
Editorial Office of International Journal of Literature and Arts

Still Life 13 Feb 2019

Posted in Still Life by chrisfremantle on March 8, 2019

Audiences and pt3

Posted in Audiences and, Uncategorized by chrisfremantle on March 7, 2019

Reflecting on what it means to put someone at the centre of making art… Projects Director for ArtLink, Alison Stirling’s thoughts published on the Creative Scotland website.

The more they work together, the more the person at the centre benefits; the clearer the idea the more the person at the centre benefits; the more artists and thinkers are involved, the more the person at the centre benefits; the more time they spend learning from each other, the more the person at the centre benefits.

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What art have I seen? John Ruskin: The Power of Seeing

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on February 13, 2019

John Ruskin: The Power of Seeing at Two Temple Place.

Well put together exhibition on Ruskin including contemporary responses. Hannah Downing’s Vertical Panorama drawing is particularly stunning.

Draws out his interests and the development of his poetics particularly in looking at nature, from formal compositions in the conventional manner to attention to nature itself.

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What art have I seen? Mladen Miljanović

Posted in Uncategorized by chrisfremantle on February 7, 2019

Utopian Realism at W OR M in Aberdeen, the first solo exhibition by Mladen Miljanović in Scotland.

Miljanović’s work is surreal (inc a video of his tutor at Art School being fitted with Lie Detector equipment before being interrogated and beaten by the Secret Police). But the performance, which involved Miljanović handcuffed to a pillar in the middle of the space for the duration of the opening, is possibly the strangest thing I’ve ever experienced. I’ve read about pretty strange stuff in London and elsewhere in the 60s and 70s (shutting audiences into spaces, etc) but this was a personal first.

But how do you make something real and meaningful in a Gallery? Miljanović said he couldn’t show the work of his Teacher being arrested and interrogated and stand around being the celebrity artist – if he showed the work he had to ensure it wasn’t just entertainment. The performance ensured that the exhibition was inflected with a shared experience.

Of course the fact that he instigated the arrest and had organised the filming, all without his teacher’s knowledge, multiplies the strangeness.

Richard Fremantle, RIP

Posted in Uncategorized by chrisfremantle on January 29, 2019

What art have I seen? Cage and Rauschenberg

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on January 22, 2019

Still Life (New Year’s Day) 1 January 2019

Posted in Uncategorized by chrisfremantle on January 1, 2019

What art have I seen? Marina Abramović – The Cleaner

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on December 17, 2018

Marina Abramović’s The Cleaner at Palazzo Strozzi.

https://www.palazzostrozzi.org/mostre/marina-abramovic-2/?lang=en

Career survey including all the well known pieces some being reperformed. Really powerful pieces. Not everyone enjoyed it – some thought it was pretentious. Some channelling of the AAA-AAA

Audiences and … pt2

Posted in Uncategorized by chrisfremantle on December 17, 2018

Another piece of writing that has stayed with me comes from Matt Baker, Orchestrator at The Stove in Dumfries. In 2010 he wrote a piece entitled ‘A serious attempt to unravel public art’ about how all public art needs a door. He expressed it more elegantly. Read it here. And there is a pdf Sacrificial Materials: A serious attempt to unravel public art (deep breath).

Audiences and… pt1

Posted in Audiences and, Uncategorized by chrisfremantle on December 10, 2018

I had an interesting conversation recently. Someone said to me. “I get irritated when I ask an artist how they think the viewer of the work will respond to something they are working on. They often say that they are making the work for themselves. When I ask them whether they want people to see the work, they say Of course. When I ask them who, they say People.” We are here talking about studio based work, work that is made and then shown, but this brings up larger issues.

And there is a truth that anyone making work in a studio in the end is making something to a personal agenda. And neither of us were thinking that making art was a form of marketing where a clear sense of the intended audience, segmented and analysed, was central to the process. Working in public places is almost always a negotiation.

So I’m going to be exploring this question, drawing attention to writing that I think helps address the question, “What is the relationship between the artist and the audience, participant, collaborator, co-creator, etc?” There will be a series of posts and they’ll all have the Title “Artists and…” Some may just be links to other pieces of writing – where relevant I’ll provide pdfs too.

The first is from Anne Douglas’ forthcoming publication in the Connected Communities Series for Policy Press.

Anne recently wrote, speaking of Allan Kaprow and John Cage,

…they shared the question of where creativity begins and ends – with the composer, with the performer and/or with the audience? This shift in the power of creative agency is poignantly evidenced at this early stage in Cage’s 4’33” (1952). The performer sits at the grand piano but does not play it. Instead the ritual of a classical performance frames ambient sound creating an environment that is sensory and, importantly, draws the audience, performer and composition together in a shared space connected through listening. The conventional hierarchy in which the (active) composer generates material that the performer (as mediator) realises to a (passive) audience gives way to new configuration. The listener, who could be composer or performer or a member of the audience, becomes the creator of his/her own singular experience of sound.

