Events InTheory

The Shape of Things to Come

I’m currently working with Glasgow International Festival.

This runs  4th – 21st of April, inhabiting a multitude of venues city wide.

Today I was at the Gallery of Modern Art, where Sue Tompkins and Aleksandra Domanović are showing. 

Gallery 1 of GoMA is such a daunting space. And Karla Black set the bar pretty high at GI 2012. But Domanović steps up to the challenge. Large sheets of acetate fill the four pillared corners of the gallery. The artists sci-fi based images and the creation of layered transparency play with the conversely ornate fixtures of the gallery. The piece is pretty immersive if you let yourself get immersed.

The Shape of Things to Come

(Yes, that’s me.)

At the back of the hall (after peeling back each layer to walk through) there is a copy of a letter dated 1938. It is from Walt Disney Productions. The letter is a rejection letter to an application for employment as animator. The applicant is female, this is explicitly detailed as the reason for the rejection. The other images evoke strong links to sci-fi films and female roles within them.

The best part about my day though? The look of rebellious glee when a visitor is told, “Yes you can touch the artwork.” Rebellion seems misplaced, because I’m still instructing them to do so… the politics of the gallery…

Residency Timespan Residency

(Empty Land)

I’ve spent the last few weeks on residency with Timespan in Helmsdale. The focus of my culminating exhibition while there is The Flow Country. Located between Caithness and Sutherland, this area is referred to as the Empty Lands.

It is a large expanse of hugging moss and brown.

Densely populated, with no population. I saw a herd of deer.

(Empty Land)

(Empty Land)

 Type on trace, earth, moss, stones, tin, glass, Helix rulers, pencil on squared paper, fishing wire and bog recording

Grid View

Surface Detail

The same wry humour I get from a ‘blank’ document emblazoned with Blank Page comes to mind with Empty Lands.

Labelling an area with no human inhabitants as empty, ‘writing it off’, demonstrates a need to organise and contain the natural.

Grids and created structures were a recurring theme throughout my residency at Timespan.

Drystone walling became a Tetris like challenge of allotting shapes together into relationships of reliance. Amongst this there was learning of the rigid division of land after Highland clearances and the weight of territorial boundaries.

The culmination of findings and experiences was represented through a gridded platter of loaded objects.


Blank Page Doc.


Object Detail

Residency Timespan Residency

Day 10

We did it.

Remote Possibilities will be installed for the next two months at Timespan, Helmsdale.






Residency Timespan Residency

Day 9

Gallery is coming together.

Show pending.


(I’m Rachael, and I’m a conceptual artist.)

Residency Timespan Residency

Day 8

Theres a tension between the desperation to drink in my surroundings and the awareness of Friday’s work deadline.

The balance so far has been all right though. And they both inform each other.




Work has progressed naturally from the wealth of information provided by Timespan and the people of Helmsdale, and the freedom to go out and explore.

I’ve focused on an area referred to as the Empty Lands. There’s also representation of the things I’ve partaken in here, such as drystone walling, sunrise watching and beach clambering.

The next couple of days are GO to get everything prepped for Friday.

All days have been GO actually.



Drystone Walling and Ceal Floyers Helix fit right together in my mind’s mind. So this was happened.

Residency Timespan Residency

Day 7

Buckling down.

I’m getting a clearer idea of what this exhibition is going to look like.

Establishing and completing a project in a week and a half is intense.

But we’re on it.

Light Within

Jeff tells me that in Drystone Walling the pros insert a lightbulb within the structure. If their skills are that good, the bulb will remain intact.

Residency Timespan Residency

Day 6


Bog Walk15.35

Residency Timespan Residency

Day 5

Time to turn all this process into practice.

(empty) lands

(blank) page

The Flow country, in Caithness/Sutherland, is a rolling expanse of wetland. It is the largest blanket bog in Europe.

It is commonly referred to as empty lands.

Remote places in general seem to be perceived as empty lands.

Whats that, though?

Residency Timespan Residency

Day 4

Today was long and packed.

The morning saw a Photo Show of Helmsdale snaps from the 1950s. Elderly members of the community thoroughly enjoyed identifying faded faces and places for the audience.

The afternoon involved a try at Drystone Dyking. Fascinating. More to come on this.

