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I'm an arts journalist & PR consultant living and working in Scotland. I've been a journalist for more than 25 years. I write a regular column for Scottish quality newspaper, The Herald. I deliver a PR service with an arty bent and work on a consultancy basis with arts organisations, including Scotland's leading creative industries festival, XpoNorth & broadcast support body, ScreenHI. I am currently co-writing a book about the celebrated Scots artist, George Wyllie, with his daughter Louise. Instrumental in making a celebration of his life's work happen in 2012. For more information, see www.georgewyllie.com When I'm not being a mum/working, I talk to my dog. He laps it up. Contact me on janpatience@me.com (All work © Jan Patience)

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Lys Hansen & Kraig Wilson in Dundee and Criminal in Stirlling

Lys Hansen & Kraig Wilson: Drawing Breath
Cooper Gallery
DJCAD, 13 Perth Road, Dundee
01382 385330
Until March 30
Lys Hansen, Reach_Berlin, (detail), 2002, mixed media

This exhibition at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art features an inspired pairing in the shape of established Scottish painter Lys Hansen and up-and-coming artist Teeside-based artist Kraig Wilson.
Part of Cooper Gallery’s Materiality & Metaphysics Series, Hansen’s rawly poetic, highly-charged drawings and paintings are set alongside Wilson’s intimately still photographic and video works.
Drawing as ‘a statement of the human condition’ has always been a major part of Falkirk-born Hansen’s practice. She talks about the ‘exact marks, strokes, slashes and washes’ of her drawings being akin to ‘the succinct words of a poet’.
Since 1985, Hansen has made repeated journeys to the city of Berlin, and it is in the history and fabric of this city that she finds an archetypical metaphor for the ‘divided self’. Berlin has historically been symbolic of war and conflict, for Hansen this symbolic nature is not only political, but is also directly psychological and personal. 
The drawings selected for Drawing Breath, all of which were made during her visits to Berlin, are what she describes as a material ‘confrontation with the reality of life and its inherent Beauty and Truth’.
Kraig Wilson, who was born the year before Hansen first started visiting Berlin, creates photographic and video work which embodies what he calls a ‘romanticism of listening and waiting’ that draws deeply upon the nature of a contemporary melancholia.
For Wilson, the melancholic individual is someone that opts out of the ‘collective rituals in society’ and his work brings into the space of images ‘something beautiful and unspoiled and something that could be forever’. In his resistance to the material boundaries of the real world, he has developed a rich body of imagery.
There will be an in-conversation event with both artists at D'Arcy Thompson Lecture Theatre, Tower Building, University of Dundee, Perth Road, Dundee on Wednesday March 14 from 11am - 1pm
Criminal: Hanging Together
The Changing Room Tolbooth
Jail Wynd, Stirling
01786 274005
Until April 14
Given the past life of The Changing Room in Stirling as a place of incarceration (not to mention a courthouse, parliament for James I & IV, police station, and now, a music and visual arts venue), this exhibition seems wholly appropriate.
Criminal aims to walk the line between the permissible and the unacceptable, with artist's group, Hanging Together, navigating their way through this challenging terrain for a new installation especially made for The Changing Room. 
Nicola Carberry, Paul Eames, Carolyn Mason, Peter Russell, Val Shatwell and Karen Strang have created works that ‘question our sense of what might or might not be appropriate’.
So standing up to be counted, with six different takes, bordering on criminal, are six artists based in the Stirling area who have been creating installations and interventions, primarily in non-gallery spaces, throughout central Scotland from 1994.
This year, The Changing Room is celebrating its 15th anniversary with an engaging packed programme. Since opening in 1997, The Changing Room has not only brought emerging and established artistic talent of international standing to Stirling but has provided a crucial forum for vocational training and peer support for locally- based artists and young people to explore, develop and challenge their ideas and experience of art.
As a unique space for leading contemporary arts in Stirling, The Changing Room shows the best new work by local, national and international contemporary artists covering a diverse range of contemporary art practice.

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