A new cafe opened up on the Grassmarket very close to the college. The owner Alex is friendly and wants to get involved with the students at the college. He has a big vision for his small cafe which includes lots of paintings. As point of reference, he talks of a cafe in Paris which is wall to wall paintings. He seems to have an eye for detail, saying he knows nothing about art but he knows what he likes!
I have contributed paintings I think would suit the location - Edinburgh themed in addition to a painting he was very keen on which is 'White Shed' - a big blue painting which now sits above the fish tank. I have ensured the prices reflect the fact that the venue is a cafe, that the work is older and that we are no longer in the Festival spirit.
I have also loaned two artist books for the cafe visitors to look at and supplied my business cards.
Alex changes the furnishings around fairly constantly and I am also having to play about with labels depending on the placing of the pictures - all adds to the complexity of the hanging.
I was most fortunate to be invited to accompany Tina to this event. Gordon Brennan was the only other ECA person in attendance as unfortunately the 3 painters who had their work on site - including pal Deirdre McLeod had been left off the invite list! Chancellor HRH Princess Anne and J K Rowling were there. Valvona and Crolla eats were available all morning too. The centre was amazing and I was extremely touched by it all - the hope, the positive energy and amazing future for all those affected by the most horrendous diseases. Most particularly moving was the Recording room, which gave patients the possibility of tcontinuing to 'speak' with their own unique voices.
This research work involved taking a simple tile fragment and working with its geometry. There were strong pattern elements which were explored using found 'L' shaped wood. The focus is on pattern and materiality. The medium is acrylic paint and the process is one of construction and deconstruction using sand paper to erase before layers are added. There will be more experimentation on layout once the pieces are constructed as there may be negative spaces to make more of.
After a dodgy start, so far so good. The dodgy start was by way of a cold or flu. Not sure which but it managed to fell me. I felt it was an ominous start as Monday 13th in the rain was the first day back. No matter, now all better and hopefully that will be the only illness.
I am in C5. A studio taken over from sculpture as there are more 4th year painters than sculptors. I share the space with 2 M.A. students, Suzie and Emily which means that they are away a lot of the time elsewhere. The rest are a quiet conscientious hard-working bunch who also do not appear there very often. Sarah is making her own film. Rachael also seems to be basing her work on film. Sam is very interesting, creating a whole new world by way of drawings. Gezi is a painter who seems to be interested in the Scottish landscape. She is involved in printing too. India too is a painter with a focus on portraiture. Not sure what George is doing but it involves glass lenses! So nine folk in total. It is bliss. I have a good spot near the sink. Lots of wall space and have acquired two tables.
I have decided to do a practice-led dissertation which allows for my studio work to evolve in tandem with the writing. My source of materials is found objects - so far the majority found on the Wemyss beach in Fife. I have also acquired found wood on which to paint, so what I am doing now is moving away from sketchbook explorations to working on wood. My method is to deconstruct the found object in order to recreate. The process of transformation is all important. This ties in with the writing which follows the linear history of Sill Life painting in conjunction with Material culture, Object biography and the notion of commodity. I am having an exciting time, principally as I have decided to write the essay with a found object being the narrator.
The studio space as it was when I found it!
Carol E Duff