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Here we'll keep you up to date with news of our design activities - but also with details of exhibitions, events and artists who we're being inspired by.

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Emergent Landscapes December 04 2016

Over the past couple of years we've had the pleasure of working with artist, writer, musician and cultural geographer Rob St. John on several projects. Rob and Tommy Perman contributed to our Random Spectacular No. 2 journal, discussing their Water of Life project and we've since collaborated on the Concrete Antenna 12" vinyl/print release and the Creative Edinburgh Awards shortlisted Score Tae The Toor book/CD.

Emergent Landscapes is a collaborative installation at Tate Modern Switch House, exploring the boundaries between art, geography and the Anthropocene. Between 9th-11th December 2016, Rob invites the public to participate in the creation of new visual and sonic sculptures that will continue to evolve beyond the Tate Exchange space.

From the layering of a soundscape echoing visitor contributions, reflections and perceptions to the collective construction of a cairn, piles of stones that historically act as markers of time and space, Emergent Landscapes will act as a beacon; marking the newly-built Switch House and re-situating its emergence within an ever-changing London landscape.

Once the installation period is over, the whole structure will then be transported to Hooke Park woodland in Dorset, where in collaboration with the Architectural Association and Common Ground charity, it will be made freely accessible to visitors and documented for years to come. Over months and years, the spores and seeds ‘painted’ onto the cairn materials will germinate and grow; to emerge, pattern and even destroy the structure created together.

On 10th December 2016 between 17.00 and 18.00 Rob will introduce the project with an artist's talk and on 11th December between 16.00 and 17.30 Rob will discuss the future of the project with writer, curator and artist Amy Cutler.

Find out more about the project and the free (but ticketed) talk and discussion.

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Mark Hearld in Edinburgh September 23 2016

Opening in Edinburgh on the 5th of October is Collage, Pigeons and Platters, Mark Hearld’s first solo exhibition of new work following his critically acclaimed curated exhibition The Lumber Room: Unimagined Treasures which opened the recently refurbished York Art Gallery in 2015.

The exhibition continues to explore his love of the British countryside, a recent trip to Shetland and Orkney and his continuing curiosity for objects with a magpie approach to collecting in this new collection of collages, limited edition prints and hand-painted ceramics.

Talking of his collages, Mark explains…

“Collage as an approach is at the core of my work. It enables me to pull together a whole range of surfaces and textures to dynamic effect. It is inherently abstract; each bird silhouette is also a cut out piece of paper and the paper profile is very important to the overall effect.”

Visitors to the exhibition will also have the chance to see a selection of Mark’s fabrics and wallpapers for St Jude’s.

The digital catalogue for the exhibition can be viewed online now.

Collage, Pigeons and Platters runs from 5th-29th October 2016 at The Scottish Gallery, 16 Dundas Street. Edinburgh EH3 6HZ.

We're currently working on a Random Spectacular journal dedicated to Mark's The Lumber Room: Unimagined Treasures exhibition in York. To find out more nearer to publication, subscribe to our St Jude's Prints newsletter.

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The Shetland Times, 2016, mixed media with collage on paper, 56 x 75 cms

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Grey Partridge, mixed media with collage on paper, 40 x 40 cms

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Mark Hearld working in the studio

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The Shetland Ewe, 2016, mixed media with collage on paper, 56 x 75 cms

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Heron, 2016, mixed media with collage on paper, 56 x 75 cms

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Flight Platter, hand-painted ceramic, D:38 cms

Parallel//Paysage April 01 2016

Parallel//Paysage is an exhibition of new work by Rachel Duckhouse and Bronwen Sleigh. In October 2014 they travelled to Quebec City for an exchange exhibition between Glasgow Print Studio and Engramme. While there they undertook a research trip travelling through Quebec, Labrador and Newfoundland funded by the Bet Low Trust. This latest exhibition presents the divergent responses of these two artists to their shared experience of the same landscapes through printmaking, drawing and sculpture.

Parallel//Paysage runs from 9th April to 1st May 2016 at Glasgow Print Studio. You can find out more about Bronwen and Rachel's collaboration via their blog Multiple//Parallel.

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A detail from one of Bronwen's etchings

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Bronwen editions a new lithograph print

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A detail from Rachel's pen and ink drawing 'Saguenay ii'

Bronwen SleighOne of Bronwen's etching plates

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Rachel inks up her 'Black Wood' linocut

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Rachel's 'Black Wood' linocut and 'White Wood' pen and ink drawing

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Pages from one of Rachel's sketchbook

BE / ONE February 20 2016

I've been meaning to post something about our friends at Caught By The River's latest audio release on their Rivertones label for a few days. What's been delaying my post is thinking about a way of explaining just how good it is.

I'm still trying to work that out, but as it seems to be (justifiably) selling extremely quickly (the first vinyl edition has sold out) I wanted to get this posted before it sells out completely.

It's the first long player on the Rivertones label and is the soundtrack to Wolfgang Buttress' award winning pavilion at the 2015 Milan Expo. The Hive is an immersive, multi-sensory experience inspired by groundbreaking UK scientific research into the health of bees and the audio release is a hypnotic conceptualisation of their life, work and living environment. The musicians involved in the project improvised in the key of C, playing along to a live feed of sounds from the a beehive.

