20 June - 19 July 2015
The SMART Gallery
Winner of The SMART Gallery
New Art Look to the North Award
supported by FWB Park Brown
What’s on - Calendar
20 June - 19 July 2015
The SMART Gallery
Winner of The SMART Gallery
New Art Look to the North Award
supported by FWB Park Brown
an exhibition of set models created for National Theatre of Scotland productions.
8 February - 9 March 2014
by Allan Watson
15 March - 27 April 2014
by Steven Cox
3 May - 15 June 2014
winner of The SMART Gallery ' New Art Look to the North' Award at the 2013 Gray's School of Art Degree Show.
21 June - 3 August 2014
by Doug Cocker & Michael Agnew
6 September - 12 October 2014
Chris Wells / Lindsey Clark / Matthew Higgins
9 March – 28 April
Four years ago Chris Wells, Lindsey Clark, Matthew Higgins and shared a studio in 2nd year painting at Gray's School of Art. All enthusiastic, though new to the world of serious painting, they learned the same methods of research and development and completed the same projects producing finalised paintings in a similar vein. Now, although they share the same artistic ideals and values, they pursue the process of painting in very different ways. To see the work together, it is interesting to note that they have all held on to certain values, representation is still important to all of them though they choose to use it in different ways rather than to produce a work of pure realism. The process of painting is a highly personalised one, which cannot be taught, only discovered through trial and experience. By exhibiting together they aim to highlight the process behind painting, to discuss the vast differences as well as allowing similarities to shine through.
Chris Wells graduated from Gray's School of Art in 2011 with first class honours. Since which he has been on a scholarship to Florence and has been involved with various group shows around Scotland and has work in the prestigious RSA collection, the Grampian Hospitals Art Trust collection as well as various private collections. He is currently artist in residence at Gray's School of Art.
Lindsey Clark was born in Aberdeen and graduated from Gray's School of Art in 2011. She has exhibited throughout the country, including the RSA in Edinburgh as part of the New Contemporaries 2012 show. Now working at the city's Belvidere Gallery, she also continues to paint from her studio at home.
Matthew Higgins was born in Glasgow, he moved to Aberdeen to study Painting at Gray's School of Art. He successfully completed the course with a first class honours degree. At the time of his graduation he was awarded the Robert Brough Memorial Scholarship and the Art's Complex Studio Prize. Since then Matthew has moved to Edinburgh where he has continued his working studio practice and has exhibited in numerous shows across Scotland.
Eric Great-Rex / Sarah Taylor / Lesley Logue / Lewis Paul
4 May – 9 June
The concept for this exhibition comes out of an interest in how artists develop ideas and images. This exhibition aims to examine the work in progress of 4 artists and open up a dialogue about possible outcomes that can develop one way or another. The artist will question the extent of their research and visual development and how this acts as a catalyst for completed works. To the artists the journey of thinking and making often serve’s to bring the idea on to the next stage leading to a stabilisation or final outcome. The stages in between are rarely presented as works in themselves because the idea shifts or the idea is completely abandoned.
Eric Great-Rex interest lies in personal beliefs, behaviours, thoughts and attitudes using theories such as projection, transference or introjections as starting points. These theories mine the everyday and the familiar for deeper layers of meanings that can often lead to the uncovering of darker and less acceptable or unacknowledged parts of the psyche. Domestic objects, knick-knacks, keepsakes and ceramic commemorative wares imbued with imagination and affection have been the visual stimulus to the work he has made over the last five years.
Sarah Taylor's practice encompasses painting as a process which is equally engaged in investigating the medium as an 'Aspirational' activity, a dedicated pursuit that considers what can and cannot be classified 'as' painting. Her work moves between the modest and the monumental, the discarded and the valued, whilst also engaging with themes of class and hierarchical classification. As a painter she ask’s questions about authenticity, about what is and is not proper or legitimate. This involves a reassessment of the modernist tradition of painting from a position marked not only by social class but also by gender.
Lesley Logue’s research is driven by her interest in specific individuals and communities, their changing states and how this impacts on personal lives and histories. The fragility of historical shifts is key, questioning what is lost, what remains and what is replaced. Her practical working relationship to repetition and appropriation are methods she applies in order to remember or reinforce a memory, real or imagined. Through the work there is a tendency for Lesley to take something remote from the past and bring it to her own space, making something almost lost visible again. Therefore there is a strong sense of lament in the artistic outcome.
