Early Residencies

As is always the case when I get a bit of free time, I begin to tackle the piles of work that consume the free space in my studio. I came across a pile of my early works, from the period of time I would credit as the most influential and productive. I would make work like there was nothing else to do in this world. I also participated a few extremely formative residencies and classes, so here they are and what I learned.

Chloe. Lino print and 'chine colet' on paper. Gray's School of Art. 

Chloe. Lino print and 'chine colet' on paper. Gray's School of Art. 

This was an afternoon offered to Higher Art students by the print department at Gray's School of Art, Aberdeen to introduce us to the basics of intaglio printmaking. Having never really experimented with printmaking, I was blown away by the potential for experimentation it offered. I had brought a painting with me to work from, and set about carving, printing, editing and developing the print. In one life-changing afternoon, I learnt that I was completely in love with printmaking and vowed to 'do it more often'. Who was I to know just how important it would become...?

It was also on this afternoon that I learnt baby oil and baby wipes are just as effective as turpentine at removing fresh ink. 

Lindsay, Mixed Media on paper. BP Portrait Award, Winter Schools.

Lindsay, Mixed Media on paper. BP Portrait Award, Winter Schools.

An exceptional weekend in Aberdeen Art Gallery - a room full of nervous Art School hopefuls intensely studying the face of Lindsay, our model. We were encouraged to respond 'in the style of a portrait' with a range of materials in order to capture something of our model. I began with a Conte and charcoal drawing, progressing to 6B pencil and pastel. The idea was to explore form, colour and essence as separate materials. On day two, I was let loose on the paint. I believe this was my second attempt at oil painting and you can see my struggle as I tried to treat it like acrylic. I remember being very frustrated that I couldn't work my colours as well and swore to never touch oil paint again...

Female Nude, Oil Paint on Paper, Life Drawing Schools, Aberdeen.

Female Nude, Oil Paint on Paper, Life Drawing Schools, Aberdeen.

I went to this class every week, determined to get better at drawing. I barely drew anything, always reverting to a paintbrush where possible. I stuck with charcoal, pencil and pastel for as long as I possibly could, until someone produced a load of oil paints and brushes. This was my first ever encounter with oils, on unprimed cartridge paper with a life model whom I had been drawing for weeks in front of me. Perfect. 

Leon, Oil Bar on Paper, Hospitalfield Summer Schools, Arbroath

Leon, Oil Bar on Paper, Hospitalfield Summer Schools, Arbroath

For a week, my mum and I attended the Summer School at Hospitalfield, Arbroath. Each day, the group stood and drew the models for hours on end. We all took it very seriously. Our tutor insisted we explore different styles and methods of approach, switching up timings and intentions spontaneously and suggesting new materials at random. 'Leon' was one of the last works I made during this time, a very quick 'sketch' with oil bar on unprimed paper. I couldn't believe the feeling of drawing with a bar of paint. I have a feeling I will pick up this train of thought in the near future however...

Emerging Contemporaries at The Glasgow Art Club

Exhibition held at The Glasgow Art Club; http://glasgowartclub.co.uk/exhibitions/emerging-contemporaries/

From the 5th - 16th January I got the chance to exhibit with fellow artists, some recent graduates and some current students at the Glasgow School of Art. Honouring its 150th year, The Glasgow Art Club kicked off celebrations with our Emerging Contemporaries Show. We wanted to create an exhibition that would both honour the great tradition of image-making and skill of The Art Club's history and amongst their existing members and explore how our ideas, material experimentations and methods of installation could offer a new voice within the establishment. 

Works by Joe Hargan and his mentor's mentor. They may have inspired a return to painting...

Works by Joe Hargan and his mentor's mentor. They may have inspired a return to painting...

The Club, founded in 1867, has a rich history of painters including James Guthrie and David Donaldson - both of whom have influenced my painting style significantly. Within our group of exhibitors, we had an eclectic range of material styles from sculpture, photography, painting and printmaking, that frequently blend to produce hybrid outcomes (faux marble produced by Chris Hargan, skewed perspective photographs from William Braithwaite, detailed prints from iPhone photos from Kimberley Blackadder). 

In The Murky Depths waiting to be installed...

In The Murky Depths waiting to be installed...

Due to the diversity of the works, it seemed quite a challenge to curate, how to make politically charged decorative vases communicate with severe monochrome photographs, gestural paintings exploring the female body with rubber-casted interiors. In the end, it was an absolute joy to finalise the installation of this exhibition with Joe Hargan, carpenter Michael and fellow exhibitor Chris Hargan. We spent time in the space adjusting and repositioning portions of the  show and I gained a great insight into the decisiveness required within the professional art world... Posters were designed and invites sent out, we were pretty much ready to go.

