Bridge of Dee Flood Tunnels

This is the first in a series of works I have started where I go to public spaces, some obvious some obscure, and create a piece of music using the objects and natural resonations of the chosen spaces that I feel represent each individual space and my experience of it.

I chose the flood tunnels underneath the Bridge of Dee because it has always intrigued me as a space, the long damp chambers interconnecting, twisting, a labyrinth hidden under the foundations of Aberdeen city. As with all spaces of this nature it remains unoccupied: both humans and animals aware of the dangers when the rivers tide is high. Yet it still has an aura of activity, a life not of the conventional city scape, a calm activity, a soft touch. The tunnels had a fluid ambience, the echos drifting through the space subtlety caressing the hard walls always dwindling before escaping from the cold caverns.

Bridge of Dee Flood Tunnels

Christian Marclay

Gestures

Marclay is probably acknowledged as the most famous artist/composer to use turntables and records as a focal point in his work. Both visually and musically. Since the 1980’s Marklay has pushed the boundaries of what can be listened to and perceived as music, or at least can be listened to and enjoyed. He approaches both the turntable and the vinyl as objects of creation, not just reproduction, molding them into fantastical articles of function.

Guitar Drag

Marclay is not only known for his inspiring work with turntables. He has worked with a range of musical and visual devices like the above Guitar Drag. Marclay has always had a ‘punk’ attitude to sound creation attributed to his practice that this work captures. In this video he ties an electric guitar to the back of his pick-up and hauls the instrument on a trail of destruction and creation. The destruction of the guitar a homage to the rock legends, The Who, Nirvana, Hendrix. The creation of a new challenging sound emerging from the slow fracturing of the guitar.

Video has also been a equally major attribute of Marclays work. In his piece Video Quartet Marclay astonishingly manages to to combine the musical elements from a selection of video recordings of live music. Played on a projection divided into four screens, he manages to to mix the music, in much the same way as DJ’s do today, over the screens. The affect is a magical display of Marclays innovative talent, the work like experiencing four concerts at once, perfectly timed, perfectly harmonious.

My Culture This Weekend 2

BP Portrait Awards @ The Dean Gallery.

Don’t really need to explain what this was all about, the names fairly self explanatory.

Personally I didn’t agree with the judges decisions. The first prize was a dull, and ill-conceived, painting of the artist’s (Peter Monkman) daughter trying to capture the essence of the end of youth, as the daughter is 13 in the picture. A lifeless, slightly abstract portrait with very little texture is what it really was, and it being placed next to a A0 photo-realistic painting of an elderly woman, which was a beautiful example of painting skill, didn’t do it any favours.

There was plenty of other examples of brilliant painting though out the exhibit, like the winner of the Young Artist Award, Mark Jameson. His portrait of his younger sister is a scarily realistic, jumping out of the canvas, a tribute to modern youth culture. There was also a painting by a former Grays student of his deceased wives father after an open-heart surgery. The image has a ghostly quality, the ghastly scar a dark tribute to the physical turmoil of such an extreme surgery.

The cover artist Edward Sutcliffe’s painting ‘On Assi Ghant’ was easily my favourite, its photo-realism leaping bounds beyond anything I’d ever seen! Its the first painting you encounter on your entry to the gallery space and you spend a lifetime trying to convince yourself that its not a photograph, everyone standing around you in as much awe as yourself, over hearing all the comments “that can’t be a painting”. The subject of the painting, a elderly Indian artist, expression is one extreme contemplation, years of knowledge captured in the layers of paint.

Mutiny @ The Art School, Glasgow

A massive night! Was amazing to see the whole BBL rig in action!