Sticking with my regular habit of putting off things till the last minute, I saw two exhibitions this week that finish on the 8th (this Sunday). They’re small, and free, and right next to Waverley Station, so if you happen to be going into Edinburgh this weekend, you might want to stick your head around the door.
The Bill Bollinger exhibition at the Fruitmarket was just what I needed for my confused New Year brain – extremely minimalist! I was also the only visitor to the exhibition when I popped in on Wednesday, which is always a treat.
Bill Bollinger was one of those 1960s artists who displayed quite mundane items (plastic tubing, metal fencing, metal extrusions, oil drums) as art, and his work definitely does come up against the ‘is it art’ question. A rope tensioned at each end, or a light bulb hanging down from a ceiling on a flex, does definitely beg that question. And I do tend not to read the tags that would probably explain why this is so deep and conceptual…
However, there were two pieces that I absolutely loved and would certainly be worth a small diversion from whatever you’re doing at Waverley. One is Cyclone Fence which is a piece of – well, cyclone fence – pinned down at each end with a half-twist in the middle. It makes the most soothing curve! I could look at it for hours. There are a couple of pictures on the Fruitmarket’s current exhibitions page but I don’t think they entirely do it justice.
The other piece I really like is a room with the floor half-covered in graphite (there’s also a picture of that on the Fruitmarket site). It’s supposed to have only the footprints of the person who spread the graphite but I saw 4 different shoe prints so I think there have been some sneaky visitors!
The video about Bill Bollinger was also pretty interesting, and it’s on the website.
Over the road at the City Art Centre is an exhibition of tapestry art called That was then: this is now. The thing that I really liked about the work in this exhibition was how tactile it all is – very difficult to keep from touching the tapestries! There are some gorgeous pieces and some very interesting textures.
The work goes from representational to abstract designs and from some very traditional-looking fabric to some very interesting use of paper and different materials. Not necessarily two-dimensional! I particularly loved some of the small pieces – some very witty embroideries off in a side room and a couple of text-based small tapestries in the hallway. I wish I had written down who the artists were.
I also saw Reflection at the same venue (a show of Edinburgh artists), but there’s a bit longer to go on that one: it doesn’t finish till the 12th of February. Highlights are some non-traditional botanic photography and some stunning little glass allotments with tiny jewellery-like sunflowers!
Once again, I’m so grateful that we have such fabulous free galleries in Edinburgh. Aren’t we lucky!