Monday, 25 May 2015


KEVIN D'ARCY works in a variety of medias, free of any specific specialism. D'Arcy uses colour as a central component in his work, using it as a narrative evoking themes of wealth and movement. More recently he was looked into the portrayal of form through exploring the parameters of painting. Here we look into today's society, it's preconceptions and how he will approach this for Paradise.

How did you envisage the theme of Paradise when you proposed it for the show?

Well I envisioned my own view on paradise in which I don't really know what would be my paradise. I am made to believe that it would be somewhere tropical where it will be enriched with wealth. If that's something of material value or something more essential such as vegetation or maybe both. I originally envisioned a place or setting over a feeling.

Do you feel that in today's modern society wealth and materialism is an important factor to take into consideration in art and how do you explore this in your own work?

I think it is extremely important because it is such a strong and controversial subject. It has sustained yet divided our culture for centuries. It takes responsibility for the majority of our dreams and our nightmares. To me, wealth is associated with opulence and debauchery. I like to explore this through the use of colour and texture, to make my pieces rich with senses and emotions associated with wealth and materialism, almost to capture the instant, distorted, pretentious high that it creates.

You spoke about your enjoyment of using colour and texture, how do you approach these factors and what materials/techniques do you tend to employ when working?

Well first of all I plan to use acrylic paint only and gold leaf. I plan to make as many textures through the use of a paint brush creating different marks that I hope to encourage the viewer to feel with their hands. My interest with public interaction is way too strong to ignore. Ultimately I would the public to alter and mark the painting through the use of touching or scratching and picking at the painting. Thus change "my" "ideal" paradise. Symbolises the affect other people have on my perception of paradise.

This comes to me as a very unconventional but exciting idea, potentially using this interaction to create viewer as medium. Does their interaction represent interference as a negative or does it hold other connotations?

Some would view the idea of foreign interaction as a negative but I see it as a way to grow. Everyone's experience and interpretation of something is always affected by others. It's part of being a human being. I would like to show this piece as a reflection of human interference in our mind and our goal. Paradise is a goal that everyone has. It's the only thing that we all share. Just as our exhibition will show, it will be very unique for each individual person. I don't want to show or sway the viewer in a certain mindset but rather let them take what they want from it.

With this in mind what do you view the public perception of less traditional art, such as the infamous Glasgow art scene, to be?

I think they are just ignorant to less traditional pieces. They don't understand it. I think people believe they NEED to get understand it. I, myself, for a long time struggled to understand it as I believed that you must have to get the 'right' answer from it. But now it's clear that what I take from less traditional is that you don't need to understand it, there is no 'right' answer. It's all in what YOU get from it. Each person will get different emotions and ideas from the piece, due to that fact that they've all lived different lives. Like what I want to show in my pieces .Which makes it so rich and diverse.

If you could impart the viewer with one thing to take away from your work, or indeed the show as a whole, what would it be?

I would like for them to take the exhibition lightly. Perhaps for them to contemplate their own paradise. Their paradise may have even been further distorted after viewing our pieces. I would like them to view paradise with an open mind, and allow it for it to be altered or completely changed altogether by others.

Learn more about Kevin D'arcy by following the link to his page and visiting his social media outlets. You can also continue to keep up to date with the exhibition by following our instagram @paradise_exhibition and the blog




Article by Emma Hislop

Tuesday, 19 May 2015


EMMA HISLOP is a practising artist who is based in Glasgow. She is a multimedia artist who will be attending Glasgow school of art's sculpture and environmental art department, notably having heralded many Turner prize winners and nominees. Much of her work is drawn from her own experiences, it is conceptual in it's nature and so retains a certain ability to reach a wider audience. In some of her most recent work, she has become interested in the historical context of the renowned Tramway building, following an intriguing and thought-provoking archival narrative which takes the viewer into the building's past. This discussion will aim to discover more about her creative process.

"Paradise" seems like a word which could be interpreted many ways. How do you think you will go about beginning your artistic research given the range of opportunity the word offers?