Douglas, A. 2019 Redistributing Power? A Poetics of Participation in Contemporary Arts. Bristol: Polity Press.

You can download the book from the Connected Communities website

(pdf Douglas Redistributing Power)

What art have I seen? Rasheed Araeen

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on December 9, 2018

What art have I seen? Spellbound

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on November 24, 2018

The Spellbound: Magic, Ritual & Witchcraft exhibition at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford is really very problematic. It seems to be both parochial and also evade the deeper issues.

The exhibition contains a wide range of material culture from spell books and equipment through troves of clothing and shoes found secreted in houses, paintings and prints representing witchcraft and devilry, as well as some contemporary art which ‘channels’ the theme.

On the parochial front it seems to focus wholly on the southern half of mainland Britain, not address Scotland at all (Tam O’Shanter?), nor the North of England, nor Salem in Massachusetts, nor Norway, nor Africa… the view of the subject we are left with is very geographically specific – not that there is anything wrong with that, except I’m left wondering if that’s accurate? After all one of the most compelling objects is a South American object – an obsidian mirror apparently owned by John Dee. What other connections are there?

But on the evasion of deeper issues, the criticism is more fundamental. There are references to patriarchy and witch trials. There is a chair designed to test whether a witch is heavier or lighter than a church bible (lighter and you are a witch). But there seemed to be no contextual discussion on what shifts in the cultures of Europe and North America in the 17th Century such that women suddenly start being burnt for witchcraft. Not all witches are women and not all ritual and magic is associated with women, but women become the focus of violence and the exhibition could have enlightened us. Rather it left us with an idea of the various aspects of the practice, but no larger understanding.

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Still Life, 21 November 2018

Posted in Uncategorized by chrisfremantle on November 21, 2018

What art have I seen? Santiago Sierra and Mike Kelly

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on November 15, 2018

What art have I seen? Artes Mundi 8

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on November 14, 2018

What art have I seen? I Object: Ian Hislop’s Search for Dissent

Posted in Civics, Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on September 30, 2018

Very good, diverse and provocative exhibition of satire, caricature and disruptive intervention (and not all lefty liberal either).

From the time of the Pharohs in Egypt through to the Umbrella protests in Hong Kong via classic British fart-based disrespect of leaders and rulers.

Taking Joanna Macy’s triumverate of ‘actions to defend,’ ‘Gaian structures’ and ‘shifting consciousness’ this is pretty much a workbook of ways to undermine authority.

It shows the breadth of the BM’s collection but also perhaps shows that this isn’t a focus of collecting. Hong Kong and Tianamen Square are represented but Occupy isn’t – the diagram created by Rachel Schragis of the Declaration of Occupy Wall Street would speak volumes.

Possil Free State, Greenham Common, Twyford Down, Faslane, the ZAD, Standing Rock and all the other combinations of defending and Gaian structures are insufficiently represented.

Perhaps the Liberate Tate/Art not Oil campaign is too close to home: the parallel Sumerian exhibition is sponsored by BP.

Of course out of context pretty much everything needed explanation, but there were many objects which stood out regardless, including the bronze head of a Roman General buried under a triumphal gate deep in Africa beyond the Empire.

In other cases you had to spot the critique including in the Seychelles banknotes where the engraver had included rude words around the head of the Queen.

http://www.britishmuseum.org/whats_on/exhibitions/i_object.aspx

Still Life, 29 September 2018

Posted in Still Life by chrisfremantle on September 29, 2018

What art have I seen? Colourists and Life School

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on September 22, 2018

Beth Fisher’s astounding and inspired drawing of her family with her dead mother. Just one of a number of powerful pieces in Ages of Wonder: The Royal Scottish Academy Life School

Also The Rhythm of Light
Scottish Colourists from the Fleming Collection

What art have I seen? Christo and Jeanne-Claude

Posted in Sited work by chrisfremantle on September 2, 2018

What art have I seen? Keith Sonnier

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on August 31, 2018

What art have I seen? Prada Marfa

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on August 20, 2018

Elmgreen and Dragset’s Prada Marfa. So gentrification… it’s definitely a thing. Art definitely can cause it. We saw a small tract house for sale – sign said Zoned for Residential/Commercial inc Art Gallery. The art workers we met (eg part-time tour guide with two art history degrees/full-time chef) were struggling to survive housing costs in Marfa. Of course we can be ironic about it, but what else can we do?

What art have I seen? Chinati Foundation

Posted in Exhibitions, Sited work by chrisfremantle on August 19, 2018

What should a museum be when made by an artist?

