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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)

Monday, 6 May 2013

Carol Bove & Sue Biazotti

Carol Bove during the installation of her
exhibition, The Foamy Saliva of a Horse,
at The Common Guild in Glasgow (Pic 
© Jan Patience)


Carol Bove: The Foamy Saliva of a Horse
The Common Guild
21 Woodlands Terrace, Glasgow
0141 574 6740
Until June 29 (Tue-Sat)

When I meet Carol Bove, she is crouched over a small sea of peacock feathers.
The feathers are being re-assembled on the wooden floor boards of a large airy room at The Common Guild, the townhouse turned gallery in Glasgow's Park district owned by artist Douglas Gordon.
Brooklyn-based Bove is in Glasgow to instal The Foamy Saliva of a Horse, a critically acclaimed exhibition which was first seen two years ago at the 54th Venice Biennale. This is the first time Bove’s work has been seen in Scotland.
Foamy Saliva consists of a private museum of objects; made, found and rescued, which Bove has placed together in a harmonious blend of classical meets conceptual art.
Bove observes that putting this show on in a Victorian Glasgow townhouse is a very different experience from installing it in a medieval rope factory in Venice.
“In Venice, I was literally at the furthest flung end of the building, which was once used for making endless lengths if cord for the shipbuilding industry,” she explains. “You had to see a lot of art before you got to me!”
Bove is a refreshing mix of upfront Californian easiness (she was brought up in Berkeley, California) and complex intellectual. 
The exhibition title is taken from ancient Greek folklore and describes an incident which saw the painter Apelles trying to paint... the foamy saliva if a horse. It is said he was so enraged at his failure to do so that he threw the sponge he was cleaning his brushes with at his picture, thus producing the desired effect.
Bove takes the element of chance, marries it up with a love of the ancient arts and a cool intelligent eye, then brings it to bear on this exhibition.
When you enter the building, with its elegant spiral staircase and high ceilings, your gaze turns to a chipped and browny-white ageing polystyrene, hovering in the stairwell from a large rusty I-beam on the floor above. 
I-beams are generally used to support the first floor of a house, and this one gives the split-level exhibition a gentle sense of equilibrium.
In the downstairs room, with all but one of the shutters closed, Bove has placed several objects; including a piece of driftwood suspended in a polished bronze frame, a curvaceous rusty oil drum, found, like many of the objects, on the banks of the Hudson near her home in Red Hook, Brooklyn, a delicate 'curtain' woven by Bove using thousands of tiny silver links and an upright piece of driftwood with rusting handles reeking deliciously of bitumen.  A small sculpture, like a bonsai tree with various exotic shells for 'leaves', sits on the mantelpiece.
Upstairs in a large airy room with a giant bay window overlooking Glasgow and the hills beyond, there are more assemblages, including the peacock feathers on the floor and metallic zig-zag fretted screen, through which the work in this room, including the peacock feathers arranged on the floor and another shell sculpture can be viewed. And reviewed.
The curious thing about all the objects here is that they seem to change with the weather outside, or as you look through patterned frets, or even if you just walk to a different part of the room.
Though disparate, they gel together and stay in your mind long after you have left the building. This acid test of whether an exhibition ‘hangs together’ makes it a richly satisfying experience to view. And to experience.

Sue Biazotti always brings the light... hanging her one-day
show at The Lighthouse in Glasgow

Sue Biazotti: Hope Street
The Lighthouse
Mitchell St, Glasgow
07909 504276 www.suebiazotti.com

Now available to view by appointment by emailing Sue on suelbb@aol.com

Perhaps it the ghost of her grandfather, Scotch Whisky industry pioneer James Barclay, channelling its way into her art, but for a new series of paintings of Glasgow city centre in the 21st century, Sue Biazotti has conjured up a vision of what could almost be smoggy Glasgow in the 1930s and 40s.
In a series of 22 paintings called Hope Street, Biazotti, who won the Aspect Prize in 2005, has tried to find a way to paint ‘how she feels about Glasgow’. The paintings are going on show for one day only a week today at The Lighthouse in Glasgow.
When they come down, she is planning to hang them in her house in Glasgow’s west end, where people can make an appointment to come and view them.
Biazotti was born in Glasgow, but grew up in Gartocharn in Stirlingshire. She then went on to train at Edinburgh College of Art and lived in London for a decade, where she met her Brazillian husband, Jaime, a film-maker.
“We came to live in Glasgow when our children were young,” she explains, “and it only struck me in the last year or so that I have a strange relationship with this city in which I was born, which is why I set out to paint it. 
“I’ve found that I’ve thought about my grandpa a lot as I’ve been working on this series. Strangely, he had his offices near to Hope Street. I used to see Glasgow as quite a dark and foreboding place when I was a child. I think this is all coming out in the work.”
There may be darkness in these paintings, but it is balanced out by a lightness of being, which those who know Biazotti’s work will recognise as her signature touch. 

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