Andy Slater

 

Press Release March 2016

Landscape Imaginaries - Industrially manufactured embroideries by Andy Slater

Nomas* Projects,

9a Ward Road, Dundee, DD1 1LP.


www.nomasprojects.org


Exhibition runs: 31st March - 12th May 2016

Artist's Talk: Sunday 24 April 2016, 2.00pm – 3.30pm at

Generator Projects, 25/26 Mid Wynd Industrial Estate, Dundee, DD1 4JG.



Andy Slater is primarily a painter whose canvases are awash with pattern, however his interest in form, formulae, and repetition, has led him to create multiples, using industrial processes. In this series of vignettes, he has taken to machine made embroidery, removing the hand of the artist entirely from their production.

Whilst living in New York, he noticed the graphic images of agrarian idylls that are commonly printed on food packaging, and stacked high in the aisles of the bodegas. These invented vistas were all the more stark and questionable in the context of such a dense, built environment.

Images taken from (fruit and vegetable) produce packaging were photographed in America, rehashed in Photoshop, emailed to China to be recoded for embroidery machines back in Scotland, and, once stitched onto unbleached cotton (grown in India and processed in Asia), finally framed with Scandinavian birch ply wood hoops that had been laser cut in England.

Looking back, Virgil described Arcady as an idyllic pastoral land; looking forward, was the Grecian ideal of the Elysium Plane. Henceforth, literary and pictorial representations of these have formed the imaginary of the ideal landscape and life lived in it.

From the early 1600s landscape in painting became less a backdrop and more a legitimate subject matter in its own right. Artist Claude Lorrain “opened people's’ eyes to the sublime beauty of nature”, and his pastoral landscapes set standards by which real landscapes would be judged. Later, as painters such as Gainsborough and Constable sought out, rectified, or assembled landscapes, gardeners, such as William Kent and Lancelot Brown, remodelled actual estates on the same principles to improve the composition and beauty of the site.

The majority of landscape painters of the time were concerned with capturing or creating the Picturesque, a quality that shared in the Beautiful and the Sublime. Uvedale Price wrote in his 1794 essays that the Picturesque foreground should be of smooth, undulating and well managed topography. The middleground should host figures, animals, rocks, and vegetation, which is rugged of delineation though not necessarily rough of surface; a good level of variation which can be reflected in the water is what is desired. The background should be slightly indistinct but mountainous, with a nod to the Sublime. Sudden variation, drama and mystery are the key elements of the backdrop. Thus a curious circularity developed whereby the refined version of the landscape which appeared in paintings, became the model for the landscape architect, and his work in turn became the subject of painters seeking the Picturesque.

To give such a calculus for the ideal landscape may seem absurd, but the imaginary is so deeply rooted that it continues to form and inform our conception of and our relationship with a landscape which is increasingly mediated by globalised industries. Thus such reductive imagery is sufficient enough a trigger for thoughts of fair weather and abundant produce beyond the reality of the shrink-wrapped apple.

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Press Release October 2014

ROADWORKS - An Exhibition of Paintings and installation works by Andy Slater

System Gallery,
22 Leazes Park Road (2nd Floor),
Newcastle upon Tyne,
United Kingdom
NE1 4PG

www.systemarts.co.uk

Exhibition Runs: 10th October - 7th December

Private View 9th October 2014 6 -8pm.


Regula/Rugire

At the ‘Big Lamp’ junction in Newcastle Upon Tyne, where the A186 crosses the B1600, the traffic islands have been re-modelled, and the road markings re-drawn. Leaning on the railings by the junction is a man with a feather in his cap, and a chip on his shoulder. A white van has ignored the new traffic filtering system and has pulled up to the lights, well within the designated bus lane. The man behind the railings rails against this transgression of the painted boundary. He gestures up to the camera by the traffic light: the van driver’s actions have been documented, he will be issued with a fine. Inside the cabin of the van the driver responds with his own gesture to the camera: two fingers. The lights change, a handbrake is released, and the van moves off.

