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Glasgow Contemporary Art Fair 2018 – Show Preview

An exciting new collection of artworks for this year’s show…

Spring is finally here and that means art fairs and degree shows are just around the corner – whoop whoop! I can report that Curious Egg will be exhibiting again at this years Glasgow Contemporary Art Fair – taking place at Glasgow’s iconic Kelvingrove Art Gallery from the 11th to the 13th of May. We’ve been super busy these past few weeks getting our artists’ work gathered and ready with beautiful framing to show it off at what is always a fantastic weekend event.

I’m so excited to give you a sneak peek at the amazing new collection of work we’ll be presenting at this year’s show and in this centenary year of women’s suffrage, we have been taking stock of the incredible  work of the female artists whose work we are privileged to exhibit in our Art Room.

I’ll kick off with Abi Baikie whose vivid paintings and screen prints are inspired by her experience as a young female travelling alone through the World. Abi completed her Masters of Fine Art & Humanities last summer at DJCAD, Dundee and is currently undertaking an artists residency in Oakland, California with Kala Art Institute.

This collection of new work embraces her signature strong colours and striking patterns, imitating the vibrancy and bustle that she experienced on her travels. Each piece has been constructed using a range of media and techniques such as screen-print, oil painting, stencils and spray-paints.

 “I take inspiration from new places and experiences by taking photographs of any objects or scenes that catch my eye in everyday life. Sometimes the objects are peculiar and even I’m unsure of what they do, but that’s why I find them intriguing. They always, however, give a human aspect to my work and therefore are something the viewer can relate to, something familiar – an empty chair waiting to be sat in, a building under construction and a washing line waiting to be taken down are some of the scenes I’m drawn to as they sit in limbo awaiting human interaction to complete or change them again. 

The backgrounds are never place specific and can be made up of a mixture of imagery taken from different countries and therefore resonate with many people, regardless of where they are from.

 Overall, I would like to think my work sparks the same feelings of intrigue and wonder in others that the places I travel to bring me and remind people of all the things that connect us and make us human, all of our similarities in how we interact with the world.”

Next up is Karenina Fabrizzi based in Barcelona, who will be showing some new experimental pieces including ‘Modern Geisha’ – a gorgeous vibrant piece with spray painted details, oil and ink. ‘Billie Rae with Ballerina Shoes’ is in contrast, a delicate and poetic diptych with soft layers of misty pastel colours, graceful birds and floral detail.

Some artworks truly have to be seen up close and so I’m particularly excited to have the opportunity to show the hauntingly beautiful 3D mixed media works by Daria Zadarnowska. The delicate hues and translucent layers of wax are difficult to show online and their slab like form places them somewhere between wall sculptures and mixed media paintings.

“I  aim to inspire self-questioning about faith in whatever form and it’s power to embrace and strengthen our being. The encaustic technique I use dates back to the 5th century B.C and involves fusing together numerous layers of molten beeswax, damar resin and pigments. I found the use of beeswax an extraordinary medium to create a translucent and enigmatic effect on my work.

Kane McLay is another of our artists currently travelling as he undertakes his John Kinross Scholarship award to Florence, Italy. After much of his work sold in the first few months of appearing in our Art Room, I managed to meet up with Kane just before he left to discuss some new pieces he was in the process of creating. In these four powerful new works he explores exaggerated gesture and movement and a subtle new palette of colours.

I’m delighted to say that Rachel Louise Lee will be exhibiting again with us at GCAF with some stunning new mixed media lithographs. Rachel creates vibrant, complex, multi-layered mixed media pieces representing the modern empowered female.

The human body in general is a hugely inspiring factor in my work. Viewing the human body and mind separately, I like to discover subconscious thoughts through bodily actions – automatic drawing and writing mainly – techniques used predominantly by the Surrealists. 

Positive representation of the female body is hugely important to me, and since my work frequently showcases womanlike figures entangled in shapes and marks, it forces the audience to work out where she is, what she’s doing and really study the glimpses of her on show. This intricate concentration and identification of specific areas of the body, rather than having the whole body on display, really focuses on the female form as we learn to appreciate more subtle aspects of the figure we may not have before.

I continue to use the structure of my own body in my work, I feel it contributes to the honesty of the pieces I create. Imperfect, subconscious marks mixing with the uncontrollable imperfections of my own body create an honest, surreal expression of what it is to be a modern female” 

Last but by no means least, the gorgeous enigmatic works of Glasgow based artist, Alice Hughes who produces captivating silk screen prints in a style appropriated from the male dominated Modernism movement with unmistakeable feminist undertones.

“The topic of gender has been impossible to ignore when creating art as my identity as a woman has clearly impacted and informed every layer of my reality. 

Knowing any details about an artist can change the way that a viewer perceives their work but I think that the specific societal associations with being a woman can have a powerful impact on the way an artwork is interpreted. Figuring things out in the context of being a female artist adds an extra layer to my creative process and this tension is significant”

This is the first time we’ve exhibited Alice’s work on the ground – the subtle marks and texture of these silk screen prints  is so difficult to capture online so  I’m especially happy to be able to show them off up close.

If you’re in Glasgow or planning a visit on the weekend of 11th – 13th May then make sure to come and visit us at the Glasgow Contemporary Art Fair, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and view this stunning new work up close and personal. You’ll find us at Stand 6 – we’d love to see you there!

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