Poster By Hannah Lyth featuring work by myself and Chris Hargan.

Poster By Hannah Lyth featuring work by myself and Chris Hargan.

I had a good amount of work in this show: In The Murky Depths, the Shangrilads series and Underwater Distortion. These works have been shown in the GSA Degree Show and Compass Gallery and are the best representations of the colour-saturated effect possible with the material methodology I use to create them. 

In the Murky Depths in situ above fireplace.

In the Murky Depths in situ above fireplace.

In The Murky Depths alongside the works of Jade Sturrock, Chris Hargan and William Braithwaite.

In The Murky Depths alongside the works of Jade Sturrock, Chris Hargan and William Braithwaite.

I find exhibiting with Jade Sturrock really exciting and I think our work has great potential collaboratively... Keep an eye out for some joint/synergetic works from us soon!

Shangrilads Duo: Parallel Difference (Approach, Retreat) and Underwater Distortion - Side-by-side view. 

Shangrilads Duo: Parallel Difference (Approach, Retreat) and Underwater Distortion - Side-by-side view. 

Shangrilads Duo: Parallel Difference (Approach, Retreat) and Underwater Distortion - Installed v  iew.

Shangrilads Duo: Parallel Difference (Approach, Retreat) and Underwater Distortion - Installed view.

Hallway Installation: Bliss, Passion ad Aftermath. Shangrilads Tryptich.

Hallway Installation: Bliss, Passion ad Aftermath. Shangrilads Tryptich.

This was a valuable opportunity to explore exhibition within an established community of artists. It has been particularly fascinating to hear the members feedback, create new connections and be exposed to some exciting new directions to take my new works!

DerDieDas Ensemble at Glue Factory

We are extremely excited to have participated in the 'SHOOT YOUR SHOT and DIVE Queer Party presents: WEIRDO WAREHOUSE' at Glue Factory on Saturday 29th October! Our first outing as a visual-performance collaborative group could hardly have been set in a more highly spirited and vibrantly colourful environment!

Photo Credit: Paul Barnes

Photo Credit: Paul Barnes

We wanted to create a work that could interact with and encourage curiosity in our audience, to explore where the boundaries of interactive performance and straightforward awkward social interaction lay. Our initial idea was to combine projected image and considered movement to create a stage of sorts, a no-go area on the dance floor that could only be breached when a performer invited a spectator to join them. This idea evolved over the course of the night and became something much more fluid, responsive to the environment and somehow more organic than our original choreographed 'organic' movements. 

Our Performance: we walk out onto a silver stage, bathed in coloured light from projected light. We take our positions in an austere line up, staring out at a sea of happily wasted clubbers. The severity of our stance attracts some interest, our stillness out of place. A sudden twitch and one of our line up moves to confront and switch places with another performer. Other performers copy, offering their hand to accept the switch or moving out of place to avoid them. Occasionally a performer steps forward, breaking the line and venturing in to the crowd. When acknowledged by an audience member, the performer is granted freedom to dance or break character until the audience member loses interest or becomes overly involved. The performer then resumes their detachment and retakes their place on the wall. The interaction and non-interaction lasts for an indeterminate length.

The Animation: I wanted to create something extremely colourful. We had decided to pull our inspiration from the sea, so I began to research dimorphic and hemaphroditic sea creatures. From the images I found, I printed, painted and collaged the bizarre forms together to create basic forms. I then began to digitally manipulate these paper works to form the 'stills' - the master images that I could begin animating. Then began the lengthy process of slowly changing each image and compiling them in to an animation that could follow our basic intentions and positions. 

The Space: We had sheets of Silver Mylar Foil to work with, which we would ideally have liked to cover the entire space. Instead we opted, with the sheer number of people present and the dimensions of the room, to create a strip that could act like a stage and a reflective panel on the opposite wall to emphasise the presence of the projection. The DJs provided an as-before-unheard (by us) selection of music to which we responded during our performance. 

The Response: This was an odd work to perform, people in such a determined state of hedonism are a difficult crowd to sell a silent, visual piece to. What was very interesting, from a performer's point of view, was their curiosity and delight when we did respond with dancing or unexpected motion. People began to join in, turning the work in to a game - copying our stilted movements or lurking near us to dance with us when we finally were 'activated'. Some would stand very close to us in an attempt to break our concentration, others avoided us like the plague for fear of our unpredictability. Lots of people waited for us to move away from the wall so they could take a selfie with the animation. It went down really rather well, with a few commenting on how the suddenness of our activation and deactivation mirrored something within the daunting prospect of social interaction and how it takes a whole performance work just to dance with someone new. 