I usually find when approaching my work that I should follow my gut, my first instinct is something I always seem to pass by; searching for something deeper which 9 times out of 10 will be a sort of process of elimination. My first instinct will be what I come back to and after working through all other options it becomes a far more enjoyable process. 'Paradise' comes across as a heavenly angelic word with the attachment of biblical virgins waiting to reward men taking a book of morality to extremes. I have tried to approach it as my own personal heaven, if I'm honest I think of the film Happy Gilmore and when he can't make a shot he goes to his 'Happy place'. I like the fun of my own happy place I can go when things get too much, it appeals to my quite childish playful sense of humour. I began by looking at my partner he is everything that brings me joy, and my ridiculous love of puddles and how he has scuffed his car alloys from driving through every single one when I am in the car as I love the sound and the excitement that with the window down I might get soaked, there are many things that have been included in my happy place but these ring most true. So I want to encapsulate them keeping them as a memory you might find in another childhood favourite film, The Never Ending Story, where the young boy's joyous memories are stolen. If this perfect paradise is to be stored efficiently by today's health and safety standards it must have the addition of preservatives and chemicals and how do these affect the memory, is it distorted, changed or tainted? This process of thought is what I hope to investigate.

You seem to be taking a very personal approach to the topic, while still creating a general idea of how the people at the exhibition will consider the work. Could you go into more detail in regards to what you hope the viewer will take from your work in the exhibition?

As I am still in the early stages of my work's production I am unsure of the path it will take, it may completely change its meaning from now or retain that as a starting point, an essence just like that of a fading memory. I am looking at preservation as quite a central theme. I am inspired by how Cornelia Parker uses what seems as an object or piece in itself as a media I hope to push myself out of what I have preconceived of myself and what I intend to make to create something new that I may feel is unlike me, perhaps even a sense of detachment. I don't know yet as an artist if I feel the viewer is a necessary component in my work. I think it depends upon what I want to say. I wouldn't say a viewer makes a work successful, I am not dependent on their impression but obviously I want to inflict some sort of emotion. I suppose in the simplest of ways I hope to impart a sense on my viewer, a sensory experience without the use of their senses.

Are you most often drawn to artists who have a personal approach? Are there any who have influenced you most notably throughout your time at vas?

Not at all, I am interested in any form of artist. As a viewer it is diluted down to like or dislike. The controversial addition of descriptors alongside a piece can completely change how a viewer feels about it, if you did not know the story, or indeed lack of one, your senses alone would guide you. VAS opened me up to a whole breadth of artists and how I discover and research them. I would struggle to pick any who I hold above others but just in a way I have found the notable, Louise Bourgeois - a strong inspiration, she inflicts a deep emotion in me, the way which she worked is almost regimental, if I could be even half as motivated, productive and dedicated to my work as Bourgeois I would be satisfied. But then the beauty of her work lies in that she remained unsatisfied! The dilemma of art continues! I find women strong figures for me as influences, I continue to keep in mind that I am a woman making art and what that means, especially when creating large scale works and ones fuelled by emotion. This also inclines me to look at someone like Franz Kline, someone who was around when men held the art world in their palm, a very industrial maker which I liken myself to in how I produce work. I find that very intriguing and am excited to continue exploring it.

It is notable to me that you have spoken about the artist being unsatisfied and the output of work being important. How do you continue to be motivated in creating your work? Has working in the context of tramway affected this in any way?

Tramway was something I had been looking for as long as I can remember, just without knowing what it was. After searching for something for such an extended period, I started it running, I am filled with work that longs to be created a lot of the time you find an anti-climax after completing a piece. It is generally something I am compelled to create and the motivation is the momentum I pick up as the process goes along. This compulsion, which can infest me, is a release when a work is completed, my mind can be free of thoughts, it is clean and tidy. Only to find that a day or so after, sometimes before I even finish a work, another obsession has begun. I would say that it is accurate to say I am obsessed with my work. I am completely infatuated by it, why I don't like it, why I do it, why I NEED to do it. I am never satisfied with an answer, I want to why, why the question, how the question, what the question. It is a never ending process.

How does the feedback of your peers change this process? Do you feel that receiving feedback from individuals you don't necessarily know during the upcoming exhibition will differ from this in any way?

