Tunnels, Spirals, Lattices, Cobwebs
Siri Black

Opening + Street Party
Thursday 7th November
6 - 9 pm

8.11 - 23.11.19
Open Tues - Sat 11 - 6pm


Siri Black presents new work made in response to her ongoing research into entoptic visual phenomena and the problem of other minds. Entoptic (‘coming from within’) refers to visual experiences derived from the eye or brain, as opposed to an external light source. There is no common shared stimulus, and so the experience remains uniquely private and untranslatable. Nonetheless, throughout history, there have been various accounts and records of these images, as well as attempts to search for shared characteristics and possible categories.

In ‘Tunnels, Spirals, Lattices, Cobwebs’, Black looks to these records to construct a visual language, in which image and image-carrier are of equal importance. The show features casts of wood engravings, drawing from Jan Evangelista Purkinje’s ‘Contributions to the Knowledge of Vision from the Subjective Point of View’ (1818). They sit like documents on shelving units, cyphers of a new language, endlessly imprinting. Part mocking, part hopeful of the possibility of such a thing as a universally shared vision, Black attempts to question the role language and representation might play in truth-building.


Siri Black lives and works in Glasgow and graduated from BA (Hons) Painting and Printmaking in 2019. She was recently selected for the Hospitalfield Graduate Residency (2019). Recent screenings and exhibitions include ‘Too little too late’ with Eleni Wittbrodt at Outlier, Glasgow (2019), ‘Creative Reactions’ in collaboration with PhD Engineering student Isha Maini, St. Enoch Centre, Glasgow (2019), ’Excerpts’, a group screening, CCA, Glasgow (2019), and ‘Roissy, just the two of us’, GY Festival, Glasgow (2018).


This is the third exhibition in a series of four shows showcasing the work of graduates from BA (Hons) Fine Art at the Glasgow School of Art this year.



*   *   *


Text by Siri Black


Someone once compared the act of writing to a specific type of rain that never quite reaches the ground. A virga (derived from the latin for twig or branch) is an observable streak or shaft of precipitation that evaporates before meeting the surface of the earth. The lament is old, and well rehearsed: the written word never quite reaches the lived experience, and robs the latter of its purity.

In 1819, Jan Evangelista Purkyně (1) published a paper describing the visual effects sourced within the eye itself. A snapshot of the retina, reproducing itself. Amongst these are Phosphenes, those tiny shaking fading Rorschachs we see when rubbing our eyes, or standing up too quickly.

’When I close my eyes, they begin to shine […] it all ends with a dark rhombus with blunt corners, surrounded by a dull shine resembling a phosphorescent light. A total darkness follows. […] As soon as I release the pressure on the eyeball, the pattern breaks up in several places and the bright branches flow in curved lines and disappear like dying sparks of a burning paper’

Illustrations accompany the description. I can only imagine the bitterness with which Purkyně, after extensive probing and prodding his own eye socket, looked at the collection of neat shapes, lines and words scattered across the paper. No amount of literary embellishment really gets you there. The patterns invariably dissipate under the weight of language and remain irreducibly private.

Science advocate and staunch empiricist James IV, King of Scotland, undertook just one of the many recorded attempts throughout history to find the origins of, or the origins of the original, human language. In 1493, he ordered two new born babies to be sent to live on the isolated island of Inchkeith to be raised by a mute woman. The language, for surely there must be language, the children would eventually speak was to reveal the innate human language stripped of any external influences.

My first memorable experience of a Phosphene came about as a result of a conker fight to which I was an unwelcome spectator. The eyeball has a curious way of recoiling when in danger; tiny fireworks accompanied by a sound I now exclusively link to the sound an amp makes when the audio jack is forcibly removed.

The first moveable type system for printing texts originated in China more than four centuries before the process was mechanised by Gutenberg. Porcelain blocks carried each individual character and could be rearranged in various permutations on an iron plate.

Afterimages are another example. If photoreceptors in the eye are exposed to the same unmoving stimulus over time, they lose their sensitivity and the image remains visible after the initial exposure.

Machines, too, have this memory. The phosphor in the screen of a monitor eventually looses its luminance, so a non-moving image displayed for a prolonged period will burn itself into the screen, a permanent ghost image.

There is a distinct similarity between the drawings of Phosphenes and the recurring motifs and patterns found in prehistoric art. Evidently, the earliest humans ascribed enough relevance to these fleeting, tessellated patterns to begin the long and arduous journey into representation. ‘We lament the insufficiency of our songs, [but still] we sing’. (2)



(1) Purkyně, Jan Evangelista, ‘Beiträge zur Kenntniss des Sehens in subjectiver Hinsicht’, 1819.