Lewis Paul’s practice engages questions of masculine identity both subjectively and within a broader historical relationship of class (working men), family and forms of representation. Encompassing a transdisciplinary approach, Lewis produces films, photographic work and sculptural objects considering relationships between story, narrative and material. Lewis considers within his sculptural practice the role of invention through possible collisions between expected modes of dress, costume and the system of fashion as outward symbols of male and class identity. Working with modified clothing and producing objects that recombine clothing tropes Lewis reconsiders ascribed material values and engages with questions of habitat, a boundary between clothing as veil, symbol and mobile metonym.
New Art Look to the North Award 2012
Gray's School of Art Degree Show
Sponsored by Park Brown International
14 June – 28 July
Amber Robertson is a former student from Gray's School of Art where she studied sculpture. Graduating in summer 2012 she has since been living and working in Aberdeen, where she has continued her working studio practice and is currently acting as the sculpture graduate in residence at Gray's. Her work explores the value of experience through performance and process led outcomes.Since graduating she has been part of various different exhibitions in Aberdeen and in Edinburgh, and is still exploring her interests through a varied range of mediums.
Ilona Niemi MFA, BA (Hons), MA
1 September – 13 October
Poison, an imaginary garden, continues Ilona Niemi’s interest in opposites such as beauty and cruelty, and life and death. On a personal level, children’s faces peeping through flowers hark back to the artist’s current obsession with gardening, as well as the tragic disappearance of her childhood friend almost thirty years ago. Universally, flowers embody both beauty and death, playing the cycle of life in fast motion. As though attempting to arrest time, Niemi preserves her portraits under resin, thus commenting on human interference into the cycle of life, and questioning artists’, alchemists’ and scientists’ quest for eternity.
Ilona Niemi is an artist from Finland. Reminiscent of childhood play but with a grown up, psychological twist, her works hide the sinister under a sugary coating. Niemi's works have been exhibited widely, such as in the BP Portrait Exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London. She has had solo exhibitions in the USA, Scotland, and Finland, and won awards such as the Royal Scottish Academy Painting Prize.
Doug Cocker / Finlay Coupar
19 October – 24 November
An exhibition of ‘artist’s photographs’ – both artists have, over a period of almost 20 years, taken photographs as part of their practice in locations as various as, Hong Kong, Rome, Bologna, New York, Newport, Paris, Granada and Kinsale. While this is, in itself, unremarkable, what is remarkable, and at the time unknown to the artists, is a) the similarity of the form of the work – natural and man made surfaces (the ‘skins’ of the title) veering towards the abstract and formal in structure and b) the relationship of the photographs to their main practice. Again, in both cases, these photographs were not created for exhibition, neither were they used as direct source material for their main interests in painting, sculpture, printmaking and drawing; they were not taken as part of a photographic ‘sketchbook’. They do however offer a parallel and tangential perspective in which the sculptural, the graphic and the painterly are explored in the ‘real world’.
Finlay Coupar has exhibited widely in England and Scotland and his work has been purchased by The Scottish Arts Council, Inverness Art Gallery, The Department of the Environment, The Western Infirmary Glasgow and is held in private collections in the USA, Eire, UK and Germany.
Doug Cocker grew up in a rural area of central Scotland. Cocker's outdoor artworks usually relate to the landscape they occupy or they might depict something from the landscape. He studied sculpture at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee. He became a full time sculptor in 1990 and he now lives and works in Lundie, Coupar Angus. His art studio is surrounded by fields and he sees the activity on the land on a day-to-day basis which proves to be a strong influence in his current work.
18 march – 30 april
Watercolour Transfer Screen Prints of Popular Icons - ‘Postdigital Art’ - artworks that address the humanization of digital technologies through interplay between cyberspace and real space, between embodied media and mixed reality and artworks created through participation, interaction and collaboration in which the role of the artist is redefined.
11 may – 24 june
A large part of Toby's working process involves the exploration of cities. Much of his work in the past, both gallery-based and publicly sited, has explored routes taken through a built environment, and the examination of what is encountered along the way. Not least, the concept behind much of his work is that it is viewed not from a fixed point, but in a continuous way as the viewer's perspective shifts in space.
29 june – 29 july
The objective of the exhibition is to promote contemporary furniture in Aberdeen; a city of high aspiration, with a thriving art market and curiosity about contemporary furniture. This exhibition is an opportunity for makers and buyers to meet, view, buy or commission furniture from designer/makers. The pieces are exhibited in partnership with 2D and 3D art in recognition of furniture’s artistic aspect.
5 September - 16 September
On Tuesday 4 September 2012, at the launch of British Science Week in Aberdeen, diversified technology company 3M™ joins forces with The Smart Gallery to unveil More than Post-it Notes, a new artwork made completely out of 3M products. Aberdeen artist Mark McCracken's representation of Dana Petroleum's Hanze platform, using predominantly Post-it Super Sticky Notes from 3M, encapsulates the innovation which drives the north east's buoyant oil and gas economy.
23 September - 21 October
The Oil Baron’s Club is a new ‘Maximalist’ performative installation at Smart Consultants that unites the local oil industry with my own idiosyncratic cosmology. It is made up of a bar, a digital wallpaper installation and a series of silkscreen prints. ‘The Oil Baron’s Club’ refers to the bar in the TV show Dallas, a hub of social intrigue, high society goings on and camp drama. My version is syphoned through Surrealism and Post Modernism, the results of which are entertaining and culturally resonant.
26 October - 25 November
Born and brought up in Aberdeen and Orkney, Scotland, Barry McGlashan has been endlessly drawn to small town America. From his walking trips to the Mid-West Barry makes paintings both cinematic and intimate, full of affection for the rural communities and expansive landscapes he is drawn to. Barry has exhibitied widely in the UK and his paintings are held in many major collections.
30 november – 23 december
My Future Aspirations is a unique arts, business and education collaboration which challenges pupils from across the north east of Scotland to think about their future careers and then express their aspirations through self portraiture. Normally held at Aberdeen Art Gallery we have managed to secure to secure it for our new gallery and are talking with the council to take it outside along the terrace and on the railings.
Kelly Anne Cairns
Sarah J Stanley
Agata Dymus Kazmierczak
On Tuesday 4 September 2012, at the launch of British Science Week in Aberdeen, diversified technology company 3M™ joins forces with the Smart Gallery to unveil More than Post-it Notes, a new artwork made completely out of 3M products. Aberdeen artist Mark McCracken’s representation of Dana Petroleum’s Hanze platform, using predominantly Post-it Super Sticky Notes from 3M, encapsulates the innovation, which drives the North-East’s buoyant oil and gas economy.
Curated a yearlong arts programme for Aberdeen Arts Centre in 2009 delivering an array of work from emerging & established artists as well as touring exhibitions. This was partly funded by Aberdeen City Council.
Dec 2004 – Jan 2013
SMART Consultants curated 7 exhibitions per year for the Foyer Restaurant & Gallery, which showcased the work of emerging and established artists. We presented over 100 artists in this time and obtained over 50 corporate sponsors to cover the costs of the exhibition programme.
To present an artist brief and select an appropriate artist to form a new artist commission/mural for McCombie's Court, Aberdeen. This is to refer to the new design visuals implemented by Managed Graphics and be complimentary to the surrounding businesses. McCombie's Court is primarily used as a walkway from Union Street to M&S and by inserting a cultural experience in this area we aim for it to become a cultural point of reference in our cities cultural landscape.
SMART Consultants curate 4/5 exhibitions per year for the BP Atrium Gallery. We have programmed over 22 exhibitions to date, seeking to set in place a programme of exhibitions that represent all mediums of art. We are specifically interested in looking at the beauty of the everyday, the relationship that artists draw from, the way in which the artists set out a visual language through a variety of art forms and educating an audience with a variety of accessible but challenging mediums and content.
Curated an exhibition entitled – Changing Times, Changing Attitudes mapping 30 years of social care in celebration of their 30-year anniversary. This was a touring exhibition that went to all four Scottish major cities and attracted 1000’s of visitors.
Designed two publications in association with Open Box Design Agency for 1. ‘What’s the story’ competition 2. Arts across learning festival 2010. In 2012 we project managed ‘Secrets of the Green’ – a heritage plaque trail for Aberdeen’s Green area.
SMART Consultants curated a special exhibition and website to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Aberdeen International Youth Festival (AIYF). The exhibition, which was supported by the AIYF friends of the festival, brought together 40 years of one-off items of memorabilia and snapshots of memories from those involved in the festival, the exhibition and website was the first ever comprehensive archive to be created in the festival’s history.
Worked in association to provide exhibitions for their gallery space and held our first Tea Cosy – alternative art craft and design fair, which was supported by the Spark Plug Curators Award 2007, Crafts Council, England.
Delivered Tea Cosy and Peacock Print Shop as part of weekend events to help raise the profile of Rosemount and its local businesses in 2010.
SMART were the art advisory for an open submission exhibition – Sofa So Good - at the Foyer gallery, which attracted artists from all over the UK.
Facilitated the development and selection of high profile artist to make a memorial / remembrance piece of artwork, internationally renowned Scottish sculptor Doug Cocker was commissioned in 2011.