A series of live performances are underway. Luke Turner has just reviewed the Nottingham debut of the Be collective's performance...

"It’s a genuinely immersive experience, as cosy as if we are in the hive itself. Indeed, there’s an old-fashioned wicker hive on stage, just in front of the keyboards. Although bees communicate by vibration, amplified recordings of their activities are audible to the human ear, and the sound of tooting queens and their subjects’ waggle-dancing hums in and out of droning melodica, Tibetan singing bowls, accordion, cello, guitar and occasional vocals." Read in full

There's not much more than I say other than do what you can to get a copy of the CD or vinyl release before it's too late.

This summer the installation will come to Kew Gardens. Find out more

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Harbour Fireworks (Bonfire Night Version) November 05 2015

We're pleased to share this video that accompanies an edit of one of the tracks that appears on our forthcoming Random Spectacular project.

Harbour Fireworks is taken from Concrete Antenna, a sound installation and 12" deluxe vinyl album package exploring the past, present and imagined future of Newhaven in Edinburgh. Much of the sonic palette for this track is derived from recordings of firework displays in the area. Find out more about the track

Ultramarine on Northey Island August 02 2015

In early July 2015, Random Spectacular No. 2 contributors Ultramarine played live on Northey Island, a National Trust property in the Blackwater estuary, off Maldon, Essex.

Although the island is generally leased to private tenants, once a year the Trust takes back the island for Castaway, a wild camping experience.

Music has always been an important aspect of the Castway weekends and this year Ultramarine (Ian Cooper and Paul Hammond) performed a live set (accompanied by saxophonist Greg Heath) which included Decoy Point, a track from their 2013 album This Time Last Year, which was inspired by the Blackwater landscape.

You can listen to three of the tracks performed live below.

To find out more about the duo, visit the Ultramarine website. You might also enjoy Ian Coooper's Survey East journal.

LTM Recordings have also reissued a number of early Ultramarine releases.

Thanks to Ultramarine's Ian Cooper and LTM's James Nice for the photographs included here.

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Brita Granström and Mick Manning April 14 2015

Monday 27th April 2015 sees the opening of two exhibitions at Edinburgh's Open Eye Gallery from our friends Brita Granström and Mick Manning.

In Sea Salt and Sour Dough, Brita will present a series of paintings capturing intimate, everyday moments inspired by her home life and the landscapes of the Scottish Borders. Playful and charming paintings which reflect her creativity in all aspects of her life.

'Sweden and the British Isles feature strongly in my paintings; environments that are always changing, never still. Painting on location both indoors and outdoors in all weathers produces images that, for me, encompass and celebrate themes of hope, humanity, life and mortality.’

For his Beasts of Scotland exhibition, Mick Manning has created a series of unique pochoir prints, created using hand-cut stencils, stippling and block printing.

Born in Yorkshire, Mick studied at Bradford, Newcastle and then the Royal College of Art. Having spent a number of years teaching artists including Mark Hearld at Glasgow School of Art, Mick now devotes him time to his illustration projects and printmaking activities.

Both exhibitions run from 27th April to 11th May 2015 at Open Eye Gallery, 34 Abercromby Place, Edinburgh EH3 6QE.

If you're unable to visit, we have a good selection of Mick Manning prints available from our online gallery.

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Rescuing The Washing Brita Granström

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Vintage Plates Brita Granström

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The Letter Brita Granström

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Parrot Tulips Brita Granström

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Setting The Table Brita Granström

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Peregrine Over Edinburgh Mick Manning

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Golden Eagle Mick Manning

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Grey Seal Mick Manning

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Lurcher Pup Mick Manning

Surface Tension March 04 2015

Writer, artist and musician Rob St. John (who contributed to our Random Spectacular No. 2 journal) has announced details of his latest project, Surface Tension.

In summer 2014, Ben Fenton, project manager of the ‘Fixing Broken Rivers’ campaign run by London freshwater conservation charity Thames 21, got in touch with Rob. Ben had an unusual commission in mind: could Rob design a project drawing from both art and science to creatively explore and document pollution along London’s River Lea?

Almost a year later, and the project – Surface Tension – is finished, resulting in an album of new music and field recordings taken along the Lea; a book of writing and photographs documenting the Lea Valley and the creative processes in Surface Tension; and an exhibition of film photographs from the project at Stour Space, Hackney Wick, London (E3 2PA) throughout April 2015.

In late summer, Rob walked most of the length of the Lea – one of Britain’s most polluted rivers – wearing holes into the soles of his shoes as he made field recordings with binaural microphones (which look like cheap headphones, but capture a 360 degree soundscape around your head), underwater hydrophones and contact mics. At the same time, he took film photographs on both a vintage 120 camera and a 35mm pinhole camera made from a Lesney toy matchbox (the Lesney factory was on the river at Hackney Wick).

Rob’s work has always had a foot in both art and science: working with sound, photography and natural processes in ways that are both experimental and accessible. In 2011 he released a critically acclaimed LP ‘Weald’; in 2013 the Water of Life collaboration with Tommy Perman; in 2014 the Bastard Mountain LP; and in 2015 Surface Tension and a sound installation Concrete Antenna at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop.

Surface Tension is released in April on limited edition CD, housed in a beautiful book of Rob’s photographs and writing, designed by Tommy Perman.

Find out more about the project and order a copy of the limited edition CD.

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