New Graduates 2012


You and your guests are invited to the
Launch Party of New Graduates 2012
Saturday 28th July from 2 to 4pm
Claremont Gallery held its first New Graduate Exhibition in the summer of 2011 and endeavours to continue to support and mentor New Graduate Artists.

This year we invited New Graduates from Gray’s School of Art.

Katarina Chomova  Louise Davidge  Amy Gear
Monica Lafferty  Pablo Laune  Sammy Sinclair

and asked four of the exhibiting artist from 2011 to submit new work one year on from their graduation.

Emma Armstrong  Sarah Diver  Shonagh Hutson  Max Stewart

We hope you continue to support Claremont Gallery and our New Graduate Artists on their journey.  We look forward to welcoming you!

2012 Graduates  – a little bit more about the artists and their current practice.

Katarina Chomova 
‘My work reflects a personal response to human trauma and memories connected with the Chernobyl disaster.  My paintings sit between reality and dream-like imagery.  I explore the idea of combined memories through repetition, over- laying certain elements, covering up and at the same time revealing something new.  Slowly over the years little truths are uncovered and create a complex image, which is like a puzzle.  All our memories get stored away in our mind; they come out in a changed form, just like the spaces I create in  my paintings.’
Louise Davidge
‘During my time at Grays I have taken an interest to the way in which we gather information, the attainment of knowledge and preservation of meaning. Through becoming increasing inspired and curious by my family history, a lot of the imagery I handle in my work is personal yet simultaneously unfamiliar. I am finding ways of communicating this through formations which are recognisable yet retaining some mystery for what is uncertain. I produce images which essentially act as symbols or insignia, which people can interpret and engage with.’
The reliance on ephemera to narrate happenings is familiar yet can be momentary. Printmaking as a process can allow images to be multiplied and reproduced, giving the print a more accessible and perpetual existence. Combining both ephemera and printmaking underpins the uncertainty of the way in which we record information, yet produces work which is accessible and enduring.
Amy Gear 
‘My work has been informed by the way in which my ancestors viewed the world. Their connection to the earth is incomprehensible today. In my native Shetland, there were hundreds of words for the unique weather patterns of the islands. As the Shetland dialect fades with time, so does the understanding of the elements that constucted the identity of the place. Stories told down through the generations give a small insight into the extent of appreciation my ancestors had for ‘Midder Netter’ (mother nature). I use a combination of modern day and ancient beliefs to constuct monuments in the hope of celebrating and preserving Shetland culture. ‘
Monica Lafferty
‘My work is a construction of imagery, incorporating traditional printmaking and drawing techniques with the iconic style and visualisation of early cinema. By utilising the qualities of light and shadow, I manipulate the familiar. By creating images inspired by my own interpretation and memories of film, there is a sense of nostalgia in these mysterious yet identifiable scenes. ‘
Pablo Laune
‘From that point on, you traverse the many hazards and obstacles found throughout. It is not unlike the classic; its objectives and control mechanics are self-evident, with the main challenge found in its subtle environmental puzzles. Light physical puzzles are also present, but they’re seldom focused upon. The white space is in a state of change, though it is constantly up kept under strict regime and rules.’
Sammy Sinclair
‘My work primarily focuses on the creation of pieces that have character – a beauty away from the perfection of the normal ideal – that charms and captures the viewers’ attention through their immediate empathy with its battered persona. Within my current practise I have created these pieces with inspiration from Elgin, thus enabling me to explore and represent the present and historic character of the town in ceramic form through use of a multitude of techniques and in hoping to alert viewers from the town of a history and culture that they may not have been aware of.
When creating the “Tourist” cylinders this was with reference to the current nature of the town – a lego land of almost replicated new builds that appear all across the country. My exploration drew me to the conclusion that current consumerist trends have devoured the value of buildings that represent the “local” and are unique to the area. Yet, despite the similarities each new homeowner endevers to impact their personality upon the interior, most through the creation of the current “feature wall” trend. Thus, giving a small stamp of invividual character to the build and creating the a history for the building in doing so.
When taking images of the “Tourists” in context (at Elgin Cathedral) I found that the cylinders did not fit into the Cathedral setting at all, looking more like they have just been beamed in. They seemed more like tourists than something that belonged. They are tourists – not travellers.  Travellers are people in my mind who become absorbed in the culture of an area, finding out as much about it as possible and living by it to get a genuine experience of the area. Tourists only scratch the surface, seeing the aesthetics without any real depth. As not many of the locals have visited the Cathedral, and particularly people that are new to the area, this could be seen as how the city currently is – a mixture of tourists and travellers co-habiting in the one city.’
Graduates 2011
– a little bit more about some of the new graduates we showed last year and what they’ve been up to over the past year.
Emma Armstrong
