Skip to main content

Karla Black – sculptures (2001-2021) details for a retrospective

Fruit market Gallery, Edinburgh, July 7th-October 24th2021 

 Karla Black has been mining for gold for more than two decades now. Over that time, the accrued objects of her sculptural desires have often looked like they’ve been put together with stuff gathered from the mess of a playpen and transformed into retro-future relics occupying an adventure playground of the imagination. A decade on from Black’s Fruitmarket Gallery curated Venice Biennale show - the same year she was nominated for the Turner Prize - where better for Black to run riot some more than the former fruit and veg storeroom turned nightclub that makes up the Edinburgh gallery’s newly expanded space now christened The Warehouse.


The Fruitmarket’s existing galleries here house an array of Black’s older confections. Upstairs, almost the entire floor has become a pink powdered planet, with reels of cotton linking the threads that line its surface or else left dangling in a new iteration of Punctuation is pretty popular: nobody wants to admit to much (2008/2021). 


Downstairs, scrunched up brown paper and cellophane constructions held together (probably) with sticky-backed plastic hang in mid-air like makeshift hammocks on a desert island after a storm, or surprise birthday decorations of diplomatically indeterminate age. The party continues by way of smeared make-up bag reflections and what looks like Jenga played with slices of wedding cake that threaten to topple any second into the rouge-laden boudoir it’s been left inside. 


The best game of all is the surprise mystery tour along the corridor to the much darker Warehouse. Stripped back from its former fun palace finery to bare brick and steel, in the shadows, a small mountain of earth sits dappled with gold and copper leaf. From a distance, it looks like a tent draped in Christmas tree lights after dark. On the ground, the earth is patterned in a way that resembles cartoon tunnels with pictorial shapes made from the dirt  marking out fresh territory.


While nothing is actually dug up, the effect of this new work Black styles as Waiver For Shade (2021) is part architectural, part archaeological, as it gives a sparkly-attired nod to what was here before, while simultaneously setting down foundations for a bright new future beyond. Three new wall-based works reiterate the child’s play of all this with their smudges of paint and eye shadow that seep out too onto the windows. Rather than treating the space with kid gloves, then, Waiver For Shade makes itself comfy and gets stuck in, never mind the mess. As it comes blinking into the light, it sets the tone for the shapes of things to come. 


Scottish Art News, July 2021


Popular posts from this blog

Big Gold Dreams – A Story of Scottish Independent Music 1977-1989

Disc 1 1. THE REZILLOS (My Baby Does) Good Sculptures (12/77)  2. THE EXILE Hooked On You (8/77) 3. DRIVE Jerkin’ (8/77) 4. VALVES Robot Love (9/77) 5. P.V.C. 2 Put You In The Picture (10/77) 6. JOHNNY & THE SELF ABUSERS Dead Vandals (11/77) 7. BEE BEE CEE You Gotta Know Girl (11/77) 8. SUBS Gimme Your Heart (2/78) 9. SKIDS Reasons (No Bad NB 1, 4/78) 10. FINGERPRINTZ Dancing With Myself (1/79)  11. THE ZIPS Take Me Down (4/79) 12. ANOTHER PRETTY FACE All The Boys Love Carrie (5/79)  13. VISITORS Electric Heat (5/79) 14. JOLT See Saw (6/79) 15. SIMPLE MINDS Chelsea Girl (6/79) 16. SHAKE Culture Shock (7/79) 17. HEADBOYS The Shape Of Things To Come (7/79) 18. FIRE EXIT Time Wall (8/79) 19. FREEZE Paranoia (9/79) 20. FAKES Sylvia Clarke (9/79) 21. TPI She’s Too Clever For Me (10/79) 22. FUN 4 Singing In The Showers (11/79) 23. FLOWERS Confessions (12/79) 24. TV21 Playing With Fire (4/80) 25. ALEX FERGUSSON Stay With Me Tonight (1980) 1. THE REZILL

Losing Touch With My Mind - Psychedelia in Britain 1986-1990

DISC 1 1. THE STONE ROSES   -  Don’t Stop 2. SPACEMEN 3   -  Losing Touch With My Mind (Demo) 3. THE MODERN ART   -  Mind Train 4. 14 ICED BEARS   -  Mother Sleep 5. RED CHAIR FADEAWAY  -  Myra 6. BIFF BANG POW!   -  Five Minutes In The Life Of Greenwood Goulding 7. THE STAIRS  -  I Remember A Day 8. THE PRISONERS  -  In From The Cold 9. THE TELESCOPES   -  Everso 10. THE SEERS   -  Psych Out 11. MAGIC MUSHROOM BAND  -  You Can Be My L-S-D 12. THE HONEY SMUGGLERS  - Smokey Ice-Cream 13. THE MOONFLOWERS  -  We Dig Your Earth 14. THE SUGAR BATTLE   -  Colliding Minds 15. GOL GAPPAS   -  Albert Parker 16. PAUL ROLAND  -  In The Opium Den 17. THE THANES  -  Days Go Slowly By 18. THEE HYPNOTICS   -  Justice In Freedom (12" Version) 1. THE STONE ROSES    Don’t Stop ( Silvertone   ORE   1989) The trip didn’t quite start here for what sounds like Waterfall played backwards on The Stone Roses’ era-defining eponymous debut album, but it sounds

Edinburgh Rocks – The Capital's Music Scene in the 1950s and Early 1960s

Edinburgh has always been a vintage city. Yet, for youngsters growing up in the shadow of World War Two as well as a pervading air of tight-lipped Calvinism, they were dreich times indeed. The founding of the Edinburgh International Festival in 1947 and the subsequent Fringe it spawned may have livened up the city for a couple of weeks in August as long as you were fans of theatre, opera and classical music, but the pubs still shut early, and on Sundays weren't open at all. But Edinburgh too has always had a flipside beyond such official channels, and, in a twitch-hipped expression of the sort of cultural duality Robert Louis Stevenson recognised in his novel, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, a vibrant dance-hall scene grew up across the city. Audiences flocked to emporiums such as the Cavendish in Tollcross, the Eldorado in Leith, The Plaza in Morningside and, most glamorous of all due to its revolving stage, the Palais in Fountainbridge. Here the likes of Joe Loss and Ted Heath broug