Skinny Review CAP @ESW

Jay Easton ESW

“The Contemporary Art Practice course has a fine art focus, offering students the environment to experiment, to investigate processes and challenge themselves. Says lecturer Alan Holligan, “We offer a very broad range of contemporary practices so people can specialise in sculpture, 2D practices, 3D practices or mixed practice. Usually they make decisions based on the courses they specifically want to go to, wherever that might be. They’re encouraged to work into areas that we as lecturers don’t necessarily have expertise in. I think in some courses they’re supposed to stay within the knowledge of their lecturer, which is why there’s often an emphasis on painting, an emphasis on sculpture, whereas we’re very clear that the students’ ambition shouldn’t be set by our skillset. They need to outreach that and often we have to keep up with them, which is good for everybody concerned.”

This year’s class first exhibited in the working professional environment that is the Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop, before transferring a pared-down version of the show to Summerhall. They’re a mixed bunch, exploring a wide variety of disciplines with varying degrees of success. Still at an experimental stage in their practice, this is to be expected. However, some students display a striking level of ambition, notably Jay Easton, who delves into the realms of technology to present work which aims to pose challenging questions. In ESW, two iPhones communicate with one another, displaying the mundane chatter between a couple. With the human protagonists removed from the equation, the relationship is reduced to two screens interacting eerily.

In Summerhall, Easton displays two QR codes, one on a slate (redolent of history, sculpture, early man) and one on a box afixed to the wall. A hasty download of a QR scanner (the technology seems a bit retro already, ironically) reveals the works to link to texts on his blog meditating on the dangers of an unconsidered embrace of technology, and the parallels of Pandora’s box, respectively.

He’s now off to GSA to delve further into his research. Like many in the Let’s Glow showcase, Easton is at an interesting point in his development. The bright prospects each has before them suggests this will not be the last we hear of them.”

Read the full article here:

Anjila’s Glasses: 2014 Diploma Show ESW

It has been a while but finally we’re getting round to some blog updates. Although there have been a few updates over and since the summer there are a few gaps that need filling so we’ll start with some images from the 2014 Diploma Exhibition Anjila’s Glasses which took place at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop in late May. The exhibition was fantastic of course and extremely well attended on the opening night and the following days is was open to the public. This year the exhibition was shorter than usual, open only 2 days for public viewing but that was due to the need to relocate much of the work to Summerhall as the students were taking part in the general Edinburgh College Creative Industries HND Diploma Exhibition at the city centre arts venue.

A week into the Summerhall show an additional room became available which allowed our CAP1 colleagues to show a work each from their recent projects and you can see them installing in their work in the image below.

CAP1 Summerhall

You can see more of the CAP end of year exhibitions and the openings in this slide show:

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New AIRetc: Julie Duffy


Julie Duffy & Hayley Mathers: A Birthday Party for Lee Miller

The AIRetc…. Contemporary Art Team are delighted to welcome our new Artist In Residence, Julie Duffy. Julie, who graduated from the HND at at the former Telford College in 2008 went on to gain a 1st class BA Hons Degree in Fine Art at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design (DJCAD), is our eighth resident in the AIR studio.

Since graduating from DJCAD in 2011 Julie has developed new work and has exhibited regularly throughout Edinburgh including solo exhibitions at Summerhall and group shows at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop. As well as developing her solo practice in sculpture Julie has more recently been developing collaborative practices with Hayley Mathers who as well as being a former AIRetc…. is also a graduate from DJCAD.

Julie is also an active member and former studio holder at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop where she has developed a curatorial role as a member of the 2 person TANK committee which is responsible for the programming of the TANK project and exhibition space at ESW.

Julie has already made a fantastic contribution to the HND CAP course by getting involved with studio / project crits and we are all really looking forward to the working closely with her over the next few months.

Julie will be blogging throughout her time as AIR and as always you can follow her progress on the AIRetc website. In the meantime you can find pout more about Julie and her practice by visiting her website:

Modern Edinburgh Film School & HND Contemporary Art Practice Link up

Guest blogger Alex Hetherington presents: Modern Edinburgh Film School

Alex Hetherington Modern 1    Alex Hetherington Modern 5    Alex Hetherington Modern 3    Alex Hetherington Modern 4

Images Courtesy of Alex Hetherington: Modern Edinburgh Film School

Modern Edinburgh Film School – a temporary participatory film school, combining themes of the sculptural screen, film and poetry, narrative and space, event as image, and acoustics and noise as form – is curated by the visual artist Alex Hetherington in association with Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop.

It acts as a kind of prism, reflecting, connected and transparent surfaces – where one thing can be seen through another – on the activities, functions and architecture of the Sculpture Workshop’s

new building and outward to contexts, processes and activities externally, as satellite disparate engagements. It is informed by propositions and practices by a range of national and international artists demonstrating concerns between improvisational, meticulous and sensitively drawn associations in poetry, film, moving image, space and sculpture. It hopes to work as a season of projects, appearing and disappearing, being seen discreetly, at spaces and venues across the city in 2013.

