The Supreme camera manufactured by Chas. H. Budd.91-93 Clerkenwell Road, London was used in the Textiles department at Gray’s School of Art c. 1964.
Former Fashion and Textiles tutor Malcolm McCoig recollects: When I first arrived in Aberdeen in September 1964 the camera was already there and when we moved out to the Garthdee Campus we really had to design the darkroom space to cope with its large size. It was, is, a lovely piece of equipment and we did a lot of new and, at the time, “break-through” work with it.
The camera was discovered covered in dust; RGU Art and Heritage and Gray’s School of Art technicians believed that the camera should live again. With valuable advice and lots of tender care from Gray’s School of Art Photography Short Course Leader Neal Murray , the camera is once again used in Gray’s School of Art, some 50 plus years on.
Artist’s statement: I chose to investigate danger and protection. I researched protective clothing worn by people who work in dangerous occupations, such as fire fighters and police. I am interested in the combination of fabric and materials used together to protect the body and the fastenings used within these. I also looked at historical armour worn throughout the centuries.
In contrast, I also researched fragility. I looked at the complex emotional side of protection, researching the written and spoken sayings and meanings associated with the human body. These included manipulation, aggression and weakness in human nature.
Developing and combining textiles that convey a sense of protection for the body from both physical and emotional harm, I worked in machine knit along with traditional and digital print, combining these elements together to produce garments which look visually intimidating/threatening, convey a strong sense of danger in order to protect/conceal inner weakness. A protective distance remains between the wearer and the spectator.
Lino cut print by Ade Adesina RSA. Ade studied printmaking at Gray’s School of Art and is currently based in Aberdeen. You can find out more about him and his work on his website or Instagram.
Artist’s statement: My work is a visual commentary around the ideas of ecology and our ever-changing world. I am fascinated by how the human footprint is affecting our planet. Our world is full of wonderful landscapes, and I wish to highlight the continual damage caused through things such as deforestation, the politics of energy consumption, and endangered wild species. I am a traditional printmaker, painter and sculptor with a modern twist; I work with mostly woodcarving, linocut, etching, and oil. I combine my African cultural roots with the British culture, producing work that makes people reflect on the past, present and the future.
Accompanying text displayed alongside sculpture: George Mantor had an iris garden, which he improved each year by throwing out the commoner varieties. One day his attention was called to another very fine iris garden. Jealously he made some inquiries. The garden, it turned out, belonged to the man who collected his garbage. – John Cage
Artist’s statement: “‘Trickster Makes This World’ by Lewis Hyde inspired me to consider the value in art and how I can change the perception held of what has value. The answer for me is up cycling, which is to understand the possibilities of creating value from a non-valuable resource.
By utilising unwanted and used materials, up-cycling is altering the image of waste: reviving items/objects/materials that have no value and placing value back onto them by placing them in an art environment. By disguising the original and salvaging it through the means I have discovered to be important: hype, presentation and the aesthetic conventions of art, I intend to make people think and see again.
I wish to question the definition of what we perceive as valuable. Value and, in this case, beauty is the implication of someone’s ideal. Marcel Duchamp questioned the convention of art’s definition, showing there is a broader range of meaning and this brought me to believe that art’s value has no defined limit for what it could be.
The case that Lewis Hyde brings is that if the ‘rubbish’ or unwanted is to return, it can return with as much or more value than the original. This highlights, to me, the importance of context and shows that what the contemporary art world relies on is the significant justification of any work.”