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.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: