Ewan McClure | Solid Space18 Jun 2020
My offerings for the The Great Scots exhibition come from a growing body of work, destined for a solo exhibition at The Kirkcudbright Gallery.
Back in January, with only a few months to fill the gallery space and a dauntingly open brief, I decided to channel my output by measuring the gallery walls and pre-planning a symmetrical hang. I I didn’t yet know what subjects I’d tackle, but settled on the number and sizes of canvases to prepare
With 30 blank canvases ready, but conflicting ideas about where to start, It dawned on me that I could capitalise on this framework to bring a unifying logic to the room. By knowing the height at which each prospective painting would hang, I could set up each subject accordigly - at, or below eye level. I proceeded to work in sequence, relating each composition to its neighbour.
Working with something like an ’altar-piece’ mentality, I conceived each painting to be able to stand independently, but also fit as part of a larger group.
Here’s a glimpse of is the work so far…
While the simple, unifying concept has kept me reasonably focussed this year, I thought the exhibition might benefit from something slightly out-of-kilter.
For the large centre painting of wall number three, I’ve let myself be lured off-course by an alternative approach, suggested by this piece by the American painter, Quang Ho.
I was struck how the use of a bird’s-eye view offered an intriguing exploration of shallow space and form, aligned with the picture plane. Knowing that Quang Ho paints from life, I was curious to know how he set up his subject.
My first thought was that he could have arranged objects on the floor or a tabletop and used an angled mirror for an upright view, as below.
Whether or not my intuition was correct (it wan’t - he actually glued the trash to a board alongside his easel) I was keen to experiment with this contraption. Here’s my current work in progress