Its propositions, which are elusive and allusive include a series of essays, of indicators of historical and contemporary activity, a slight curriculum: Edgar Schmitz, Anne Colvin, AA Bronson, Tom Marioni, Trisha Donnelly, Samantha Donnelly, Rachel Harrison, Martin Kippenberger, Harry Everett Smith, Marcel Broodthaers & Aurélien Froment and traits found in contributors, influencers and cameos such as Stephen Sutcliffe, Anthony Schrag, Anne Colvin, Lyndsay Mann, Hazel France, Sarah Forrest, Ute Aurand, Sarah Neely, Lauren Gault, Debi Banerjee, Benjamin Fallon, Zoë Fothergill,  Raydale Dower, and others.

The project, meanwhile is informed by the free school, and alternative learning approaches, inhabiting an arc of combined themes of the sculptural screen, film and poetry, narrative and space, event as image, and acoustics and noise as form. Education here becomes an obstacle, articulating thoughts on commitment, graduation, qualification and drifting attention, and the possibilities of promiscuous coincidences, synchronicity.  Meanwhile it contains two considerations of time, Modern and School, and the meanings of those in abrasion to a city with faint film vocabularies, traditions, establishment and authority and museums. In turn it contains thoughts on exhibitions, fictions and contrivances: outputs, alongside the essays are, transparent letter texts on black glass (solid film credits), zines and print, and a series of events and talks: Green Screen, Group Show, A Party for Young Artists, Edinburgh Homosexual, The Hand that Holds The Desert Down, A Library.

From the outset the School sought practitioners from different stages of their careers, including students in formal education, as well as those working at a professional level in contemporary art. After an open discussion on the work, and its ambitions, at Contemporary Art Practice at Edinburgh College and an open call, that followed  the conventions of applying for work in that professional setting: 4 images, statement and moving image samples,  two practitioners were identified to become part of the project, to attend works, and respond finally with a time-based submission for a portmanteau film for a screening at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop’s appearance at the Edinburgh Art Festival in August 2013.

All the applicants in this process responded to different aspects of the shaping of Modern Edinburgh Film School, some revealing questions on the political status of such an undertaking, others looking at the subject of the poetic and the sublime, how literature and words give potent expression to filmmaking, how the digital might inform the sculptural.

The two successful candidates are Shareen Sorour and Kaitlyn Walker-Stewart whose applications both alluded to the symmetries, echoes and architectures of film, poetry and sculpture, while containing experimental and diverse approaches to the screen, the performative, time, the object, surface and representation. While still very early stage visual art practitioners their portfolios contain intriguing enquiries.

Shareen Sarour- Inside - Outside     Kaitlyn Walker-Stewart

Sharren Sarour: Outside: Inside; Still from Video.                 Kaitlyn Walker-Stewart: Barriers; Still from video

Modern Edinburgh Film School commences 15 March with a screening at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop and a group show, Green Screen, co-curated with Embassy, followed there by performances and talks during March, and later a discussion on this collaboration at Edinburgh College of Art.

I would like to thank Alan Holligan, Jennie Temple and Colette Woods at Edinburgh College for their continued generous support of my practice in general and the work to be carried out for Modern Edinburgh Film School in particular.

Alex Hetherington, Edinburgh, February 2013.

CAP @ Edinburgh College Review of 2012:

There is little doubt that 2012 was among the most eventful years for us at #cap_etc. Multiple highs have been followed by occasional but necessary lows, necessary in so much that they help us recognize and appreciate the highs.

Paul Diamond Installation copy

Here There; Exhibition by AIRetc… Paul Diamond at ESW. Click on Image for more details

In January the year began with the mixed emotions due to the departure after an extremely successful 4 months of Artist in Residence Paul Diamond who ended his time with us with a fantastic site specific project with students and an excellent exhibition of work developed and produced during the residency at Telford college. The exhibition at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop was very well received. Since completing the residency Paul has gone on to even better things but more of that later.

As January turned over to February the devastating news of Mike Kelleys untimely departure filtered through the studios promoting gasps of disbelief and sadness, we had so enjoyed his exhibition at Baltic during a field trip just a few months before. CAP student Charlie Wilkie-Sullivan who  was a particular admirer of Kelleys work wrote a piece for this blog in response to the news.

Spirits were soon lifted however with the arrival of our next AIR resident Natalie Wilson who began her occupation of ‘the studio next door’.

Natalie Wilson

AIRetc… Natalie Wilson Setting in to studio. Click on Image for more details.

Natalie’s impact was immediate as she struck up conversations with students and staff, always inquisitive and helpful Natalie had a significant impact on the

course sharing her enthusiasm, knowledge and occasional frustration for all things digital.

Spring saw us embark on the annual CAP trip to a foreign city beginning with the letter B. So far we have only managed Berlin and Basel and until Berlin stops being; the centre off the european if not world contemporary art scene, almost, unbearably cool and wonderfully inexpensive it is doubtful we will revisit Basel or see Budapest, Barcelona, Boston, or Bogota  any time soon. Highlights of the trip included, finally getting more than one member of the CAP team on the trip and once again the Boros Bunker.

Natalie Doyle copy

Diploma Exhibition: Image by and of Natalie Doyle.