Curated Tea Cosy Carousel as part of the London 2012 yearly open weekend and attracted 1000+ visitors to participate in DIY Craft. Culture Crush was a curated festival weekend to celebrate one year to go and included working with Aberdeen Art Gallery, Citymoves Dance Agency, APA and National Theatre of Scotland. It celebrated all forms of art with a real focus on public engagement, from an interactive hairdresser to street dance and theatre. These projects formed a nation wide cultural programme in the lead up to the 2012 Olympics. Aberdeen’s projects were supported by BP and co-funded by Creative Scotland.
SMART Consultants initiated a relationship with RGU in association with charity Aberdeen Foyer to deliver an arts programme for the Scott Sutherland School of Architecture and Gray’s School of Art from 2006 - 2008. Our programme included exhibitions – SMART DESIGNS, Exemplar Buildings II, Timber Skins, Thinking and Making, RIBA Stirling Prize, 6th British International Miniature Print Exhibition, Drawing Breath – 10 Years of the Jerwood Drawing Prize.
Worked closely with two key partners from St James to deliver at high profile exhibition for their office space entitled – CREAM, this was an elite selection from Scotland’s finest artists and designers. We held an exclusive event for them where they invited key clients to the viewing with a view to investing in the arts.
‘The Collector’ - A lifetime investment in the beauty of art
The evening of December 4th will see Cristina Vettese and Keith Douglas’s wonderful private collection of modern art made public in a one off Collector’s show at St. James’s Place Wealth Management’s offices in the heart of the West End of Aberdeen.
SMART Consultants worked in association with a selected group of Gray’s School of Art sculpture students to create an interactive music event that brought the arts and science together. This formed part of The British Science Festival in 2012. The Festival brought together over 350 of the UK’s top scientists and engineers to showcase and discuss the latest developments in science. This was implemented through talks, workshops and citywide projects.
4H+ exhibits artwork from four generations of the Henderson family from Aberdeen, which will be on display at the Tweed Homes Ashley Lodge Gardens development on Great Western Road this weekend. Tweed Homes and SMART Consultants invited members of the public to this unique exhibition from the Hendersons, in two of the new flats in the West End.
SMART Consultants are the curators and facilitators of ‘Fabric of the Land’ exhibition held at the Geology Department, UoA. Fabric of the Land is a open submission exhibition that bridges the gap between art and science and has a specific brief each year for the artist/geologist to respond to. Our key sponsor for 2013 is Dana Petroleum and we attract over 700 visitors to the Geology Department each year where we transform a laboratory into a gallery space
SMART Consultants curated 3 key CRAFT exhibitions in association with DJCAD from 2007 to 2010. This was part of a major research project Past, Present and Future Craft Practice headed up by Prof Georgina Follett and Dr Louise Valentine both of DJCAD. We curated over 27 international craft related projects as part of New Craft Future Voices and brought key touring exhibitions to the University as part of rolling craft programme. In 2010 we curated an exposition – Future Craft Research Exposition, this was to document 5 years of research for PPFCP, which was part of the first Craft Festival for Scotland.
As part of our move and research for the new space it became apparent that what we are offering is unique to Aberdeen and also the support to the artist is very few and far between. The patrons will allow us to run an exciting programme while commissioning new work by artists and designers. Below is the information about the programme and I can't honestly reiterate enough how much of a difference this will make in providing an important contemporary art space for Aberdeen as well as supporting the arts.
Q What is a Patron?
A One that supports protects or champions someone or something, such as an institution, event, or cause; a sponsor or benefactor; a patron of the arts.
Our Patrons will help us commission new artwork and nurture new talent.
The Patrons scheme is for individuals, couples, families and businesses that want to feel part of the SMART gallery and make a real difference to what we do.
It is for people who want to enjoy a unique relationship with the SMART gallery and who in return will play a vital role in providing a platform to engage and educate the wider community.
Patrons are an important part of the SMART gallery and as such we take them to the heart of what we do by:
• an early bird invitation to each exhibition Private View
• an invitation to an exciting annual Patrons event
• an invitation to other SMART Consultants initiatives throughout the year
• 10 % discount on purchasing of artwork
Patrons will enable the SMART gallery to grow and evolve a creative community and to help develop a cultural economy.
Each Patron has the option to be listed/promoted in our gallery space as well as listed on our website.
Please download and print out the patrons form and return to us at the SMART gallery either by post or email.
We really appreciate you taking the time to consider becoming a PATRON.
Please click here to see the 2013 SMART gallery programme