Flower Show Edinburgh: Fruitmarket Gallery until Sat 15 Jan iii
The power of saying it with flowers is not in good health, judging by the work of the thirteen artists showing in the Flower Show. Even if you're not after bunches of garish petunias or pots of geraniums, this group show is too much of a mixed bag: it's your veritable bouquet of cellophane-wrapped assorted blooms that looks a tad distressed at the entrance of a branch of 7-11.
Taken individually, some of the works are interesting, but the Achilles heel of the group show is clearly exposed. Curated by Edinburgh’s Fruitmarket Gallery, it exposes the fact that a theme is simply not enough, the work has to hold its own and say something greater for being pulled into a group show.
There a brief moments of amusement. Lei Cox's FlowerFieId is a bit like spectating on a New Age version of The Flower Pot Men. On a carpet of green, tall plastic blooms, fairy lights flash and squeak 'I love you'. All mildly entertaining for a short while. More hard-hitting
Anya Gallaccio’s Sunﬂower
is a piece by Olaf Nicolai. Displayed on posters is the message that, everyday at noon, a professional marksman will shoot at a paper flower, and next to the posters is evidence of this daily target practice. It is strangely moving inversion of the 605 practice of placing flowers in the barrel of rifles of warring armies. Where have all the flowers gone, you are left asking.
Ian Hamilton Finlay's Camouflaged Flowers is a wall piece featuring silhouette images of World War II corvettes, the ships that escorted larger naval vessels. Each ship was named after a flower and underneath each vessel is an anagram of its name. Lavender, for example becomes Verleand. Elsewhere, the queen of the cut flower, Anya Gallaccio, shows sunflowers sandwiched between sheets of glass. And taking the idea that women are flowers to be ‘plucked', Matt Collinshaw has created lightboxes where portraits of prostitutes are overlaid with a succulent and lush array of fruit, berries and flowers. Yet for all this, the shows subtitle of Forget Me Not is a rather woeful plea. (Susanna Beaumont)
Applecross, a still from a video by Anne Bjerge Hansen
Dark Lights Commissions
Glasgow: Tramway @ lntermedia until Sat 18 Dec ****
With the final stage of its refurbishment still underway, Tramway continues a season which has seen it borrow a whole host of venues: from a boat on the River Clyde to this more
familiar gallery space in King Street. Each year, as part of its support for visual arts in Glasgow, Tramway commissions work from artists based in the city, and for 1999 has picked three recent graduates from Glasgow School of Art’s respected Master of Fine Art
Maria Doyle’s work on paper and wood is like the scrawled text and
drawings you find on the underside of a school desk. At once familiar and mysterious, the awkward handwriting and loose drawings tell macabre narratives. Whether these are urban myths or true stories, Doyle seems to probe the nature of storytelling itself.
video monitors side by side. Each shows a sequence of images that are deceptive. A starfish in the water turns out to be a rubber swimming hat. A pine shaped candle burns in front of a real pine forest. A lemon sits in a lemon shaped dish. As the context changes, you keep adjusting your own expectations and understanding.
Dominic Hislop looks at broader adjustments, documenting the tiny intervention made by inhabitants of various cities against a background of globalisation. His photographs show the marks made by graffiti and fly posters with no Big Macs in sight. In his inkjet print Burnt Bridges, he re- imagines Glasgow as it might be by destroying the many bridges over the Clyde. A north/south divide becomes explicit. It's a fascinating image to mark the decade after the fall of the Berlin Wall. (Moira Jeffrey)
Anne Bjerge Hansen has placed two"
News and views from the world of art
‘PSYCHOANALYSIS, LIKE RELIGION and medicine, turns panic into meaning. It makes fear bearable by
‘ making it interesting. And it does
this in the most ordinary way: through conversation with another person.’ So says Adam Philips, who is quoted by the artist Sarah Tripp in the hand-out to Anti-PrOphet. A documentary film running from 3 December to 29 January at Glasgow's CCA, it could be just the ticket for those getting in tizz about the approaching festive season or what to do on a certain Friday night in about four weeks time.
UNDER THE BANNER 'new millennium, new building, new initiative, new artists', the Collective Gallery is putting out a call for submissions. New Work From Scotland forms part of the gallery's commitment to artists in the early years of their career. Their space in Edinburgh's Cockburn Street is currently undergoing a Lottery- funded refit, but the plan is to show selected work in the new gallery in late 2000. Scotland-based artists who graduated from art college up to a maximum of three years ago (from a BA) or two years ago (from a MA) are invited to make submissions. The deadline is 14 January. For an application form send an A5 SAE to Sarah Munro, Collective, c/o Rothesay Place, Edinburgh, EH3 7SL.
DANGEROUS GROUND: SCULPTURE In The City brings together seven texts first presented at a conference held at Glasgow School of Art in October 1997. Edited by Andrew Guest and Ray McKenzie, writers include Sir Anthony Caro, Mel Gooding and John Calcutt. The book is available at £8.95 from Scottish Sculpture Trust at 6 Darnaway Street, Edinburgh, 229 4788.
THE SCOTTISH ARTS Council needs you. Those interested in all aspects of the arts are invited to apply for voluntary posts to advise on the distribution of SAC National Lottery funds. Appointments are for three years and expenses are reimbursed. For further information, call Denise Gibbons, SAC, 12 Manor Place, Edinburgh, EH3 700, 240 2435.
It is good to talk: Sarah Tripp's Anti-Prophet
2—16 Dec 1999 TIIE "8191