HND Visual Communication and BA Art and Design students travelled to the Fair City of Perth recently to see work by Scottish artist Rachel Maclean all facilitated by the Jupiter Artland Outreach Exhibition.
The group visited the venue in Perth High Street on Friday 11 November and some of the students who attended, had already seen the same exhibition within the sculpture park at Jupiter Artland in Edinburgh last year. This new perspective gave them the opportunity to see how site can affect artwork.
FVC Creative Industries Lecturer Kirsteen Wright, said: “Jupiter believes that everyone should have access to art on their doorstep and that should inspire people to be creative.
“We arrived at 10am to the new but old dilapidated toy shop exterior created by Maclean, giving quite an ominous feel as to what would be found inside. Jupiter staff welcomed us in to the learning space and started to throw ideas at the students to get them thinking creatively before they viewed the work.
“A tour of the exhibition gave time to chat and ask questions and point out things that might otherwise have been missed. Ambigrams were a big feature of the work providing different meanings depending on how you looked at it – big mention to one of the HND first years for recognising these!
“The site specific nature of the work was a focus, placed in the middle of a typical high street where other shops have closed over the last few years. The room was carefully thought out with tiles hanging from the ceiling and wiring exposed – unloved. Mimi dolls were housed in boxes around the room – some young and pink, some old and grey. A room at the back showed a video animation again with an atmosphere created in the room to work alongside the animation.
“Small groups went in the room to watch the video on themes of aging, plastic surgery, self-image, consumerism and lots more that was discussed afterwards back in the workshop space.
“After the exhibition students had a chance to be creative. They were given an open task to create a collage on their own choice of statement. These were all pasted onto the wall as a permanent display. Alongside this they created placards and got to green screen themselves as part of a protest. Placards included Stand with the Ukraine, Woman’s Rights, Tran’s Rights and ‘Art Can Change the World’.
“A thought-provoking day with lots of creative thinking, critical analysis, exploring visual elements and lots of fun!”
Aran Sampson, a student on the HND Visual Communications course, said: “I really enjoyed seeing a lot of sadly quite dull faces that were absorbed in day to day life lighten up when looking at and peaking into the Art installation.
Iain Haugh, also on the HND Visual Communications course, added: “I think it was all a bit unexpected - interesting to use Maclean's art installation more as a talking point rather than a focus to lead into the activities. It was rather breakneck pace to jump from one thing to another, but I guess that plays into that theme of rampant consumerism that bled through it all, too!”