The exhibition title ‘The Lightness of Being’ reflects more than the physical aspects of media – glass and paper pulp - in the exhibited works. Both makers have had significant changes in their creative careers and now strive to observe, capture, and embody natures accidents, often ephemeral or noticeable only in certain light or weather conditions.
Alison Simpson graduated in Fine Art - MA (Hons) from the University of Edinburgh and Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) in 1986, staying on at ECA for the postgraduate diploma in sculpture. Alison now works in cotton and linen pulp making sculptural objects that reflect the light, weather, seasons and landscape near her home on the Moray Firth coast.
“For many years I worked in metal but became frustrated by its heaviness and darkness, its need for lengthy ‘finishing', and my own tendency to overwork it. Seeking lightness, I discovered papermaking.” - says Alison Simpson. “It is my aim to betray in my work no sense of struggle; to produce things that look smooth, unerring, and inevitable.”
Amanda Baron graduated from Architectural Glass (under Douglas Hogg) at Edinburgh College of Art in 1992 and returned in 2011 as Artist in Residence in Glass, within the School of Design. Amanda is passionate about highlighting the unique qualities of mouth blown glass by applying paint to its surface to create paintings and compositions from fragments.
The body of work for this exhibition is inspired by a residency on the Isle of Eigg, where Amanda studied light and colour of the sky and clouds, the surface and depth of rock pools, texture of geological and plant forms, and patterns in sand created by tidal movement.
"I have been developing drawings from visits to Scottish islands that are then edited and translated onto glass through painting. The fluid, fluxing edges of an island are constantly evolving as the elements combine to delineate new patterns and colours. The materiality of the glass and the composition of each piece creates a synergy between accidental and intentional mark making, echoing my research process."
‘The Lightness of Being’ is showing at Birch Tree Gallery, Edinburgh until 1 August 2017.