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Indepth Arts News:

"Tender Scene: Fiona Jardine, Alex Pollard, Clare Stephenson, Gregor Wright"
2007-07-06 until 2007-08-11
Changing Room
Stirling, , UK United Kingdom

New work by four Glasgow-based artists based comes together in this exhibition curated by Alex Pollard, one of the artists representing Scotland at the Venice Biennale in 2005. Tender Scene includes paintings, drawing and sculpture that will transform the gallery space. A text by Fiona Jardine also accompanies the exhibition. Fiona Jardine was born in Galashields in 1970. She gained a BA (Hons) Fine Art from Duncan of Jordanstone, Dundee in 1998 and a MFA from Glasgow School of Art in 2003.

Recent exhibitions include Moltke's Eye, Sorcha Dallas, Glasgow; How to do white, Tramway, Glasgow (with Hannah Hewetson and Lisa Gallacher), ‘Sweeney’ (solo) at Intermedia Gallery, Glasgow in 2005 and the group exhibitions ‘April is the Cruellest Month’, Transmission, Glasgow and ‘Madame la Baronne’ at Centre d’art Mira Phalaina / Maison Poulaire, Montreuil, France, both 2006. Jardine has just completed a residency at The Pumphouse Gallery, London.

‘Thresholds, monuments and associated graveyard symbols such as skeletons and crosses appear in the recent pencil drawings, wall paintings and sculptures of Fiona Jardine. There is a lucid and direct quality to her two dimensional works, in which cleanly outlined skeletons pose on white walls, or meticulous pencil marks inscribe the shape of plant forms growing over sepulchral crosses and arches. In contrast, the densely worked surfaces of her faux monumental sculptures have an intentional corporeality. These pieces are often fashioned from physically light materials such as papier mache and expanded polystyrene and partially acquire their air of weightiness through their outer coating of brown or black gloss paint. The unctuous shine of these sculptures reinforces the spareness of her drawn work, equivalent to a bracelet of bright hair encircling a skeletal wrist.’ Sarah Lowndes

Born in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in 1972, Clare Stephenson graduated with a BA in Sculpture from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee in 1996 before serving on Glasgow’s Transmission Gallery committee. Stephenson has exhibited in group shows in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Tyneside, London, Malmö, Madrid, Berlin and Buffalo and in solo shows at Glasgow’s Bulkhead and Transmission and Edinburgh’s Talbot Rice. She had a two person exhibition at The Changing Room in 1999 with Kevin Hutcheson.

‘Stephenson’s drawings teleport classical sculptures into a retrofuturistic netherworld of pink strip flooring, (homo) eroticising the Euroman archetype. As Jean Cocteau’s drawings appeared to ooze from plumes of smoke, Stephenson’s work describes aesthetes and Greek gods gracefully emerging phoenix-like from wire tumbleweeds.’ Neil Mulholland

Born in Brighton in 1977, Alex Pollard graduated with a BA in Painting from Glasgow School of Art in 1999 before serving on Glasgow’s Transmission Gallery committee between 2000—2002. In 2001 he began a year-long residency at Glasgow School of Art from which there was produced a publication including essays by David Musgrave and Neil Mulholland. Recent solo exhibitions include Black Marks, Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh, 2007, Torch Sculptures, Sorcha Dallas, Glasgow, 2006; Disintegrating Hand and Other Works, The Reliance, London, as well as recent projects spanning ‘See-Through Mask’, with Sorcha Dallas (off site project) in May 2004 and a Basel Art Fair Statement in June 2004. A recent prize-winner at The John Moore’s Painting Prize 2004 he was included in ‘Aperto Scotland’ at the Prague Biennale 2003 and was selected for East International, Norwich in 2003. Pollard is one of the four selected artists who represented Scotland at The Venice Biennale 2005.

‘The spare, elegant forms which have characterised Pollard’s recent work are born of bent rationalism and twisted rules, the results of a serendipitous studio practice. The aleatoric outcomes of the artist’s absorbtion in his materials are nonetheless subject to punctilious processes to bring them into being. These liberating procedures leave the artist trailing in the wake of his Beasts, a master surpassed by his student. Anthropomorphic forms emerge from recomposed detritus only to shimmer and disintegrate once more into inanimate objects, echoing Picasso’s refrain “I begin with an idea, then it becomes something else”. Similarly, while Pollard’s somewhat stochastic craft intends the unintentional, the returns of his labour are often beautiful and urbane.’ Susannah Thompson

Gregor Wright is interested in the concept of information and the ways that it is transmitted. His work is an attempt to understand visual information and the language that carries it in terms of their relationship to the increasingly abstract forms (data) that exist in wider contemporary culture. His approach can be seen as an attempt to strike a balance between an additive and a subtractive process. Through the constant acquisition and subsequent stripping out of information, both visual and conceptual, the work becomes an investigation into how meaning constructs itself. Formally the work exists in the gap between figuration and abstraction, focusing on the incongruent, the banal and the darkly surreal. Gregor Wright was born in Kilmarnock in 1975 and graduated from Glasgow School of Art (Painting) in 2001.

In 2006 he had solo exhibitions at Galerie Ben Kauffman, Berlin/Munich, Germany and Raum 45, Schwaebisch Hall, Germany as well as exhibiting Neil Bickerton, Lorna MacIntyre & Sue Tompkins at FOUR, Dublin, Ireland. He has also shown in The Excitement Of Platonic Power, Factor 44, Antwerp; Drawing 200, The Drawing Centre, London, both 2005; All Your Base Are Belong To Us, Solo project, Transmission Gallery, Glasgow; Rheinschau, Art Cologne Projects (with Alan Michael and Karla Black), Cologne; Country Grammar, Group exhibition, Gallery Of Modern Art, Glasgow, all 2004 and EAST International 2003, Norwich School of Art and Design, Norwich.

Fiona Jardine, Alex Pollard and Clare Stephenson are represented by Sorcha Dallas, Glasgow.

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