When Robert Louis Stevenson declared in his poem, 'Travel' exactly how
much he would 'like to rise and go/Where the golden apples grow,-' his
artistic antenna was most definitely heightened in a work first
published in 1865, and without access to either cheap flights or Google
Earth. It is the fourth line of the poem, however, that has lent itself
in part to an international residency programme initiated by the five
Scotland-wide bases that make up the Scottish Print Network.
By enabling ten artists from Scotland and ten from Commonwealth
countries to undergo research residencies, 'Below another sky' arguably
gave them a taste of the imagined idylls captured by Stevenson. This is
expressed most eloquently by two complimentary shows by Louise Hopkins
and Carol Rhodes which run in tandem at Edinburgh Printmakers over the
next month, and which capture two very different sets of experiences.
Where Rhodes revisited India, a place which has heavily influenced her
work, Rhodes, unable to travel in 2013, chose to imagine a set of
landscapes, even as she invited other 'Below another sky' artists to
send her souvenirs from their own expeditions.
“Ideas about geography and topography are important to both Carol and
Louise's work,” according to curator Alexia Holt, “so it seemed
appropriate to show them together. It also seems to fit with
Stevenson's interest in their being two ways to travel, physically and
through the imagination.”
This is the first public presentation of 'Below another sky' prior to
a showing of all twenty artists during the forthcoming Commonwealth
Games in Glasgow this summer.
“There have been lots of surprises,” says Holt. “People really liked
the idea of having a blank canvas, and for it not to be a directed
residency, but to see what comes out of it more in the long-term.”
The List, May 2014