We will continue to mull this work and its effect over and encourage you to look out for future collaborations in the near future! All the best, thanks to those who came and keep your eyes peeled for new works on the main page!

A Quick Update

Now that we have entered October, the month of cold mist, dappled sunshine and the cheery embrace of Autumn, I thought I would update you on my adventures and art making during the month of September!

After a short break at home and visiting family around Britain, I began preparation in earnest for my collaborative exhibition: Highland Dissonance, to be held at the Savoy Centre, Glasgow on the 12th September. My collaborators, Rowanne Lee and Hannah Lyth had, to various degrees, shaped this exhibition in to a site-specific work exploring printmaking and drawing primarily. An all-encompassing wall work with a sense of infinity through reflective surfaces. Our content focussed on capturing the sense of peace felt when standing before the majesty of the Scottish Highlands and the intense desire to return, hopefully creating the slight discord between the moment and the memory. Hannah and I began feverishly creating the physical work, printing and drawing on a large scale, installed in the studio, excited at the prospect of sharing our experience with the new freshers and re-energised student body of GSA. 

But then disaster struck... A change in gallery space at the Savoy sent us in to a minor panic spiral. We had to completely re-evaluate the form of the piece, re-configure a unified work in to three separate large scale prints. To our delight, this development enhanced the sense of 'dissonance', the breaks between the works a visual cue that our intention was not to re-create the sublime awe of the Highlands themselves, but the fragmented memory and feeling of it. Our excitement and determination was renewed, we broke the pieces down and redoubled our frenzied efforts. The work was leaving its awkward pubescence, graduating in to something more refined and thought through. Social media was informed, our date was set and we had only to sort the new space before we could display our creations. A 'little' work turned in to an overwhelming task to prepare the gallery, but we called in some support and set to the job of fixing the floors, walls and roof of our unit. Had it not been for the section of roof that fell on my head, knocked me out and landed me in hospital with a head injury and concussion, I truly believe we would have succeeded.

Alas, we had to cancel Highland Dissonance. We have taken a temporary step backwards from proceedings, to allow time to recover from our injuries and exhaustion and assess the situation objectively. But rest assured, Highland Dissonance 2.0 (if you will) will make its appearance soon enough! In the meantime, I have been focussing my attention to other projects, considering the direction my solo practice is taking and exploring modes of expression that have fallen by the wayside in the last few years.

What has struck me most profoundly was my complete lack of sadness as I watched the new GSA students start their new term. I was fully prepared to feel devastated, even jealous as I saw groups of raggedy youths going wild at the prospect of the academic year. Instead I felt deeply content, liberated and inspired by my lack of institutional direction and examination. I do not expect others to share in my opinion, but I have realised my focus while at GSA was very singular. Everything had to somehow connect to my visual practice, all my activities had to have a proven link to, be explained by or documented in connection with what I produced in the studio. Whether this was required of me, I will never know, but the pressure to always be making a summative statement about the direction of my practice never sat very well with me. I've come to realise my interests are far more diverse, I create my best work when I am engaging with all of my creative pursuits and making work when the dispirit experiments cross paths - when it makes sense to respond.

I have been making, writing and performing music, with plans to perform a series of sound based works across the city of Glasgow. I have ventured in to graphic design, designing album covers with the view that they are miniature, thematic works of art and treating them as such. I am participating in a group performance (more details to be provided very soon!) in mid October in an effort to expand my understanding of performative and installation art. I have begun writing science fiction, something I thought I had left with my younger self back in Aberdeenshire. I have also been looking after my incredibly old, blind and deaf dog Cassie - not that it is particularly artistically relevant, but given her ailments, she is so utterly happy all of the time it would be impossible to deny she has contributed greatly to how fun this month has been. Yes, money is tight, yes the looming threat of Trump and Brexit exist; yes I am missing the close proximity to my inspiring studio buddies, but I am feeling more inspired in this month than I ever did while at GSA and I think my new works are reflecting this.

September, in summary, has been an incredibly informative month. I have learnt a great deal about what urges me to make art and discovered that it is my response mechanism, my expression of what has happened and my method of digesting the complex world around me. I work cyclically, revisiting dormant interests, following exciting leads and creating an environment in which to comment, capture and distill my experience without needing to revert to the directly autobiographical. 

I will be adding snippets of new works as they unfold on this blog section and some new content to the main website as they venture out in to the public domain, so keep your eyes peeled and minds open. I will also be updating my Artist Bio... Multimedia shenanigans are coming your way!

