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.

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