Edinburgh’s West End BID is excited to announce the launch of its first Arts Festival this Spring. We’ve teamed up with artists’ Paloma Proudfoot, Aniela Piasecka and Kevin Harman to bring you two incredible projects that will be exhibited in Edinburgh’s West End.
This exhibition focuses on the Irregular Border Marriage Registers of Gretna Green held at West Register House, home to part of the National Records of Scotland. Inspired by the detailed archives held inside the grand neoclassical building, Proudfoot and Piasecka will bring some of the records to life through outsized surreal sculpture and ceremonial performance featuring singing by Quinie.
10th – 18th April 2018
The Scottish Arts Club
24 Rutland Square
Open 10am – 5pm, Tuesday – Saturday
Ad plus Ads + Equal Adds = ADD by Kevin Harman is a project that will be seen throughout Edinburgh in advance of the festival, with public reaction to the works documented. The pieces and responses will then be collectively exhibited at Union Gallery on Drumsheugh Place. Harman is becoming increasingly known for his provocative guerilla-style projects. Much of his work is concerned with exploring through participative activity, the boundaries around what society finds acceptable: by confronting the territory between the act of creation and the act of experience, linking the art and the audience in the objects themselves.
9th – 13th April 2018
4 Drumsheugh Place
Open 10.30pm – 5.30pm, Monday – Saturday
Paloma Proudfoot and Aniela Piasecka
Paloma Proudfoot lives and works in London. As well as her solo sculptural practice, she works in collaboration with artist and choreographer Aniela Piasecka, with whom she is co-director of performance group Stasis.
Aniela Piasecka lives in Glasgow and works between Glasgow and Edinburgh. Piasecka’s practice is choreographic and often collaborative. Recent collaborative works include ‘belittle’, Beaconsfield Gallery Vauxhall, London (2017); ‘Letters’, The Royal Standard, Liverpool (2017); ‘Made To Be Broken’, Edinburgh International Art Festival (2016); and ‘The Jockey’, originally made at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop (2015), also shown at Bloc Projects, Sheffield; Union Club Studios, London; and Buzzcut Festival, Glasgow (all 2016).
Proudfoot and Piasecka’s work takes the shape of role-play, hybridising cliché, emphasising the absurdity in real life everyday performances. Movement serves to create, complete or damage sculptural installations. Mundane tasks such as cooking, dressing, and shaving merge with the melodramatic, revealing a ritualistic eroticism. Both bodies and objects are taken beyond the seductive and wilfully pushed to the point of volatility and destruction.
It is around and with Proudfoot’s sculpture and clothes-making that the performances are created. Narrative potential is drawn out of an ever-growing bank of sculptural elements, for which Piasecka and Proudfoot continually revise and reimagine the function. These re-emerging objects and uniforms act as a continuous thread throughout the performances. They build an episodic framework between outings feeding into a cyclical process that constantly crosses over itself.
Piasecka’s training in dance guides her approach to the collaboration, the choreography forming and completing the installation, and exposing the perfection of Proudfoot’s still life compositions to human fallibility. The movement becomes an intermediary between the sculpture and the wider architectural context of the exhibition space. Using shop front locations, show-room kitchens and purpose-built platforms, the audience is coerced into viewing a carefully constructed scene in which the mess and detritus of real life steadily infiltrates.
Harman has said “I like the viewer to be involved at every level; conceptually, technically and physically”. His work is based on elements of performance, and an engagement with found materials and environments, even if that performance – and the spectator’s role within it – often remains unseen, until revealed by the final object. In what he has described as a desire to “reintroduce people to the real” Harman confronts the territory between the act of creation and the act of experience, by linking the art and the audience by leaving behind a quiet transformation so that nothing appears to be different, even if everything has subtly changed.
Harman works across various media. His paintings, sculptures, prints, photographs and drawings act as trophies of the creative process, giving us cause to consider the act of making as equally as important as the end result.
In his ongoing series Skips I-XIII (ongoing) Harman intervenes on an existing construction site after the workers have left for the weekend; sorting and categorising the contents of a dumpster by colour and material before carefully returning this material to the skip, accordingly arranged into oddly formal and often beautiful sculptures. In another provocative, performative work Love Thy Neighbour (2008) Harman ‘borrowed’ the doormats from outside the front doors of tenement buildings in Edinburgh and then invited the 210 residents to visit the installation, reclaim their property, and in so doing to meet their neighbours.
Kevin Harman lives in Glasgow and works between Edinburgh and Glasgow. He is represented by Ingleby, Edinburgh
Those coming into the West End to view the works should also make a visit to Gallery TEN at 5 William Street, which will be showing an exhibition of original prints by Matisse. Matisse Original Prints will run from 22nd March to 5th May 2018.
Open 10.30am to 5.30pm, Tuesday – Saturday.
Edinburgh’s West End BID would like to thank Kevin Harman, Paloma Proudfoot, Aniela Piasecka, Kenny Hunter, David Moore, UNION Gallery, The Scottish Arts Club, The Voyage of Buck, Edinburgh Gin and Fox & Co. Caterers for supporting the West End Arts Festival.