I'm not sure that I will receive feedback from the viewer during this exhibition unless it is through social media or a passing on of conversations. Although I will be present at the opening I don't intend to hover at my work, I actually hope to avoid it, so as not to interfere. Viewing artwork should be a natural fluid experience without disruption or interference of the artist standing by ready to defend their work and pep it up, selling it in a way to passersby. Obviously positive feedback would be great but I am a great believer in debate so much so that I tend to near arguments when entering a deep discussion with my peers. I think it is so important to have an opinion. Our generation is so disappointing to me with its lack of interest in opinions and even more so in poorly formed ones just to have an opinion for the purpose of saying you do. Falseness is a poor trait and should be avoided at all costs. I find so much pleasure in debate and learning through this process, being proven wrong and having the humility to hold your hands up, accept it and then learn more about it, and therefore teaching others through this means also. I spend a great deal of time making notes, it has sort of become my process of making work, making notes, researching, making more notes and meeting up with peers to discuss my findings and thoughts to receive feedback, debate about it together and return to form new notes based on this feedback. It is a truly enjoyable process and a part of life that I am extremely fond of.

Where do you think this exhibition could take you? Will it inspire more work in the same vein?

I don't expect to gain anything from the exhibition in an immediate and material sense. I hope that I gain experience in not only working with a group of my peers independently out with any institution but being completely self-directed. The motivation to get up and make work with no 'need' to would have daunted me previously but I have adopted more of a carefree attitude where it is of no matter what the outcome of the exhibition may be but that I was consciously a part of it. I do hope if I gain anything, to achieve more confidence in myself and my projects. Perhaps this will inspire more work as I go on making for Paradise, possibly picking up inspiration for a new body of work, but for now I hope to relish the show for what it is. It is ours.

Learn more about Emma Hislop by following the link to her page and visiting her social media outlets. You can also continue to keep up to date with the exhibition by following our instagram @paradise_exhibition and the blog 

 Article by Freya Wilson


Our collective has now received the exciting news that we are to be supported by Young Scot and Creative Scotland's Nurturing Talent - Time to Shine fund.

The fund aims to support young creative in areas such as drama, dance, music, film, visual arts, literature and digital arts. Being a group of young artists in our beginnings this funding is vital in helping the exhibition with material and printing costs so that our concepts are not compromised by what our financial situations are, meaning that the art comes first, as it always should do.

We look forward to seeing how this vital support will enhance our work and working with these incredible organisations and look forward to sharing our journey with them and others who may be encouraged to apply for support.

Article by Emma Hislop

Thursday, 14 May 2015


VoidoidARCHIVE viewing.
Work begins on mapping out the space & preliminary curating.
Look forward to work from all 9 artists spanning throughout VoidoidARCHIVE gallery with opening night drinks with the artists themselves. Afterparty goers to The Poetry Club will experience exclusive films and other treats during DJ sets.


Thank you to Jason @ VoidoidARCHIVE/The Poetry Club

Monday, 11 May 2015


CLAIRE MCGINLAY has been accepted for 2nd year entry to Glasgow School of Art to study painting & printmaking. She has excelled in her strife for perfection, continuously pushing to break her own boundaries. With a depth in her work achieved through an almost romantic presence, McGinlay speaks to us about how she is preparing for the upcoming exhibition.

Do you find paradise a problematic topic, being that it could be described as a 'fairyland' ideal, potentially compromising the validity of the work?

Yeah I'm trying not to get too caught up on the title because it's really your own interpretation. Like mine is on the vulnerability of "man" but I just found a way for it to relate to paradise. It is quite a cliché, hippie dippie concept. It's quite hard to get away from that ideal of looking at "perfection" and dreamland. But I like that it's quite general. So you can sort of put your own spin on it.

How do you hope to prepare for the show?

Well I need to see the space first. But continuous sketchbooking and development. I'm trying not to use online sources as I feel it distracts me. But I'm referring back to a lot of artist source to develop my work. Like I was looking at "mark de estaban" today who works mainly with photography. I know I want my work to be mainly painting and print based but I think it's important to look to other specialisms in order to develop my work fully.

Do you think that the controversy of a piece directly enhancing the work's value can cheapen its austerity? Keeping this in mind, do you hope to sell any works from the show?

Selling work would be great. But it’s not my main goal for making the work. It becomes too commercial and dishonest if you have that idea of money on your mind. I do think if the work is unappealing it lessens the value to consumerist viewers but it should never be about the value of a piece. Especially in contemporary art it should be about the statement the artist is trying to put across.

