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Showing posts from June, 2022

Sandra George: A Life in Pictures - Craigmillar Now and Then

The White House   Sandra George’s presence can be felt everywhere in Craigmillar just now. The legacy of the Edinburgh based photographer and community educationalist who died in 2013 aged 56 can primarily be seen at The White House, the B-listed Art Deco former pub on Craigmillar’s Niddrie Mains Road that is now an airy community cafe. Here, the walls are adorned with twenty photographs by George that form a new exhibition showcasing a handful of George’s works taken in Craigmillar between 1988 and 1994.   The White House is the perfect location for George’s black and white images, brim full as they are with the life of a community at work, rest and play. In one, kids eye up the local policewoman from the safety of the school gate. In another, women keep their heads down, intent on a win at the bingo. Mums with push chairs take a breather outside the Outreach CafĂ©. An instructor on a pigeon-keeping project gently places a bird into a young boy’s hands while two girls look on. The vibr

Dom Phillips - The Subterranean

“Justify yourself! Go on. Justify yourself…”   These are the words I associate most with Dom Phillips, the investigative reporter who disappeared on June 5 th in a remote part of the western Amazon. Phillips was travelling with Indigenous advocate and guide Bruno Pereira while researching a book about sustainable development in a region where criminal activity at the expense of both the environment and the Indigenous population is paramount.    The disappearance of the two men and the seemingly lacklustre initial response from the Brazilian government caused international outrage. A tireless search by the Indigenous community working with police has seen two fishermen arrested, with the inquiry reclassed as Homicide. One of the fishermen has confessed to murder, and two bodies have been found. Whatever happens next, some hard questions need to be asked, about how such a tragedy happened, and why it was allowed to happen. But who will be doing the asking?     Dom Phillips’s demand for o

Tracey Emin: I Lay Here For You

If you go down to the woods today - or any other day at Jupiter Artland during opening hours for the foreseeable future – the big surprise for visitors to the Edinburgh sculpture park can be found in a forest glade tucked away off the beaten track.     Here, Tracey Emin’s newly unveiled bronze sculpture,  I Lay Here For You (2018) lays in repose, in wait and possibly in state  beneath a tree. Monumental in scale, Emin’s six-metre construction of a woman’s body lays her bare with her secret self, face down and possibly in the throes of some private ecstasy.    A hand is tucked under the bent thigh, bum perched high, while a distorted head bites the pillow  of earth that cushions her. The body itself seems to ripple with the current of some erotic charge, every muscle and sinew taut with some unseen force.  No teddy bear’s picnic this, Emin’s creation is getting back to the garden, like a prodigal Eve reclaiming original sin, or a horny Titania still dreaming of donkeys the morning after

Michael Clark: Cosmic Dancer

Michael Clark was still only in his mid-twenties when he danced solo on Italian television to Marc Bolan’s 1971 song that gives this epic exhibition of Clark’s vast back-catalogue its title. In the footage, Clark moves slowly, swathed in a swishy yellow dress and black lipstick as Bolan sings over elegiac strings of how he danced himself ‘right out of the womb’.     Broadcast in 1986, with Thatcher’s Britain in full pomp, it was a daring and tender routine for Clark, already feted as a taboo-busting enfant terrible of contemporary dance. Thirty-six years on, and with Clark now in his sixtieth year, his performance looks as vulnerable and as heroic a show of strength as it ever did.     The clip forms part of a loop of archive material that graces screens large and small before you even step in to the exhibition itself. As a tone-setting tease of things to come, it is the perfect curtain-raiser to what might be regarded as a sort-of prodigal’s return to Scotland for the Aberdeen-born po