Big Things on the Beach

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Garden Gallery: 1 to 7

4: Gordon Brennan - Archaeology

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Archaeology, by Gordon BrennanGordon Brennan, hosted by Mentone Avenue @ Mentone Avenue

Known for his work with artists’ books informed by the built environment Gordon’s sculptures are formal architectural/archaeological constructions in cast concrete.

Title of work - Archaeology

These works are generated from investigations into aspects of architecture, archaeology and a love of ruins.

They form a part of a larger body of work that explores the relationships of narrative and collecting within the realms of daily observations and reflection. They are elements and details of simple building blocks that go towards creating a deeper understanding our relationship with the shape and form of the spaces we inhabit.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 November 2011 21:26

5: Jessica Harrison - Floral displays

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ImageJessica Harrison, hosted by Rona Gray @ Bath Street

The main focus of Jessica’s research is a personal obsession with fear that generates the surreal, sinister and sometimes comical juxtapositions in her drawings and sculpture. The work in the exhibition consists of resin wax and mixed media.

Title of work - Floral displays

The eye, mouth and skin are tokens of a reflexive boundary in our existence, the points at which we establish life or death; the blink of an eye or the shrinking of a pupil, the breath exhaled from the mouth against a feather or a mirror, the cold or warm touch of skin. These are the points on which we hang our experience of embodiment, loading them with semiotic meaning and association. I use these physical elements in the work to explore how our response to the world is channelled through the body, with our construction of knowledge deeply rooted in a sense of touch.

Read on for more photos...

Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 November 2011 21:26

6: Lorna Fraser - Whitehouse

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Whitehouse, by Lorna FraserLorna Fraser, hosted by Robert Pickles & Joan Birse @ Bath Street

The inspiration for Lorna’s work comes from her love of gardens and gardening. The aesthetic appeal of plant life provides her with an absorbing array of ideas. Lorna explores the sculptural quality of plants whilst also trying to capture their vulnerability and sensuality. Each individual piece is hand built in white earthenware clay and finished with a matte white glaze.

Title of work - Whitehouse

My work may not immediately appear to be a piece of art… however all is not what it seems. On closer inspection I hope that the curiosity of the viewer is rewarded by the surprise that the “plants” filling the greenhouse are in fact, white porcelain.

I am inspired by the structure of plant forms and I aim to capture the sculptural quality of plants whilst also reflecting their fragility, sensuality and vulnerability.

The works are deliberately devoid of colour, accentuating their statuesque quality – the whiteness evoking a feeling of something ghostly or dreamlike.

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 November 2011 21:25

2: Natalie Taylor - The Secret Garden

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Natalie Taylor, hosted by the Towerbank Primary School

Secret bowerNatalie Taylor has been incorporating living plants into mechanical or systematic structures since 1998. Recently she has been creating large-scale growing artworks for outdoor sites, both in Edinburgh and Finland. Time-based aspects of her work include live piano performances of music fashioned from Mustard seed formations and slow motion films of seeds growing into musical compositions.

Title of work - The Secret Garden

The Secret Garden: A subtle intervention within a ‘wild’ garden exploring our relationship with seeds and clones.

This garden nestled within the play area of TowerBank Primary School nurtures secrets usually hidden from the human eye. Most of the true miracles of Nature occur in dark hidden places. Seed germination, fertilization and initial growth all occur best out of the glare of light. How have we intervened in the history of cross-fertilization, breeding and genetic diversity to arrive at our own sources of nourishment? How much of Nature’s bounty is actually left untouched?

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 November 2011 21:28

7: Holger Mohaupt - A Sketch of History

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ImageHolger Mohaupt, hosted by the Lavender Family @ Straiton Place

In his work Holger is interested in the phenomena of cultural routines. 'The Every Day' and 'The Ordinary' are the parameters for his work. His photographic and video art work portray the mechanics of daily life from an unusual perspective.

Title of work - A Sketch of History

‘Furzy Waste’ was a phrase used to describe Figgate Whins the name for a settlement near Edinburgh before it became Portobello, ‘differing from a desert only in the presence of one human dwelling’.

The installation is a joined manifestation of local history and the definition of garden as ‘a planned space, usually outdoors, set aside for the display, cultivation, and enjoyment of plants and other forms of nature. The garden can incorporate both natural and man-made materials’.

Read on for video and images...

Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 November 2011 21:33

1: Ettie Spencer - Smokin

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Smokin, by Ettie SpencerEttie Spencer, hosted by No. 10 @ the Promenade

Ettie’s work addresses post-modern, popular culture and the state of the world today. She sees the modern world as reflective of an arrogance, a sense of disorder, and a lack of a common purpose. The work consists of planted tobacco and will be a satellite project as part of the of the Tobacco House series. Work will also be located in St Margaret’s House on London Road in Edinburgh.

Title of work - Smokin - as part of the Tobacco House series

A crop of tobacco will be grown in the garden. With its history of harvesting by slave labour in the US, and grown as a cash crop in 3rd World countries, exploitation and a bad smell sticks to this lush looking plant. Yet, grown against a backdrop of the inner city, it will provide a rich visual texture and an opportunity for urban dwellers to engage in the therapeutic activity of growing things.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 November 2011 21:28

3: Rocca Gutteridge - Money Splash

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Money Splash, by Rocca GutteridgeRocca Gutteridge, hosted by the McMillan Family @ Mentone Avenue

The work consists of a fun park arcade game captured on DVD/Projector with an added sound element. The work will be displayed within a purpose build structure.

Title of work - Money Splash

Money Splash was filmed and recorded at Portobello seafront. After leisurely strolling along the shore I entered the ‘Fun Park’ arcade to become immersed by an over stimulated, manic and frenzied environment.

After sometime however, the room began to contain strong similarities with the outside environment. The constant hum of the machines became calming, reassuring perhaps, the constant blinking lights entertaining, energy boosting, reminiscent of the sun.

Through sound and image Money Splash combines the vibrant swell of golden penny coins with the crash of waves as they noisily break against the shore.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 November 2011 21:27

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Big Things on the Beach is a public art trust in Portobello, a seaside suburb close to the city centre of Edinburgh, Scotland. It was formed by a group of residents in 2003 to explore the potential of the seafront as a site for engagement with public artworks by both emerging and established artists.

Since 2004 we have commissioned artists to create substantial temporary artworks, trained ourselves and others in the process of commissioning public artworks through international site visits and guest lectures and successfully raised funding to these ends.

Our current project - The Big Welcome - is supported by Creative Scotland, Portobello & Craigmillar Neighbourhood Partnership and Edinburgh City Libraries