Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Mini Christmas Fair at the Village

Last Sunday 12th of December 2010 we took part in a Small indoors Christmas Fair at the Village, South Fort Street, Leith.

The lovely lounge of the Village was filled with hand-made, enviromentally friendly pressies provided by small local businesses and starting at £2.
There were 5 stalls and items for sale included home preserves, natural beauty products, bespoke, vintage cake stands, cards, recycled bottles and jewellery, etchings and prints.

We also had home cooked spinach & smoked salmon croquettes & spanish tortilla to welcome the visitors who, despite the weather, braved the conditions to come to see us.

We hope it will turn into a regular, monthly event for 2011 where "art can be the meeting point" at the (local) Village.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Festival Exhibition 2010 Newsletter: "The Colour Red"

Starting, Sunday 22nd August 2010 11 am-12.30pm
Above: "15% Red" by Gillian Hayes

When Gillian presented me with “The Colour Red” series, my heart skipped a beat.
I could immediately relate to red as a colour of passion and energy, the Spanish football team and this warm summer. On the other hand, red is the colour of blood, violence and destruction. However the significance and relevance of this collection of 14 photographs where the power of red is measured and restrained went beyond this.

When the World Cup started I was agonising with the game of the Spaniards…”kick…tackle…shoot!”
My “red”, temperamental side was struggling to understand what I judged (or misjudged) as a lack of energy and strength. I saw their technical “pass and move” game as weak. It was an English friend who then insisted that “they will go all the way”. To me, it was as if, paradoxically, the English and other teams showed the passion that my fellow citizens were missing. I could relate more to that style of game and what journalist Tom Lappin called a “primitive approximation to football”. It felt as if the red team was more tempered, more “British” in their approach… as if they had swapped their cultural stereotypes. I instinctively reacted against that patient, technical game. And so did some British citizens, as Lappin pointed out “BBC sports commentators remain deeply suspicious of anything that looks like patience, delicacy or thought”.
Well, so did I!
What amazed me was finding these qualities “out of context” or “in the other team” which suggested that things are never black or white or, as in this case, red and black.

On the other hand, this colour brought ideas of aggression to mind, a past that if you’re Spanish, you can’t dissociate from red. The colour of the blood spilled in a conflict that often confronted members of the same family and that, like blood cells of an open wound, stays alive in the memory, and often expresses through art.

Red also reminded me of the blood of that noble animal, the bull, which has shared the Iberian landscape from the beginnings of time. And despite red being movement and energy, when it came to bullfighting, in my mind it only reinforced aspects of brutality, blindly anchored in the safeguards of tradition. Like a vestige of the very same cruel nature that had allowed a civil war to tear a country apart.

Then, only a few days after I had taken Gillians’ project under my wing, and a few months after we had put on an exhibition that showed beautiful bulls without the fight; comfortable and powerful in their own land, the “party” was forbidden in Barcelona as the result of public vote.

Something seemed to move. The energy dimension of red suddenly triumphed over the aggressive, darker one.

All in all, an exhibition that negotiates passion with reason, intensity with measure…echoes previous reflections about the balance between the right and left hand side of the brain, sense and sensibility, mind and heart.

To me, it also talks about a journey, all that is Spanish or British and everything in between. A place where both opposite sides have a place and a time. Where we can meet halfway and find a bit of ourselves in the “other team”.

Join me this Sunday and find your own place between the 1% and 95% red progression of these stunning 14 photographs by Gillian Hayes.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

"New Values" Exhibition in Zaragoza, Spain

In June 2010 Delicartessen took 7 British artstis to a joint exhibition with Galeria Artelibre, Zaragoza, Spain. A sample of the best emerging talent to be found in these shores.

Images in poster: "Hector de Heroe" (inspired by a famous traditional tune for fiddle) by Rosie Newman, and "The Boatyard" by Jacqui Higgs.

Below: "Siberian Irises" by Gillian Smith

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Leith Festival 2010 "Flower Power: A Tribute & an Invocation"

Icelandic singer, Björk, had sang a lullaby live to help the volcano go to sleep and it seemed to have worked... So in June 2010 we were doing our bit and launching an exhibition to invoke all forces of nature for a summer of sunshine on Leith!
This collective exhibition inspired by and for nature, brought together stunning flower photographs by Liz Tainsh and bold paintings by Sarah Roberts. From the intricate and delicate etchings of Enrique Cid to the exuberant blossom of Ritchie Collins, there was something for every taste...and every pocket: with prices starting at £55 for a limited edition etching.

To celebrate the Leith Festival we offered a 10% off everything on show until the 20th of June.

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Reinventing...in images

This beautiful XVII century building hosted an encounter between Scottish and Spanish art.

The exibition proved that, despite the artists’ diverse cultural
background and geographical distance, a visual vocabulary can sometimes meet halfway.
Shoes, horses, bulls, dancers, musicians, castles...were some of the emblematic and powerful images that seem to survive the passing of time but are continually reinvented and reinterpreted through art.

It's all about bulls...reinvented.