(2)  Lerner, Ben, ‘Poetry Reading’, University of Chicago, (audio), 2012. 
Non-Stop Action! Out! Of! Control! Thriller Maniacs!
Amy di Rollo

Opening Saturday 12th October 6 - 8 pm

13.10 - 26.10.19


Amy di Rollo presents a new action thriller film made in collaboration with artists and amateur actors Michael Earll and Harris Burnett. Non-Stop Action! Out! Of! Control! Thriller Maniacs! recreates famous scenes from films featuring actors Jack Nicholson and Robert De Niro, including Deer Hunter, Taxi Driver and The Shining, where all films are merged into one fictional world of action, violence, guns, terror and justice.

Created out of an obsession with classic films after graduating from the Glasgow School of Art earlier this year, di Rollo acknowledges the procrastination felt during this time, the film being a transformation of side effects of artistic working practices. Props and costumes are meticulously created by hand out of salvaged cardboard, a leftover transformed into something of value and an acknowledgment of the inevitable failure of complete homage. Di Rollo employs humour within her homage, both laughing at and celebrating the timeless yet jaded films and film stars referenced in Non-Stop Action! Out! Of! Control! Thriller Maniacs! The cardboard props are presented in the gallery as a flimsy yet fanatical shrine to Nicholson and De Niro.

Di Rollo, Earll and Burnett met during an Art Matters residency at Project Ability organised with GSA during which di Rollo made the film, Grammar Police with Earll and another artist Michael Stark that featured in her degree show.



Amy di Rollo lives and works in Glasgow and graduated from BA (Hons) Sculpture and Environmental Art in 2019. 


This is the second exhibition in a series of four shows showcasing the work of graduates from BA (Hons) Fine Art at the Glasgow School of Art this year.


Photo credit: Sean Campbell

Tender
Nat Akinyi
 
Opening Saturday 14th September
6 - 8 pm

15.09 - 28.09.19

Nat Akinyi makes digital paintings and animations that address the lack of positive representation of black people, particularly Africans, and people of colour within contemporary popular media, culture and visual art. Her work is a counter to the self-validating white western-centric distorted view of the world presented to us today; a view that maintains blackness as otherness and of lesser value. Akinyi cites Rasheedah Phillips as an influential reference, agreeing with her argument that colonialism and the transtlantic slave trade were time-splintering events for African people. That colonialism in Africa brought with it the rigid European dual-sex system, the nuclear family model, the wage labour system, land tenure, and statehood, the effects of which are still felt today.

Recent works attest to the fact that like how the fine art institution was founded on a devaluing of the art of people of colour, capitalist technological advancement has been attained through the devaluing of the labour, dignity and lives of people of colour. A new publication written and designed by Akinyi produced for this exhibition, ‘Everything Passes Except the Past’, details a trip to the newly re-opened The Royal Museum for Central Africa in Tervuren, Belgium, and delineates the historical and current politics of environmental racism and climate colonialism with specific focus on mineral mining in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and post-colonial Zambia.


Nat Akinyi graduated from BA (Hons) Fine Art in 2019 and is currently based in Norfolk. Her illustrations have been published in gal-dem and she will be featured in the The Aon Community Art Awards at The Leadenhall Buildlng, London this year.


This is the first exhibition in a series of four shows showcasing the work of graduates from BA (Hons) Fine Art at the Glasgow School of Art this year.



Photo credit: Sean Campbell





Bad Timing
Katie Shannon

18.08 - 24.08.19


Under the construct of a temporary shop, Shannon shows a series of printed latex garments made from a lexicon of Stuff.

Her mates' shopping list en route to a gig, feed back images taken on a disposable at a party and stills from home-video in the bath, end up on costumes made for performers, dancers and people walking home in the early hours. Chopped up and stuck back together again, this bank of stuff alludes to a broken narrative illustrating moments of friendship, non-linear time and music cultures; trapped in an outfit, worn by the people shown on them, re-photographed and built to rot, they become cyclical.

Katie Shannon's practice moves between events, prints, installation, performance and more recently, dressmaking.


More info about Katie here.



Photo credit: Sean Campbell
Some Pictures
Isobel Neviazsky 
06.07 - 10.08.19
*extended dates!*

Click here for floor plan and price list.

Exhibition Opening
Lunchtime/
Good Press/
Sunday’s
House Warming:

Friday 5th July
6 - 9 pm 



Photo credit: Sean Campbell