The latest Poetry at the Sutton Gallery event featured Emily Morgan, Mike Saunders and Jo W Lindsay. Three great poets, lots of wine and sparkling elderflower and of course a lively and attentive audience! Classic Sutton Gallery reading territory! Here are some images from the event. In the background, you will spot the Martin Hill exhibition which finishes this weekend.
Jo W. Lindsay has contributed to chapbooks such as Finite Love, Hipster Tree, Sea Adventures or Pond Life, @history Tragedy please MT, Dunkeld and Everyone in It, and Poetry at the Glutton's Celery. He runs the small press Sad Press with Samantha Walton and the poetry reviews zine Hix Eros with Joe Luna. Poetry strike starts soon.
Emily Morgan is an Edinburgh-based poet, though she's only just started calling herself as such. When she is not scribbling, she helps people make films.
Mike Saunders moved to Edinburgh last year, and has lived there ever since. He studied philosophy, film and literature at UEA before moving to Scotland by way of India. His poems have been published in various journals including Lighthouse, Poetry Review, Dactyl and the Istanbul Review. He previously organised the archival interview series Conversations in Black and White, as well as Poetry Unbound, a project displaying poems and holding poetry readings in libraries. He currently curates the websites Indian Litter and Happy Friday.
Kirill Sokolov (1930 - 2004) trained as an artist in Moscow, under the Stalinist dictatorship. His interest in Western art during the Soviet years was considered dangerously subversive and had to be explored in secret. Following his wedding to British research student Avril Pyman (in the first foreign marriage personally approved by Krushchev himself), he moved to north-east England and in time gained a reputation as a leading international artist.
Sokolov regarded life as essentially tragic, but his belief in the power of art to transform and transcend tragic experience can be seen through throughout his work. He worked through the challenges of Soviet censorship, depression following emigration to England, illness, and a catastrophic fire to produce a vast collection of work ranging from book illustrations and oil paintings to innovative silkscreen collages and sculpture. His fellow artists, friends, and widow Dicky remember the love, humour and fierce determination which drove his creativity and led to his international reputation as one of the former Soviet Bloc's most remarkable modern artists.
Sokolov's work has been widely exhibited, and is held by galleries including the Tretyakov State Gallery in Moscow, The Sutton Gallery in Edinburgh, and Durham University.
Our current exhibition features the work of Dundee-based painter Martin Hill. Martin kindly agreed to answer some questions about his work and what it is like making a career as an artist in Scotland today.
Could you tell us a little about your work and what its main themes/ areas of interest are?
Often the main themes in my work are mortality and the transience of human life. The piece “Sleeping Stray” which will be in the show, is part of a series of works that I produced based upon my experiences in Athens. While there, I became interested by the relationship that we have to the great works of man. While I was there in awe of the great architectural and artistic works of the ancient Greeks, I became more intrigued by the passivity and nonchalance of the animals inhabiting these spaces. The casual indifference of these stray dogs, cats and pigeons to the great achievements of mankind became fascinating to me. From this perspective our exaltation of these achievements and our own striving for immortality through our artistic works seemed laughable and futile. The works that stem from this are not entirely cynical, they are made with both a love and reverence of the subject while at the same time drawing attention to the transience of life, our own mortality and relevance or irrelevance of our efforts, questioning if it is all but “vanity and striving after the wind”. (Ecclesiastes 1:14) Much of my work relates to this theme in some respect, with some paintings depicting cemetery scenes, acknowledging mortality while at the same time hopefully not bluntly resulting in the macabre. Personally, art making is something of a paradoxical acknowledgment of mortality and at the same time perhaps a futile attempt at some sort of immortality through the act of creation.
Other paintings are just that, paintings. Sometimes a painting is a personal investigation into paint and representation. Some of my work is purely an exploration of the process of painting and image making, perhaps merely making paintings concerned with painting.
Image: 'Sunset, Easter Sunday' by Martin Hill, oil on board 25 x 30cm
You graduated from Duncan of Jordanstone in 2009 - how have you found the first 5 years from graduation?
My first five years from graduation have been largely great. I have been blessed with many great opportunities at times while at other points I have struggled with the vast learning curve that has to take place in the transition from art student to practicing artist.
Would you have any advice for artists just about to graduate?
Your degree show is not the end, it is the beginning. Don’t rest on your laurels.
You have had a busy year already with many shows and things going on. What new projects have you got coming up?
I will be taking part in the 8 Frames Project, which will be curated by the Outbye in Dundee this August (preliminary date).
Yesterday evening was the preview of our Alfons Bytautas exhibition, featuring over 50 paintings and collages produced over the last two years. In these exciting and vibrant new works, Alfons is exploring what he calls "a tug of war between figuration and abstraction":
“I have been surprised as to how these imaginary geometrical or natural forms seem to mutate. The images are constructions or arrangements in which certain motifs emerge continuously through the process of re-ordering. By adopting a playful approach, images seem to emerge that are suggestive of cell structures, geological cross-sections or archaic symbols.” – Alfons Bytautas
Born in Selkirk in 1955, Bytautas studied painting at Edinburgh College of Art, where he first began to develop his life-long interest in the technique of etching. Soon after graduating in 1979, he started to collaborate with Edinburgh Printmakers, working for 30 years as a Master Printer and Senior Etching Technician. In 1983, he studied at the Parisian printmaking studio, Atelier 17, with the celebrated painter and printmaker Stanley William Hayter.
