A Considered Place
This February Scottish Gallery presents an exhibition A Considered Place - The Edit curated by Professor Dorothy Williams in partnership with The Scottish Gallery. This exhibition features four leading contemporary British artists who work across a variety of media to express a considered sense of place and experience, featuring woven tapestries from Jo Barker, Sara Brennan, and Susan Mowatt and the exquisite glass and ceramic work from Andrea Walsh. A Considered Place - The Edit presents edited work from the earlier exhibition that took place at Drum Castle in 2019 and will also feature further new work created specially for this exhibition.
Jo Barker, Fleeting Glimpse, 2018, wool, cotton, embroidery threads, H76 x W167 cm. Photograph: Shannon Tofts
Jo Barker originally trained at Edinburgh College of Art, and works from her studio in Edinburgh whilst teaching as a lecturer at Glasgow School of Art. Her initial abstract designs are collaged together on a computer from a combination of hand painted, drawn and inky marks. Colours are arranged in blocks, pools and smudges in overlapping layers. Employing this flowing way of designing is in complete contrast to the slow and intensive process of weaving. Wool, cotton and embroidery threads each have differing colour qualities. Combined, they offer a richness and depth of hue that continues to enchant, along with tapestry’s unique sensibility of surface texture and material construction.
Jo Barker, Fleeting Moment, 2018, wool, cotton, embroidery threads, H76 x W147cm. Photograph: Shannon Tofts
‘A love of working with my hands: drawing, painting and making things; plus a long-term interest in colour are essentially at the heart of what I do. My compositions employ a range of marks, shapes and patterns which have evolved over a number of years, with recurring themes of ellipses, circles, halos; borders, edges and layers, creating a sense of movement and depth of field enhanced by reactions of particular colour combinations. The finished images are consciously abstract and ambiguous. I want to create a sense of something as opposed to an identifiable object or picture.' - Jo Barker, 2017.
Sara Brennan, Black Linen Vertical with Old Grey/Green, 2018, cotton, linens, wool, sewing threads, H35 x W38 cm. Photograph: Shannon Tofts
Sara Brennan originally studied tapestry at Edinburgh College of Art. Her work is an unspoken response to the landscape. Using a refined and reduced approach to colour and form, her work takes two routes; weaving either from her drawings or reacting and responding in smaller works to yarns as they are placed directly next to each other. Sara Brennan obsessively explores the meetings that occur through the surface quality and by a manipulation and an exploitation of the line. She has exhibited internationally and her work is held in numerous public collections.
Sara Brennan, Little Yellow Vertical I, 2019, linens, wools, cottons and sewing threads, H7.5 x W7.5 cm. Photograph: The Scottish Gallery
‘I work from a series of drawings and paintings, often repeatedly exploring the translation of a surface or mark into tapestry. I also work as a direct response to the reaction and relationship between yarns, with a disciplined and restrained approach to colour, tone and form. Choosing each yarn is as important to me and the tapestry as making the original drawing. The yarn must work to help balance and convey the feel and mood. It is vital in the interpretation of the drawing, bringing the tapestry to life...' - Sara Brennan, 2017.
Susan Mowatt, Pink Lines, 2018, wool, cotton linen, polyester thread, H35 x W40 cm. Photograph: Shannon Tofts
Originally from Perth, Susan Mowatt studied Drawing and Painting at Edinburgh College of Art, before completing her Master of Fine Art in Tapestry. After graduating she worked in the Fränkische Gobelin-Manufaktur in Bavaria and later in the Victorian Tapestry Workshop in Melbourne, Australia, as an invited Weaver on the Federation Tapestry. Susan is currently Programme Director of Intermedia at Edinburgh College of Art. Interested in the act of weaving itself, Susan’s work has included live performances of weaving and unweaving in a gallery space (during a solo show at GalleryGallery, Kyoto, 2012) and an exploration of weaving through other media including drawing and moving image. Exhibiting both nationally and internationally, Susan has been the recipient of numerous awards and most recently won The Cordis Prize for Tapestry in 2016.
Susan Mowatt, Green Lines, 2018, wool, cotton, linen, H50 x W40 cm. Photograph: Shannon Tofts
‘Weaving for me is thinking: a place where the past, present and future come together in one action. For some time, I have been weaving and unweaving lines, placing the emphasis on the process rather than the end product. Sometimes the lines are reused in works and at other times they just unravel, allowing the yarn to return to the bobbin. This ancient process continues to inform the way I see things: everything woven together.’ - Susan Mowatt, 2017
A Considered Place - The Edit at the Scottish Gallery until 29 February 2020. A catalogue has been published to accompany this exhibition. For more information regarding the exhibition and catalogue please click here.