The artist decides where and how the work is installed (in agreement with the artist who set up the museum).

Works do not compete with each other.

Work is (almost exclusively) permanently installed.

The work is well documented but there are no signs and labels (except where they are part of the work).

Still Life 18 August 2018 Marfa

Posted in Still Life by chrisfremantle on August 18, 2018

What art have I seen? Hyperobjects

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on August 18, 2018

What art have I seen? The Block

Posted in Exhibitions, Sited work by chrisfremantle on August 18, 2018

Studios and Libraries in The Block, Judd Foundation.

20th Century Books organised by date of publication (or author birth maybe).

Books before 20th Century organised by geography.

Studio contains work for thinking.

What art have I seen? Blue Star Contemporary

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on August 16, 2018

A Manhattan Beach Memoir by Gary Sweeney. Family home going to be demolished so turned inside out, becoming an installation, a tribute and an evocation of America in the second half of the 20th Century.

From Underfoot: Breaking Through Surface and Ground. Group show of materials, concepts, details.

What art have I seen? Robert Powell: Between The Lost Places

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on July 30, 2018

What art have I seen? Assemblages: Sculpture, Found Objects and Boxed Reliefs

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on July 30, 2018

Assemblages: Sculpture, Found Objects and Boxed Reliefs at the Fine Art Society, Edinburgh including work by Fiona Dean, Will Maclean, Alberto Morocco amongst others. Did the latter influence the former?

Why we should learn to embrace failure | Elizabeth Day | Life and style | The Guardian

Posted in Failure by chrisfremantle on July 16, 2018

What art have I seen? Land of Lads, Land of Lashes

Posted in Exhibitions, Uncategorized by chrisfremantle on July 11, 2018
homothetic

Rosemarie Castoro, Land of Lashes, archival photo, 1976

Land of Lads, Land of Lashes at Galerie Thaddeus Ropac. Rosmarie Castoro, Wanda Czelkowska, Lydia Okumura. Three different contexts (NYC, Poland, Brazil). Deep formal sculptural concerns bringing in expressionist, minimalist, humorous, bodily aspects. Interesting in comparison to Lee Lozano – the catalogue of the recent retrospective of Castoro suggests similar interest in lists, instructions and texts. Okumura’s spatial works relate to Sol Lewitt but also to Fred Sandback and are more dynamic than Lozano’s large paintings.

What art have I seen? More Christo drawings and collages

Posted in Exhibitions, Uncategorized by chrisfremantle on July 11, 2018

More Christo and Jeanne-Claude, this time at Repetto Gallery. Drawings are all attributed to Christo, though the installed projects are Christo & Jeanne-Claude. One public installation in the Serpentine Lake, one public exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery, two commerical gallery exhibitions simultaneously (Stern Pissarro and Repetto).

I hadn’t realised before that some of the drawings are collages including fabric and string. In particular Wrapped Wall has fabric stapled to the image which is then drawn on, so some of the creases are ‘real’ and some inscribed – remarkable. The more you look at these works, the more they give you.

You can see in the 1976 The Pont Neuf Wrapped collage below that there is fabric inserted into the image – the media are listed as “Pencil, fabric, twine, photograph by Wolfgang Volz, wax crayon, pastel, charcoal and map.”

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What art have I seen? On Collecting

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on July 9, 2018
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What art have I seen? Seeing Beyond The Immediate by Patricia Cain

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on July 7, 2018

Grass Verge, Oil Pastel

Trish Cain’s exhibition Seeing Beyond The Immediate at the Lillie Art Gallery in Milngavie

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What art have I seen? Mastaba by Christo & Jeanne-Claude

Posted in Exhibitions, Sited work by chrisfremantle on July 4, 2018

The Mastaba on the Serpentine, works related to barrels in the Gallery, other works at Stern Pissarro.

Curiously the Mastaba floating on the lake is more like the 2D works in the Gallery than you expect – it has an unreal quality, perhaps because of the formal geometry and the colour too. All the earlier proposals going back to the late 60s are yellow, red and orange, but this is maroon and purple. Maybe more complementary to the greenness of Hyde Park?

There is definitely a Dada streak in this, the absurdity of this large form, just as there is a Dadaism in wrapping things.

Mies van der Rohe said art addresses the conditions of the time – his were industrialisation and mass production. Christo and Jeanne Claude’s work has a curious relation both to industrial and post-industrialisation, but the temporariness – here now, gone in September – reveals more. Temporary abnormality sensitises us to the normal.

Christo clearly denies any political intent but this monumental structure composed of oil barrels is a reminder of our, as Brett Bloom calls it, petro-subjectivity.