‘Since leaving university I have helped run the evening printmaking class at Gray School Of Art for an 18 week programme. I have set up my studio space and have continued  exploring the themes I was working on whilst at university with having my own show with Touched By Scotland next year, I wanted to put in pieces that represent the simple elegance of nature but also to display how cruel it can be. And to continue to work on more pieces for next years show that  further this theme but with different outcomes. I like how clinical and endearing these pieces of work are and the subtle highlights of the precious parts of the birds body.’
Sarah Diver
‘During my time at Gray’s I became fascinated with the methodology involved in Printmaking particularly with etching, photo-lithography and screen printing, I enjoy the fact that one must follow a process in printmaking in order to achieve a result; contemporary visual art is very free and expressive they are no limitations but with printmaking one must learn and follow a method and to be innovative one must find new technical possibilities. For me this is the perfect balance between concept and technique and in my opinion art is at its best when it displays both these factors; technical skill and content. At Gray’s I participated in group shows and open exhibitions within and outside the college, including the Aberdeen Artist Society in 2009 and 2010, Neu Salon in The Embassy in Edinburgh and Originals 10 a printmaking show in the Mall Galleries in London. Since graduating in 2011 I have been apart of several New Graduate and Best of Degree Show’s in Glasgow and Aberdeen for example the Six Foot Gallery and the Roger Billcliffe Gallery in Glasgow, the Claremont Gallery and Junction Art Gallery in Aberdeen. Since then I have been invited to take part in the Edinburgh Printmakers graduate award ‘New Print Generation’ which involved a residency since August, a publication with EP, finally resulting in a final show in May 2012. I have also had the pleasure to be an Invited Graduate for The SSA in the Royal Scottish Academy Building and will have my first solo show in the Amber Arts Gallery in Edinburgh in September 2012.
My most recent work concentrates on etching and screen print often combining the two methods to add colour or texture to an image. My work takes inspiration from European Art particularly German and French during the turn of the Century and my love of Dada and The Surrealists is shown in my frequent use of collage and how I often personify inanimate objects. Like the Dadaist’s I enjoy playing with the boundaries of reality and use images and text from every day life to present something entirely different. I especially enjoy the early work of Paul Klee and can relate to his ideas on abstraction in art; that is, the notion that the ridiculous and obscure in art only serves to highlight the ridiculous and obscurity of our reality. This is particularly relevant in the piece ‘There’s a Plug Socket’, the room is crowded with the unreal, an oversized dog and a anatomical drawing drinking wine but the title draws attention only to the plug socket; in life we are often asked to ignore the surreal, to accept its oddities for normality and only focus on the banal everyday occurrences of our society. So often there are things that shouldn’t be, right in front of our eyes, pretending to be the social norm.
Text also plays an important part in my work and I often get inspiration from second hand magazine advertisements as with the pieces ‘Girling I and II’, well established phrases as with ‘Put Your Feet Up’ or snippets of conversation as with ‘There’s a Plug Socket’. These texts are usually where I begin in considering a new piece of work, they are a starting point which I break down and take out of context in order to find new meaning. As with ‘Girling’ for example, the text which appears in the work is taken from a 60’s magazine advertisement for a Mechanics who replace and service parts, however when taken out of its original context the noun becomes a verb and the service is now for replacing parts of the human anatomy; however on closer examination of their work the parts in the woman’s body are in the wrong place and some are missing; we find their work is shoddy and untrustworthy the men in ‘Girling I’ who point at her with their blue-prints are symbols of a growing economy but it is an economy which is flawed, and the advertisement of their worth is more than exaggerated; it is a concern often expressed in the current market and it is the same concern which is happening over and over again. The use of retro imagery is used to exaggerate the cyclical nature of our social problems; more and more we are able to look to the past to find the same mistakes made today yet we fail to recognise or learn from them.’

Shonagh Hutson
‘The main inspiration for my work comes from the everyday and from everyday objects. I like my work to be easily accessible to the viewer and, in order to achieve this, my work often depicts familiar household objects that everybody recognises and can associate with. However, I like to take these objects out of their usual space, and manipulate them so that they work within another space, or next to an object they wouldn’t normally be associated with. ‘
Max Stewart
‘Since I received my BA (Hon) in fine art and printmaking, I have continued with my art in the same way as I did at RGU.  My paintings are influenced by the Scottish coast and surrounding countryside. The compositions I paint come from dreams or memories of places I’ve been, therefore each painting tells a story. By using mixed media in my work, vibrant colour and simple form the  creative use of textures are combined to give the original work it’s magical expressive quality.’

About msmarmalades

Artist, Gallerist, Collector, Traveller and Foodie. Collections of inspirational places and experiences. Thoughts and observations I’ve made on the way!
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