4 Rogart Street, Glasgow
August 19th – September 1st 2019
Crestlink Developments (a father and son family enterprise) own a six acre development in Glasgow’ s fast expanding east end. Minutes from Bridgeton train station this multifaceted complex has a bright white contemporary art space and cafe on the ground floor with thirty one luxurious studio spaces on the first floor with communal kitchen and shower facilities. Next floor up is plush office spaces where offices can be rented as well as hot desks.
I met Gary Gardner at the reception desk and he showed me around the 3 floors. Since 2018 this cafe/art space has been offered to artists for free to exhibit the fruits of their practices. April last year saw the launch of their thriving exhibition venue with Myra Ostacchini ‘Readdressing The Thread Works.’ Currently Ostacchini’s social enterprise upcycles textiles and sells the resulting bags at her Edinburgh festival stall .
I was there to see the latest installation at 4 Rogart Street which is the culmination of a trio of fine artists – Wouda Thompson, Lorna Mulhern and Leo Sarkisyan. ‘Into Me See’ explores spirituality and positive vibrations. In their own words they summize,
“We believe that embracing negativity adds weight and meaning to low frequencies, causing them to multiply. Instead of actively engaging in it, we choose to acknowledge this energy objectively as the facilitator of light. Our vision is of intimacy and truth. With the abundance of available information, it is up to us to sift through it, show our own reality and find the strength and innovation to make the changes we want to see in the world.”
Mulhern’s two drawings were meticulous in their execution. Fine pen work reminiscent of Frida Khalo’s vibrant colour palette mixed with the seductiveness of Georgia O’keeffe’s flower paintings all intermingle on her main subject matter- a fox,an owl and a rabbit. Mulhern expertly shows the internal and external together removing the boundaries of form and showing the life within. Four dandelion seeds hover below the head of her rabbit straying from the dandelion clock placed in the heart region of her glorious bunny. They relate to the seeds of spiritual growth. There are five smaller formed baby rabbits drawn into her womb, all vying for the viewers attention. But it is the way Mulhern portrays the animal’s fur that is worth the one stop train journey from Glasgow Argyle street low-level to Bridgeton.
A series of 8 cyanotype prints by Leo Sarkisyan explore man and material. What seems to be material used for cross stitching but is actually a mesh, Sarkisyan explores different bodily stances and seems to be in various states of consciousness in each piece. From caught in the headlights to hiding from the bright light Sarkisyan’s self-portraits seem to be trying to free himself from the rigidity of the oppressive fabric that he has been trapped and ensnared in within the top four works. The four below, also deep cobalt blue, see some freeing of the torso and finally the arm breaks free from its confines. PHEW.
Finally Thompson recreates home scenes with plants on furniture playfully disregarding perspective in her floorboard pastel. She oscillates between oil paints and pastels and her colours though bright and cheerful at first glance take on a more menacing glow as the viewer makes their way along her streamlined works. This exhibition is well worth seeing and most of the works are for sale. Prices on request.