FAR: The Floating Art Residency.

In July, I embarked upon the Floating Art Residency: an experiment in art making using only the surrounding materials and limited resources we could carry. We canoed, camped and collaborated to create an environment in which we could make art. A group of sculptors, environmental artists, painters, printmakers and material enthusiasts - anything could have happened. 

Snapshots of the days.  Photographs by Katie Alexandria Weir. 2016.

Snapshots of the days.

Photographs by Katie Alexandria Weir. 2016.

Through pretty tough conditions, we managed to create and generate ideas and experiment with our surroundings. I found myself making materials first of all, whittling sticks and drawing with dirt - somewhat absent mindedly. Doodling in the sketchbook I had brought, but not finding much satisfaction. For the first few days of this trip, I found and sawed firewood, lamented my destroyed boots and looked hopefully up at the sky for a break in the clouds. Mostly I played with the fire, dried out my clothes and reinforced the £20 tent Rowanne and I had to share after I stupidly brought the wrong one. But gradually, as we got in to our rhythms, our doodles began to gain intention. Some built, some photographed, some dug, some made a mess with pigments. We all became incredibly interested in something... 

 

Work by  (in top left to right order): Malcolm Mackenzie, Rowan Flint and Heather McCleary, Rowanne Eaton Lee, Nancy Dewhurst, Rowan Flint, Katie Alexandria Weir.    

Work by (in top left to right order): Malcolm Mackenzie, Rowan Flint and Heather McCleary, Rowanne Eaton Lee, Nancy Dewhurst, Rowan Flint, Katie Alexandria Weir. 

 

I had a great deal of fun on this trip, and I think (nay: know) finding that joy in my work again was critical if I was to continue making it. I had brought some decal paper transfers with me, leftover prints from the degree show. Having the figures with me opened up a whole new dimension - where these figures interact with both the landscape and my companions for the purpose of a future work when I returned to Glasgow? I had a fantastic time submerging, wedging, sticking and hanging these figures wherever they would stay and photographing the result. Through this, I gathered not only a wealth of bizarre and humorous images, but a real appreciation for the view. 

Lurking in the Murky Depths...  Photo by: Rowan Flint

Lurking in the Murky Depths...

Photo by: Rowan Flint

That view... The one where you are alone at the edge of a tuft of grass or rock looking out over the vast empty valley after having endured hell to get there. Perhaps the sun is setting, or the skies have cleared for a moment, or you've just looked up from your trudge for just a second - and there it is... Nobody is there to take a picture, you don't need a phone, you will remember this forever. 

During the week, I was struck by something one of my companions, Malcolm, mentioned. A phrase; 'Highland Dissonance' - where people from the highlands of Scotland are physically drawn back to the raw beauty of their home landscape, an irresistible urge that carries them through any obstacle of weather, conditions or midge misery just to stand and gaze upon the still majesty of the west coast. As someone who grew up in rural Aberdeenshire, whose visits to the highlands and islands as a child stand out like jewels in my memory, this phrase resonated. I am always drawn back With every re-visit, every re-view, I find myself just standing, staring and thinking, about everything - and nothing - at once. Highland Dissonance, to me, sums up how everything else compares to this. Things may be better, things may be worse; but this view is unique.

Response to a View. Decal Painting.

Response to a View. Decal Painting.

This trip has undoubtedly had great influence on my most recent works. I have made many things in response, in many forms - from songs to an entire exhibition. Over the next few weeks I will be regularly updating this website with works from FAR, collaborative installations, printed works and written responses. 

Enjoy the view x

And the moat did overfloweth with colour... 

And the moat did overfloweth with colour... 

 

 

Compass Gallery Preview 2016

Had an absolutely wonderful time at the preview and met some amazingly talented artists! Looking forward to the coming weeks!

In The Murky Depths alongside work by esteemed artist Steven Campbell.

In The Murky Depths alongside work by esteemed artist Steven Campbell.

For full details of the exhibition, information about the artists and purchase information please visit: http://compassgallery.co.uk/2015/new-generation-show-2016/

A peek at the show and some of the artists involved!

A peek at the show and some of the artists involved!

The New Generation Show will run between the 11th-29th July at Compass Gallery, Glasgow. 

Contact : Jill Gerber  Jane Reith  Charli Summers

Compass Gallery,
178 West Regent Street, Glasgow G2 4RL
Tel : 0141-221 6370
Email : compass@gerberfineart.co.uk

Opening Hours: Mon – Fri 9.30 – 5.30  Sat 10 – 5

New Generation Show 2016, Compass Gallery, Glasgow

I am happy to say that I will be exhibiting alongside an extremely talented group of artists from across Scotland at Compass Gallery, Glasgow in the New Generation Show!