Image on left: "Matador" by Elise Chisholm

"We love Elise’s “animal-friendly” bullfighting scenes. They still contain this emblematic, culturally-charged icon of Spanish culture, but animal and human are depicted in a much more balanced way than in traditional bullfighting scenes.
Bulls have always been present in Spanish art. From the bulls painted by pre-historic “artists” in The Altamira Caves, in Northern Spain; to those depicted by Goya; or Picasso’s Guernica and The Bull. Not to mention the oversized bulls logos of a well-known sherry brand, looming on the horizon of Spanish hills (as featured so memorably in Bigas Luna’s Jamón Jamón)
But these new take on an all familiar subject not only reflects the general British sensibility on the theme; but also an emerging voice among a generation of younger Spaniards who, while being proud of bulls, are not so proud of bullfighting"

Image above: "Bull Run" by Elise Chisholm.

We wrote this only 2 months before bull-fighting was forbidden in Barcelona as the result of public vote...

Below, the beautiful hand-painted ceiling of the exhibition space

In the center of the table, carnations and thystles representing the Spanish-Scottish connection.

And below, the view from the building

onto the Royal Mile

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Easter 2010: Reinventing Cultural Iconography

Image left: "Quijote" by Enrique Cid

Between Monday 29th of March and Sunday 4th of April , we held an exhibition at The Gladstone Land Gallery, in the Royal Mile, Edinburgh, with the collaboration of the Spanish Consulate in Edinburgh.

Below: "Summer Bull" by Adriana Sanchez.

The newsletter/invitation to the private preview, read like this:

Behind Every Shoe lies a Human Truth...
Our minds work with images, and images precede words. That’s why Dr. Iain R. Edgar, who lectures at Durham University, started using a pioneer research methodology to interview people. “Imagework” encourages subjects to use their imagination and create visual images about different situations. This allows them to engage the right side of their brain; where our values, perceptions and unconscious associations reside.

As a research methodology it has proven to be highly successful. However, it is one of his collateral findings that resonate within the background of this exhibition. He realised that as humans we share a range of visual images irrespective of our individual experience. As if we were all equipped with a visual vocabulary that has been forged over aeons of evolution. It is what anthropologists’ study in relation to myths and psychoanalysts use to interpret our dreams and other unconscious expressions of our minds.

As an example, he found that train journeys were common metaphors for “transit”, “process”, “movement” and “growth”. These and other images remind us that, despite diversity of life in a complex world, we are all rooted in a common place: by the human condition.

In the exhibition, hosted in a beautiful 17th Century Merchant’s House, there are bulls as perceived by Scottish artists and reinterpreted by Spanish ones since Goya. It offers an interesting sample of culturally meaningful references that will expose difference and commonality.

What lies beyond Rosie Newman’s and Marta Ratti’s fascination with shoes, might be what they both associate with them: their childhood, their kids’ early steps, or growth, perhaps.
But what fascinates us, is what all those images tell. That despite all our differences and distances, there is a common land for humankind, where we can be closer, even in subconscious ways.

And to prove it…here is a shoe.

Image: "Ballerina Shoes" by Marta Ratti

I would like to thank Mr. Federico Palomera, Spanish Consul in Edinburgh, and Professor Iain R. Edgar, who came all the way from Durham, for their attendance to our private preview.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

"Love of Art": Newsletter & Exhibition

By the end of January 2010 we sent this newsletter announcing the launch of our "Love of Art" exhibition on the 14th of February.
It was also the first Newsletter of 2010:

"Some say that this will be a year for learning...
and finding some truths about ourselves, and that, under the influx of Saturn, those lessons will come at a price.
X-Factor finalist Joe was singing “it’s not about getting there quickly, but only about getting there” again and again over Christmas and so, I adopted learning and hard work as my New Year resolutions.
Now, with St Valentines round the corner I’ve remembered that I recently asked someone very close about his love success, and he said…”I’ve learnt to be wary of anything that comes too easily and doesn’t involve hard work”.

Having heard friends many times mention “hard work” when talking about difficult relationships, his words provided a different perspective on the term and I thought that in art, as in love, the Lady Gaga’s “wanting everything as long as it’s free” can only leads us to a “bad romance”. That both, love and art, need a combination of vision and determination, attraction, but also hard work.

So after the right hand side of the brain has done its part, provided the intuition and inspiration; it’s time for the left hand side to come into action and add a plan. Here comes finding the materials, the drive and the time to solve the gap between ideal and material. Or as Michael Bubble would sing it: “to work to work it out”. In other words, to overcome the distance between platonic and real, and in doing so, to deal with the limitations of it all because, as Anne Klauser says, “who wants to create nothing but perfection, creates nothing”.

But then, for those who dare to take their chances, sometimes reality goes beyond fiction.
Last Sunday I witnessed a truly special moment when a friend sang Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours” to his wife in their first anniversary.
The moment still resonates in my memory and so this Sunday, whatever lessons Saturn’s got lined up for the year ahead, I’ll be whistling, as the song goes, that “it might be again my turn to win some…or learn some”.
Join us this Sunday, St Valentines’ Day, to celebrate our artists’ hard work and a love of art!

Presenting Sophie Hamiltons’s quirky retro illustrations and Conchita Machlaughan’s advance of a Scottish-Spanish affair that will culminate in an Easter Exhibition.