What do you mark as your main goal in creating work and what specifically do you hope to inflict upon the viewer in Paradise?

My main goal is to make the viewer react and to think and to create conversation as a result of a piece of work I created. With "Paradise" I really want to bring home the idea of man's vulnerability and our finite existence. I would hate for people to be silent while viewing my work. I want to create an atmosphere and create debate. That’s probably what I hope to inflict on all my viewers.

Tell me about how you will achieve conversation from the viewer being that viewing painting/printmaking works is typically a solemn event.

It's actually really hard. I'm still at the initial stages of creating my work. The viewer, I suppose, has to first be able to relate to the work and feel from the work. It might mean creating an interactive piece that people can get involved in. But that's just an idea. We shall see what I come up with in the next two months.

You are going in to study painting & printmaking at GSA. How do you feel this establishment and its community will progress your work?

I'm so excited to work with the printing facilities. The equipment can be expensive so the idea of being able to take advantage of the expertise from the lecturers and the equipment is amazing. In the department there is a sense of independence from the students. There is less of a reliance on lecturers and a freedom to explore your own skill and ideas. Obviously that doesn't mean there isn’t structure. The lecturers are all fully qualified artists and one a turner prize nominee. I feel I will be learning from the best. I hope I can take their teachings on board which will steer my work into the direction of greater and better things. It's a really exciting environment. Just the idea of working away in my little studio space with a whole range of creatives around me, I can't even begin to explain how amazing that feels.

Learn more about Claire McGinlay by following the link to her page and visiting her social media outlets. You can also continue to keep up to date with the exhibition by following our instagram @paradise_exhibition and the blog




Article by Emma Hislop

Tuesday, 5 May 2015


ANGUS ROBERTSON is a visual communicator focusing on themes of graphic design while delving into what it means to be a filmmaker through his ambient though disorientating short videos. Robertson uses humour to investigate subjects which are somewhat inane in their earnest dysfunctionality. He is currently working towards a place in communication design at Glasgow School of Art.

Tell me about your impression of the meaning of paradise?

I think although the essence of it is rooted in religion, it's very much a take it as your own and give it your own meaning sort of thing. To me it can be a range of things but still be your absolute ideal setting and situation, moments or time periods that you view as high points in your life.

How do you hope to explore this?

I think because of the fact that everyone has such different ideas of what it is; it can sometimes be hard to imagine why someone might see it in a certain way because it is so far from your own. I look so explore more what others view as paradise and in a somewhat satirical way. I like to poke fun at societal values in my work; I think people are really interesting and funny.

You are one of three designers, versus six artists, in the show. Will we see evidence of this in your work?

Yes design is often brief lead work to serve a purpose, but at this stage I can work freely to my own brief and experiment in any way I choose, so no I don't know if the difference will be so clear. Perhaps the style of my work might give it away as I don't often work in a way which would be perceived as fine art (painterly paintings/abstract expressive works/sculpture).

Much of your work involves a graphic design take on film making. How has this enhanced & directed your work?

Film not only conveys an idea to the viewer but I feel allows them to experience it more readily. Through filming/editing techniques, use of sound, use of light and so on, I am easily able to alter the way in which the piece is viewed. I really enjoy this way of shifting the way something is perceived by altering subtleties that probably would go unnoticed, but at the same time add to the full experience. It has also allowed to me to take work far further than it could have gone otherwise.

Will you be using these techniques to approach paradise? Potentially transporting the viewer to experience your perception of a particular paradise or will the work be open to interpretation?

Definitely an approach to consider, however I feel that I want the viewer to feel familiarity in the work, something they can relate to or identify with. So in this way, it could definitely be an experience for them, something that they feel they have experienced or seen before.

What can we look forward to seeing from you in Glasgow's thriving art community in the future?

Hopefully much more like this! This is really the first self-directed exhibition I've been involved in and I think as my practice develops I'll involving myself with a range of projects. At this stage I feel quite free to get involved with anything I find interesting. In particular I hope to be part of something film related.

Learn more about Angus Robertson by following the link to his page and visiting his social media outlets. You can also continue to keep up to date with the exhibition by following our instagram @paradise_exhibition and the blog




Article by Emma Hislop