The latest collaboration between Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) and the city’s Royal Botanic Garden (RBGE) sees staff and students produce new work for a major two-part exhibition on the theme of regeneration, recovery and resilience.
After the Storm considers the legacy of Cyclone Andrea, which swept across Scotland on 3rd January 2012.
The first part of the exhibition, which runs from 3rd December 2016 until 26th May 2017, includes new drawings and artist's books by Jane Hyslop, who lectures in the School of Art and School of Design at ECA, and aerial photography by Dr Patricia Macdonald, Honorary Fellow.
The second part will open in spring 2017 and feature site-specific artworks and performances by a range of ECA students and staff, including sculptors Kevin Dagg, Gordon Munro and Ewan Robertson, movement artist Sophia Lycouris, photographer Susanne Ramsenthaler and graphic designer-illustrator Mike Windle.
The positive impact of storms
The first part of After the Storm considers the effects of Cyclone Andrea on the landscape and the positive impact of storms in rejuvenating environments and maintaining diversity within an ecosystem.
Its focus is 15 new pieces of distinctive furniture crafted by Scottish designer-makers from wood from RBGE’s storm-damaged trees.
Jane Hyslop, whose contribution includes 12 new drawings and a series of artist's books, describes her response to the theme as being “the natural regeneration that occurs ‘After the Storm’, focusing on a particular part of Gore Glen in Midlothian where several trees came down and recording that process through the wild plants that regenerate the places where trees once stood”.
The photographic imagery of Patricia Macdonald, in her ongoing, long-running projects The Unwild and Re:Wild, offers momentary views of ecological disturbance and resilience in action. The aerial triptych she has contributed to After the Storm - of the same section of a dynamically braided river in the Cairngorms over 20 years - presents evidence of the endless flux of the natural world in rapid mode.
ECA and RBGE
ECA has a long history of collaboration with Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, from student field trips to draw and paint from specimens and collections, to research projects involving the staging of promenade operas in the moonlit gardens.
Most recently, we have come together with RBGE, Concrete Scotland and two local high schools to design artwork and landscaping elements at the new Edinburgh Gateway Interchange on the theme of urban biodiversity.
To facilitate our students’ contribution to After the Storm, we have held a series of four interdisciplinary workshops, while the students have organised additional group meetings and field trips to RBGE.
Ecologist Ian Edwards, who issued the call out to ECA students, has invited them to draw parallels between their own lives and the traumas that we may encounter, considering how we may need to regenerate and diversify, how we become resilient, and how we adapt in order to recover and be stable.
After the Storm is curated and produced by the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh with the support of the Forestry Commission, Scottish Furniture Makers Association, and Woodland Heritage. The free exhibition is in the John Hope Gateway building and opens at 10am. Closing times vary depending on the month (earliest closing is 3.45pm in December and January).