Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Ciara Phillips – And More


Inverleith House, Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh, until June 23rd
3 stars
X marks the spot in Inverleith House's latest show in which a contemporary artist responds to work in the RBG's Archival holdings of botanical-based art. Arriving just in time for the sun to belatedly shine, and running alongside 'Nature Printed', featuring actual examples from the RBG collection, Canadian-born, Glasgow-based Ciara Phillips beams down a series of groovy-looking screenprints brandishing vivid colour blocks that gets back to nature in homage to publications by eighteenth century nature printer Johannes Kniphof. Amidst the abstractions, there are blurry archive images of hourglasses and lush, lime-coloured landscape splodges amidst the flora and fauna.

The show's centrepiece finds the gallery's central column of walls wallpapered with sa blanket of watery, ice-blue and white prints, on top of which is draped a banner-like large-scale print of two yellow pencils, crossed like swords. While referenced in several smaller works, here, fully-sharpened and rubbered-up, the pencils appear to be prepared to repel all boarders. It's a triumphal-looking flag of convenience one could readily imagine blowing in the wind. 

The List, May 2013

ends

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