Skip to main content

Craig Murray-Orr

Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh until March 26th
3 stars
There’s a sense of magnificent isolation as you go walkabout in New
Zealand born Craig Murray-Orr’s first show for a decade, that says much
about self-imposed exile in the wilderness. Both Henry David Thoreau’s
novel ‘Walden’ and the sprawl of Jack Kerouac’s ‘Big Sur’ spring to
mind as you pace around the twenty small landscape paintings that map
out some barren topography of the soul, their three-dimensional
splodges of purple-grey and orange-green hues lighting up fifty-seven
varieties of desolate science-fiction landscape that silently hum with
the voices of the ancients. Only the clouds or streams of black
shooting through the night sky suggest any kind of movement beyond the
raging calm below.

Three oversize Victorian rifles carved from rich mahogany guard both
floors, their edges smoothed into undulating curves, so even the spaces
where the triggers would be become circular voids resembling standing
stones in miniature. The largest, ‘Tribute to Florence Baker,’ honours
the crack-shot wife of explorer Samuel Baker, the notches on her belt
acknowledging her single-mindedness as much as Murray-Orr’s. This is
borne out even more in a new work, ‘A Breath of Wind.’ Again carved
from mahogany, the surface of this large wall-hanging displays a relief
of seven clumps of grass blowing in the wind. The fact that it took
Murray-Orr a monumental seven years to make gives a clue to the
absolute power of stillness, where natural forces are only noticeable
when at their most forebodingly fragile.

The List, February 2011

ends

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Art School Dance Goes On Forever – Snapshots Of Masters Of The Multiverse

Intro – Snapshots – Deaf School

1

In 1980, the same year as the Manchester band, Magazine, released a 7
inch single called A Song From Under The Floorboards – a three verse
and chorus distillation of Dostoyevsky's novel, Notes From Underground
– an art school scandal occurred.

This scandal took place in Liverpool, and was based around a project
called the Furbelows, although it became better known in the Liverpool
Echo and other organs that reported it as the Woolly Nudes.

The Furbelows, or Woolly Nudes, were a group of artists who had come
out of Liverpool College of Art, who, dressed in grotesque woolly
costumes which featured knitted approximations of male and female
genitalia, made assorted public interventions around the city centre as
kind of living sculptures acting out assorted narratives.

The Furbelows project had been funded by what was then Merseyside Arts
Association, and, after the participants were arrested and taken to
court on obscenity charges after what…

Peter Brook – The Prisoner

Peter Brook is no stranger to Scotland, ever since the guru of European and world theatre first brought his nine-hour epic, The Mahabharata, to Glasgow in 1988. That was at the city’s old transport museum, which by 1990 had become Tramway, the still-functioning permanent venue that opened up Glasgow and Scotland as a major channel for international theatre in a way that had previously only been on offer at Edinburgh International Festival.
Brook and his Paris-based Theatre des Bouffes du Nord company’s relationship with Tramway saw him bring his productions of La Tragedie de Carmen, La Tempete, Pellease et Mellisande, The Man Who…, and Oh Les Beaux Jours – the French version of Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days – to Glasgow.
Thirty years on from The Mahabharata, Brook comes to EIF with another piece of pan-global theatre as part of a residency by Theatre des Bouffes du Nord, which Brook has led since he decamped to Paris from London in the early 1970s. The current Edinburgh residency has alr…

Romeo And Juliet - Shakespeare's Globe Comes to Glasgow

Open-air Shakepeares are a summer-time perennial of the theatre calendar, attracting picnicking audiences as much as midges. More often than not, such romps through the grass are frothy, heritage industry affairs designed to be accompanied by strawberries and cream and not to be taken too seriously. Shakespeare’s Globe theatre company look set to change such perceptions when they open their outdoor tour of Romeo And Juliet in Glasgow next week as part of the West End festival.

For the two young actors taking the title roles of the doomed lovers, it will also be something of a homecoming. Richard Madden and Ellie Piercy both studied in Glasgow prior to turning professional. Indeed, Madden has yet to graduate from the acting course at RSAMD, and, as well as facing the pressures of playing such a meaty role in close proximity to the audience, will have the added anxiety of being assessed and graded by his tutors.

“This is the end of my third year,” says Madden following a Saturday mornin…