What art have I seen? David Nash

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on July 3, 2018

The blue of Blue Column (2017) is so intense it vibrates on the page

The red of the sequoia wood in Red Around Black (2017) is so dense it could be corten steel

What art have I seen? Robert Callender

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on June 30, 2018
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What art have I seen? Re(a)d Bed

Posted in Arts & Health, Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on June 30, 2018
Pryde, James Ferrier, 1866-1941; The Red Bed

James Pryde, ‘The Red Bed’ (1916)

One of the challenges in creating work for hospitals and healthcentres is that there really isn’t any place to experiment.

If you want to in some way engage with our health and the institutions which deal with us when we are sick, pretty much regardless of artform, it is tricky. Quite rightly healthcare professionals control access. Hospitals aren’t really places for experimentation. You probably ought to know what you are doing if you are going to make art in places where people are sick, recovering or dying.

So the exhibition Re(a)d Bed in Edinburgh’s City Arts Centre is an important correlate to the major Art and Therapeutic Design programme currently being installed and otherwise integrated into NHS Lothian’s new Royal Hospital for Children and Young People, Department of Clinical Neuroscience and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services in Little France, Edinburgh.

The works in the exhibition are the result of residencies and fellowships intended to provide developmental opportunities for artists to explore issues and create new and challenging responses to in particular the neurosciences context. Key to this programme has been the partnership between Ginkgo Projects, public art and design managers, and New Media Scotland/Alt-W. The exhibition comprises both some historical items as well as new works by artists, craftspeople and designers. Full documentation can be found on the New Media Scotland site here. Gavin Inglis’ in progress graphic novel exploring functional neurological disorders, Stacy Hunter’s questioning the depersonalisation of the clinical environment, asking what objects could make it more personal again, Sven Werner’s audio work on becoming invisible… These and the others are all important vectors through healthcare experiences and environments, experiments that need to be done, ideas that need to be tested and prototyped.

Beyond Walls provides more information and regular updates.

 

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Still Life 18 June 2018

Posted in Still Life by chrisfremantle on June 18, 2018

Still Life 15 June 2018 (after Durer)

Posted in Still Life by chrisfremantle on June 15, 2018

What art have I seen? Positive Geographies

Posted in Uncategorized by chrisfremantle on June 14, 2018

John Blackwood and Svetlana Popova talking about Liminal engaged in the discourse of Aberdeen and the last bathhouse in Berlin.

What art have I seen? Beuys Utopia at the Stag Monuments

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on May 26, 2018

Joseph Beuys: Utopia at the Stag Monuments at Galerie Thaddeus Ropac.

So what is the difference between Kienholz and Beuys? Both are constructing with everyday materials including furniture and other stuff selected for symbolic import. Both are speaking to the social. Kienholz’ Nativity or Beuys’ Feldbett?

Kienholz is utilising the detritus of urban society to assemble installations that comment on religion, race and sex. Beuys is using the most basic materials to provoke our understanding of the larger significance of life – fat, felt, electricity, ovens, clay, etc.

Beuys’ work suggests the potential for social transformation. Kienhol’ work on the other hand is mostly stabbing at hypocrisy with satire.

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What art have I seen? Ed Kienholz and Speigelgasse

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on May 25, 2018

Ed Kienholz at Blain/Southern. Boy Ed could be offensive. The ‘Black Leather Chair’ Proposal is really ‘in your face’ nasty, especially in the wording – see here.

I rather like proposals as a format (e.g. Peter Liversidge and Lee Lozano) and I didn’t know Kienholz had adopted that strategy. I also didn’t know about pricing method – a sum for the written proposal and plaque, a little more for a drawing, and then a sum to be agreed for realising the proposal.

Also saw Speigelgasse at Hauser & Wirth. All Swiss artists, following the influence of dada…

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Still Life Monday 14 May 2018

Posted in Still Life by chrisfremantle on May 14, 2018

What art have I seen? Verity Birt’s Her Feet Are Talons; Her Hands Are Unclean

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on May 10, 2018

Still Life Wednesday 9 May 2018

Posted in Still Life by chrisfremantle on May 9, 2018

What art have I seen? Gi cont.

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on May 3, 2018

Mitchell Library contains two temporary library related projects:

A public library of and for listening by Anneke Kampman and Katherine MacBride

Gi Form

Invitation to Forms with Kate Briggs, Joseph Buckley, Francis McKee, Vivian Sky Rehberg, Sarah Tripp, Nina Wakeford and Brighton Upton-Trust

What art have I seen? Gi

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on May 1, 2018

Deniz Uster’s Citadel at the Briggait, along with Nadia Myre’ Code-Switching and Other Work.

Rosie O’Grady’s May Day at the House for an Art Lover.

Duggie Fields at The Modern Institute

What art have I seen? Will Maclean

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on April 30, 2018
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