Spring is always a tense time in the studios as both years are working on their Graded Units and expectant applicants are hammering away at the refresh button on the UCAS website as news of interviews and offers start to permeate the building. The stress although unavoidable, was misplaced however as 2012 will go down in the CAP history books as the most successful year ever as 100% of those applying got an unconditional offer for 1 of their top 2 choices. All applicants got places on degree courses in Glasgow, Edinburgh or Dundee. 1 applicant who already had a degree in a non art related subject was offered and is doing very well on a combined master course in Art & Philosophy in Dundee.

As the tension of anticipated futures subsided thoughts turned to the end of year exhibition. Unfortunately due to the transition between the old and new buildings it wasn’t possible to hold the CAP2 Diploma Show at our usual venue of the Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop. Instead the show opened at the Old Ambulance Depot in late May to excellent reviews and record attendances.

Natalie Extract

Natalie Wilson: Installation View of ‘Extract at ESW. Click on Image for more details.

The OA Depot is a great venue that has some really strong shows throughout the year, is affordable, well supported and we would certainly recommend to anyone looking for a mid sized exhibition space in the city.

Soon after the show however the disappointment that we couldn’t exhibit in what had become something of a spiritual second home faded as staff and studio reps were invited to the opening of the brand new Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop and it was announced that after a 7 year informal partnership with the CAP course at Edinburgh’s Telford College the 2 organisations had signed a formal partnership agreement which would establish ESW as an Employability Centre for CAP students studying at Edinburgh College guaranteeing students full professional membership, supported access to the workshops facilities, exhibition and professional practice workshops and opportunities. This milestone deal with the course will last for 10 years! Not a bad way to end the 2011/12 academic session!

More good news followed as we attended the fantastic degree shows of many former CAPers throughout June.

ESW Growth Project

CAP1 Growth Project Collaborative Construction & Exhibition at ESW . Click on Image for more Info

In July and August things took a slower pace but soon picked up again with the influx of a new CAP1 group who were madesuitably welcome by the CAP2 devised and executed induction week project! Billed as a tea party it turned into a something more akin to riot in a charity shop! Excellent!

It wasnt long before we were taking advantage of our new parnership with ESW as AIRetc… Natalie Wilson exhibited the work she had developed and produced during her residency with us. The show, only the second ever in the ESW Eduardo Paolozzi Project Space was beautiful and articulate. A very fitting outcome to very successful residency.

Talking of fitting outcomes, I did say we would come back to our previous AIRetc… Artist, Paul Diamond, who started work as the Graduate Studio Assistant at the University of Edinburgh’s world renowned School of Architecture in October.

Gregor Morrison; Development Detail

Gregor Morrison; Development Detail. Click on Image for more Info.

October was also the month in which CAP1 started their 7 week project at ESW. After 7 years of working with successive CAP1 groups in the old ESW building, which wasnot without its charms, you can be assure it was an absolute pleasure to be in a building with floods of natural light and heating. The outcomes which were exhibited in a staff student collaborative exhibition and review by 2 of the CAP1 participants can be found in the post immediately below this one or by clicking HERE

The third and final AIRetc… Participant for 2012 Gregor Morrison arrived at the the start of October and has been vigorously carving, drawing and printing away in the studio next door ever since. His energy and enthusiasm for printmaking with the the FAD12 students has been infectious providing group and 1-1 support to a range of students. We hope to have news of an exhibition of Gregor’s work very soon.

If anyone is wondering why no mention has been made of the momentus October 1st event that was the merger of the 3 colleges into the newly formed Edinburgh College.

North Edinburgh History Group and CAP2 discussing the work produced for LOCAL

North Edinburgh History Group and CAP2 discussing the work produced for LOCAL. Click on Image for more info.

The truth is that other than the momentary consideration being given changing the name from CAPetc to CAPec the truth is that so far at least the course has been unaffected. Whether that remains the case or not, remains to be seen.

The final months of the the year were packed full of activity in and out of the studio particularly particularly for the CAP2 students who participated in an new LOCAL

project. The premise of the project was to engage with the Political, social and geographical history of the area local to the Granton Campus of the college and to produce artwork in response to the engagement and subsequent research. The, ongoing project involved meetings and presentations for and by the North Edinburgh Local History Group at the North Edinburgh Art centre in Muirhouse. News on the next phase of the LOCAL project will be announced very soon!

Rachael, Kirsty & Rhona at the opening of their exhibition 'Crit'. Click on the image for more info!

Rachael, Kirsty & Rhona at the opening of their exhibition ‘Crit’. Click on the image for more info!

Not satisfied with the with the already significant demands of Year 2 of the course the CAP2 group took it upon themselves to initiate an exhibition of their work entirely unsupported by the college or the staff. Having been inspired by the previous CAP2 group who graduated in June the show, entitled ‘Crit’, took place once again at the Old Ambulance Depot. The show was a genuine triumph and testimony to the groups talents and ambition.

So, thats about it really in terms of the high points of the 2012, there have been many,  indeed the only thing missing has been a wedding! Perhaps this year…………?

Alan Holligan, Edinburgh, Jan 2013