Working 9 – 5 was a collective formed in 2016 between myself and a network of other Art Workers that were living in Huntly, working full time jobs, and trying to still make art work.
Catrin Jeans, Stuart McAdam, Fraser MacDonald, Sophie Lindsey, Heather Fulton, Uist Corrigan, Andrew Dunlop, Yvonne Billimore, Joss Allen and myself were working across a broad(ish) spectrum of the Huntly employment sector, from Dean’s Shortbread Factory to my own Deveron Projects.
In an attempt to engage with Print Festival Scotland 2016, in a town with almost no printing facilities, Working 9 – 5, produced a pubcrawl, ‘Drinking 5 – 9’, featuring digitally printed beermats.
For me the work had to fit with the very specific context we had chosen, and also embody the qualities that a beermat essentially has, such as disposability and mass print. Things that usually go against artist print.
Thinking about the first pub I went to in Huntly, when I arrived in 2015, I remembered how the Royal Oak had once had a Mark Rothko print, hung in a portrait orientation rather than its intended landscape. I found it immediately charming in this town pub context and wanted to make something that would be a memorabilia of it. Taking the spirit of the Oak’s artistic license, I made ‘Cropped Rothko’ a square beermat from the same orange and yellow print I’d seen hang there, removed since.
During the course of the evening, and after many sodden beermats, we ended up finding the old Rothko print propped up in the disabled toilets – portrait.