Having widely exhibited over the last 30 years, Bytautas was elected an Associate Member of the Royal Scottish Academy in 1994 and became an Academician in 2006. In addition to his accomplished work as an artist, Bytautas holds a position at the Fine Art Printmaking Studio at Northumbria University, in Newcastle upon Tyne.
Here are some images from our recent Poetry at The Sutton Gallery reading with Luke Allan, Frances Presley and Gavin Selerie. It was a great evening so many thanks to all who made it along. In the background is our Alfons Bytautas exhibition!
The Julia McNairn White exhibition opened last Friday with a very well-attended private view and it has been a great first week for the exhibition. Julia's work is extremely elegant and stylish, with an incredible ability to convey emotion. Exploring shadows and light through a suite of exceptional new paintings and pastels, the show has proved extremely popular, so it is great to see Julia's work getting the recognition it deserves.
Julia McNairn White attended Edinburgh College of Art from 1984 to 1988 at a time when the school was enjoying a particularly strong period for painting. Her tutors included the artist John Houston. In her final year, McNairn White was awarded the Daler Rowney Prize and went on to have a number of highly successful exhibitions throughout the 1980s and ‘90s, including at Compass Gallery, the 369 Gallery, the Dick Institute, The Edinburgh Gallery, The Leith Gallery and the Buchanan Gallery. Her work was increasingly sought after by collectors and she also received many commissions, including for United Distillers, Erskine House and various contracts for Inhouse, Edinburgh.
In addition, her exhibitions were well reviewed across the board. Writing in The Scotsman, Richard Jacques compared her work favourably to the American artist Edward Hopper, in The List Alice Bain praised her “European touch and tightness” while in the Scotland on Sunday W Gordon Smith commented on the “atmospheric images, haunted by dark shadows” that characterized her work.
There are only a few pieces left available so make sure you snap them up quickly. The oil painting below is one of our favourites and is still available. Sunkissed, oil on canvas, 50.8cm (h) x 76.2cm (w), £1200
Our latest exhibition opens with a preview on Friday 4th April (6 - 8pm) and continues until the 2nd May. We are very excited to be exhibiting Julia's work in the gallery and looking forward to talking about it with visitors to the gallery.
The paintings are all at the gallery now and they look fantastic. We are looking forward to hanging them on Thursday evening.
Do join us on Friday if you can.
Our latest 'Poetry at The Sutton Gallery' featured Ron Silliman, JL Williams, nick-e melville and Anne Laure Coxam and, if you don't mind us saying so, it was a complete hoot! Four fantastic poets reading exhilarating new work. If you missed it, here are some images.
The latest in the 'Poetry at The Sutton Gallery' is set to be a blinder with four fantastic poets reading.
Ron Silliman is a leading figure in contemporary poetics. Since 1974, he has been producing long serial works The Age of Huts (1974-1980), Tjanting (1979-1981), The Alphabet (1979-2004), and Universe (2005-present). The latest installment of Universe is to be published by Shearsman this year. His blog http://ronsilliman.blogspot.com is an excellent resource for contemporary poetics.
JL Williams has been widely published in journals and her poetry has been translated into Greek, French, Spanish and Dutch and she has translated poetry from Spanish and Greek. She is particularly interested in cross-form work and has collaborated with artists, musicians and filmmakers. In September 2009, Williams journeyed to the Aeolian Isles to write a collection inspired by Ovid’s Metamorphoses called Condition of Fire, published by Shearsman in 2011. Her second collection, Locust and Marlin (Shearsman, 2014), explores the idea of home and where we come from.
Both Anne Laure Coxam's parents were pyschiatrists which explains a lot and then she met nick-e melville which explains the rest. She is a teacher of French as a Foreign Language and has lived in Scotland for 10 months. She thinks people are a lot nicer here, but maybe that's because she doesn't understand them, and she loves the LRT bus network. She has had work published in Local Tongue in France and LIT in New York.
nick-e melville was born in Simpson's Maternity Hospital in 1975. There was something wrong with his blood sugar so he was put in an incubator. He thinks this has something to do with his type 1 diabetes which he contracted when he was 33. Between these two periods, a lot of stuff happened, such as 'becoming' a poet. Since he was 33 lots of other things happened, some of which he will read about with Anne Laure. They co-organise the Vive the [r]évolution poetry nights at the French Institute.
Date10 March 2014 - 7:00pm - 9:00pm
LocationThe Sutton Gallery
PriceFree and unticketed but email email@example.com to confirm attendance
How to bookFree and unticketed but email firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm attendance
Contact for further detailsColin Herd email@example.com
There was an excellent turn-out this evening for the latest in our series of Poetry at The Sutton Gallery events. With superb and diverse readings by Michael Schmidt, Caroline Bird and Michael Pedersen, it was a very memorable event! We have a night off on Thursday and then it is the preview for our new exhibition, John Slavin: New Works, which opens on Friday 21st February at 6-8pm.