Drystone Dyking
Jeff giving an introduction to Drystone

And in the evening it was arranged for us to view a screening of some of Timespans commissioned or responded films. Graham Fagen, Anthony Schrag and Dalziel and Scullion were amongst the collection.


Graham Fagen, Baile An Or, 2011

Between this there was popcorn and television a plenty.

Living in a nice house up here and having so much time to think of project ideas blurs the lines between work and leisure.

In a pleasant way.

Residency Timespan Residency

Day 3

I’m still getting a feel for this place.

Today was a bus day. (My eyes were peeled for projects.)

Helmsdale – Strath – Borgie Forest – Dunnet Head – John o’Groats

And then chips.



La Mirage is wonderfully kitsch. Even more wonderful is how blissfully unaware of itself it seems.

Residency Timespan Residency

Timespan Residency


I’m currently on residency in Helmsdale with Timespan. The next ten days will see intense learning and making for the exhibition opening on Friday 28th March.

The brief is related to ‘Remote Possibilities’. I’m in the right place.

With me are fellow ECA students Jessica Ramm, Suzanne van der Lingen, Freddie Thomas and Justine Lim.

Check it. and check back.



FAIR will be taking place at Tabot Rice from the 30st April – May 5th. Here’s what my group has in the mix.

The Micronation of Ahland          


Ahland will be welcoming Tourists from Wednesday April 30th 2014.

A Micronation is an Entity that claims to be an independent Nation but is not officially recognized by World Governments. A Micronation expresses formal and persistent claims of sovereignty over some physical Territory.

Ahland was born from the need for new Beginnings. With the Confusion created within all Aspects of national Identity we wish to offer a safe Haven for the creative and ambitious alike, providing a Platform for new ways of dealing with old and dated Issues. Within the Boundaries of Ahland, free Reign and Sanctuary will present Opportunity to exercise Thoughts and Opinions on all Aspects of Living. This is Our Quest to achieve a sustainable Nation.

The Opening of Ahland to Tourists will be marked by the ceremonial raising of the national Flag and a celebration of the rich and recent Culture of the Nation.

In the coming Weeks Ahland will be planning and publicising this Event. Watch this Space for News on progress of Independence and Opportunities to get involved in the Festivities of Ahland’s welcoming Event.

InTheory Uncategorized

Dave Sherry

Performance art?

Okay. It was.

‘Took part in Dave Sherry’s performance workshop. Its good to vary up the day.

I always get too conceptual though. I should have been more instinctive perhaps.

He’s very interesting.

Dave Sherry

academia Workshops

Into the Atelier

A workshop led by fellow Masters student Jake Watts and visiting artist Dave Young.

Discussion and involvement aimed to address art practice and artistic identity in relation to economic systems we have to work within.

After much discussion and brainstorming of the often inaccessible current system, we came up with the concept of ArtCoin. This would allow exchange and trade of skills between artists.

Obviously this is all theoretical. But it’s fun to muse.

academia Cultural Turns

Nightmares, Traps and Contemporary Art

Dreams are a weird one.





-Louise Milne

Having never really thought much about the nightmare and a possible connection to a work of art, this was new territory for me.

Milne likens the nightmare to a trap. There is evidence of what came before, the creator. And there is suggestion of a possible victim. The trap is this middle point that acknowledges both the aware and the unaware. In a dream every entity is intact you. And the hunter and prey interact.

Artworks too ensnare attention and provoke ‘self shattering’ experiences. Milne comments on the anxiety caused by placing paradoxical representations against each other. This is why a nightmare can be frightening, the familiar comfortable objects interwoven with fear and ‘monsters’. Art, and curation too, incorporate juxtapositional paradoxes into their viewing.


Damián Ortega’s work has drawn my attention recently. His use of objects but in grand representations amuses me. In Controller of the Universe he manipulates a collection of tools into a spectral and threatening display. The title alludes to this manipulation. This speaks of mans dominance over the object, the assignation of purpose and use
academia Uncategorized

A history lesson from the future… of the future.

Cultural Turns seminars are proving interesting and very refreshing. The most recent assignment on Future Studies was much fun. The task was to present a future history in the past tense. Roleplay ensued.

Take A Look.



‘Hello’ is the correct term.

After a simultaneously eventful and static Christmas break, it’s time to wake up and out.

January 2014. Or just 2014.

Feel sick. But in that good way (I think), things are happening (I think).