The show will run from the 11th-29th July, (10am - 5pm, Mon-Fri)

I invite you to come and see this fantastic and exciting group of talented artists as we explore the world beyond art school!

Compass Gallery is located at 178 West Regent Street, Glasgow, G2 4RL.

This is an extremely exciting opportunity and I look forward to seeing you there!

Thank you for my Degree Show experience.

And so concludes a brilliant week of exhibition, humour and opportunity! To the people I met or left comments during the show, thank you for your enthusiasm, intrigue and conversation, I am feeling inspired and ready to tackle new challenges.  

I have had a fantastic time creating, curating, installing and exhibiting this degree show and now it is time to take that out in to new contexts and spaces. I will keep you updated with future happenings!

Snapshot sent by a very sweet viewer of the show in action. June 17th 2016.

Snapshot sent by a very sweet viewer of the show in action. June 17th 2016.

I have some very exciting things planned for the near future, so keep your eyes peeled for the new works and experiences I have coming up!

Studying my work in great depth. June 18th 2016.

Studying my work in great depth. June 18th 2016.

I will continue to live and work in Glasgow, to be inspired by the versatility and open-minded nature of the people and places I encounter. I have many new ideas in mind and am just keeping up momentum.

Keen interest in my prints for sale. June 20th 2016.

Keen interest in my prints for sale. June 20th 2016.

Should you have any comments, feedback or are just interested in my work from the show, please do not hesitate to contact me at: rowanflint@gmail.com

Humour and unearthly delight to you all!

Rowan Flint at the GSA Degree Show

A brief visual introduction to my exhibition at the GSA Degree Show 2016.

Studio 27, Floor 3, Tontine Building.

Installation View, GSA Degree Show 2016, Tontine Building, Glasgow, 2016.

Installation View, GSA Degree Show 2016, Tontine Building, Glasgow, 2016.

I encourage viewers to follow an instinctive train of thought when encountering my work. Take visual cues, construct narratives, ask questions, communicate and explore meaning in multiple terms. My work is based in the language of humour where symbols represent a double meaning, of singular meaning and opposite - e.g. male and female. The visual elements and material exploration each perform a double or multiple function within the space. Together it forms an interconnected, intangible weave of potential interpretation.

Installation View, GSA Degree Show 2016, Tontine Building, Glasgow, 2016.

Installation View, GSA Degree Show 2016, Tontine Building, Glasgow, 2016.

In the creation of my work, I explore personal, political, social and environmental imagery. I combine these images with the colour, textural and various limitations of my materials. I am influenced by Medieval art, Grotesque humour and visual theories explored by Nancy Spero and Mary Beth Edelson. These influences and experiments are layered and recombined and physically printed on to my surfaces.

Installation View, GSA Degree Show 2016, Tontine Building, Glasgow, 2016.

Installation View, GSA Degree Show 2016, Tontine Building, Glasgow, 2016.

Move around the space, follow a figure, a colour, a texture, a view... Look closely, view from afar, allow meaning to alter and develop and grow. Let it become far removed from your initial impression, let it circle back on itself. Discuss what you see.

Installation View, GSA Degree Show 2016, Tontine Building, Glasgow, 2016.

Installation View, GSA Degree Show 2016, Tontine Building, Glasgow, 2016.

I welcome discussion and feedback about my work. Contact me in person at the show (18-25th June), pick up a business card from the space or through the social media tools on this site. 

Looking forward to hearing about your experience!

GSA Degree Show 2016

I invite you to come and see the outcome of four years of hard work and determination! The opportunity to exhibit my work and share this experience with a large audience is extremely exciting and I hope you can find the time to pop in to the Glasgow School of Art Degree show 2016!

 Where to find us:

Fine Art Exhibition will be held at the Tontine Building, 88 Bell Street. Painting, Printmaking, Sculpture, Installation, Performance; a vibrant show and exciting artists!  You will find me in Studio 27, 3rd floor at the Bell Street Entrance.

Fine Art Exhibition will be held at the Tontine Building, 88 Bell Street. Painting, Printmaking, Sculpture, Installation, Performance; a vibrant show and exciting artists!

You will find me in Studio 27, 3rd floor at the Bell Street Entrance.

There will be refreshments and snacks available. Free Admission.

For more information please visit:

http://www.gsa.ac.uk/life/gsa-events/events/d/degree-show-2016/