SMILE at the Park Gallery
From: 26/05/2012 To: 19/08/2012 10:00 - 17:00
Location: The Park Gallery, Callendar House, Callendar Park, Falkirk FK1 1YR26
SMILE at the Park Gallery comprises works by thirteen leading contemporary applied artists linked by the theme of one of the simplest but most emotive words – ‘Smile’.
This will be the first Scottish showing of SMILE. The exhibition looks at how makers have explored the quintessentially British love of everyday humour.
Many of the works suggest memories of childhood and long-ago holidays or explore the comedy in ordinary life.
The works in SMILE are in a wide variety of genres and materials. Abbott and Ellwood exhibit humorous sculptures of people made from metal sheet printed with colourful patterns. A stop-frame glove puppet animation by Jo Lawrence depicts the strange delights that a glove maker discovers on a nocturnal journey.
Textiles are strongly represented. Janet Bolton’s hand-sewn Lowry-esque images, Julie Arkell’s fabric and papier-mâché ‘rabbit people’ and Freddie Robins’ balls of wool turned into caricatures of the sheep that produced them. Linda Miller has created ‘silkie smiles’ – a series of faux naive machine embroideries depicting seaside scenes – especially for this exhibition. Eleanor Glover’s five letters spelling out the word smile are like characters at a party. Craig Mitchell’s illustrative ceramics include a couple valiantly trying to continue their outdoor life despite the advent of children, nappies and sleep deprivation. Lindsay Mann has created brooches she describes as ‘apparatus for the promotion of cheeriness’ including one that blows bubbles and transforms tin figures into curious wheeled vehicles. Lucy Casson’s humorous recycled metal creatures struggle with the trials of cooking on an old kitchen table and Deirdre Nelson’s animal-based stitched and knitted works stem from her artist’s residency on the Hebridean Isle of North Uist off the Scottish west coast.
But a smile is not always simply a sign of amusement. It can convey a host of complex emotions: be whimsical or pensive, sad or ironic. For example, the figures in Robert Race’s driftwood and found materials automata appear like apprehensive reluctant heroes while Michael Flynn’s ceramics dwell on the narrow line between laughter and tears.
Gillian Smith, Arts Development Officer (Community Engagement), Falkirk Community Trust, said: “We are thrilled to be hosting the SMILE exhibition at The Park Gallery. It is a really uplifting collection of work from some exciting artists who all have international reputations. It is the only Scottish showing of this exhibition and we can reassure the Scottish public will find plenty in the exhibition to make them giggle.”
Every piece in the exhibition invites you to spend time with – whether to uncover a deeper message or admire the maker’s skills and find another aspect of the work that makes you smile and feel brighter. Curated by Mary La Trobe-Bateman, the exhibitors presented here illustrate the rich creative practice that exists in the UK. Let us rightly celebrate and smile!
Opening hours: Mon to Sat: 10am –5pm. Sunday 2pm - 5pm
SMILE is a Ruthin Craft Centre Touring Exhibition. The Park Gallery thank them for their help organising the exhibition and for the opportunity to present it in Scotland.
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