This exhibition presents works created by Andy Slater as part of his M.A. in Future Landscape Imaginaries at Newcastle University.

The exhibition title Roadworks is a play on the 1968 exhibition Earthworks, curated by Virginia Dwan. It was this show, and Willoughby Sharp’s subsequent Earth Art exhibition, which instigated the Land Art movement, a movement that did not escape the gallery system, but broadened the network, and engaged the mass media as its place of exhibition. It is Les Levine’s critique of this show and, in particular his essay Information Fall-out (1969), that has helped drive Slater’s recent work.

Throughout this period of research, Slater considered the changing conceptions of landscape, and studied the history of planning theory, whilst becoming increasingly concerned with issues around land ownership and controlled environments. The resulting pieces form a body of work that examines systems, protocol, and the production of space, attempting to show how systems are methods of perception rather than regulations. With vacuum formed plastics, and laboriously detailed paintings of traffic islands, real and imaginary, Slater takes a humorous look at the barriers and bollards that dictate our path, and asks if roadworks can be artworks too.


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Press Release October 2009

BACKDROP - Paintings by Thomas Aitchison, Tim Dodds & Andy Slater

Patriothall

1D Patriothall (off Hamilton Place), Stockbridge, Edinburgh, EH3 5AY.

31st October – 10th November 2009. Private View: 30th October 2009 6-9 pm.

Gallery Hours: 12 – 6 pm.

  

This exhibition brings together recent work by three painters – Thomas Aitchison, Tim Dodds and Andy Slater – who seek to portray the scenes of both lived and imagined places and stories.

 

Thomas Aitchison lives and works in Edinburgh and has recently shown his work in group shows: ‘Young Athenians’, Athens Biannual, and ‘No Black is Not Bright White’, Gottenburg Biannual.

Influenced by the DIY aesthetic first seen in Dada (and then ransacked by the punk movement) together with elements of Plasticism, Op and Pop Art, Thomas Aitchison’s work changes with the varied techniques or methods used - just as syntax changes the information conveyed in a sentence. His process of making work can seem like design, adverse to mannerism or idiosyncrasy, with the tone or message being just as ambiguous. The results – prints, paintings, objects, installations – are dreamlike macro-cosms that create in the viewer a nebulous sense of the infinite.

For more information contact: thomasaitchison@hotmail.com

 

Tim Dodds has maintained a studio practice in Edinburgh since graduating from the Slade School of Fine Art in 2002. In 2006 he exhibited with Andy Slater in Dunkerque and his work is regularly shown in Edinburgh.

Recently he has created pictures depicting dioramas of his own construction. These woodland scenes, reminiscent of English Romanticist paintings, are populated by all manner of beasts. Symbolic in themselves, their close proximity here makes for unsettling viewing. The works use a wide range of sources in their composition, re-contextualising traditional art imagery, using oil pastels and larger paint brushes – avoiding too much detail. This results in pictures which have a somewhat crude and unfinished modern appearance.

For more information contact: timdodds26@hotmail.com

 

Andy Slater lives and works in both Edinburgh and Newcastle. He has undertaken residencies in Europe, Canada and New Zealand, exhibiting in the UK and internationally.

During a recent six month residency in New York, Andy Slater developed paintings on the theme of misogyny. Built from layers of hypnotic pattern and collage, the paintings have a pop decorative aesthetic but can be read on a number of emotional and intellectual levels. Drawing on natural and constructed landscapes, and on existing narratives – from Greek myths such as that of Chloris and Zephyr, to the literature of Goethe and D. H. Lawrence - these large scale paintings recognise the representation of female figures as dangerous and irrational.

For more information contact: www.andyslater.org


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Press Release May 2007

"Since I Got My iPod Everything Is Filmic And Beautiful": Exhibition of paintings by Andy Slater

Star and Shadow, Stepney Bank, Newcastle upon Tyne

Exhibition dates: Saturday May 26 to Sunday June 3, 2007

Vernissage/Opening: Friday May 25, 7-9pm

Access to the exhibition on weekends from 12pm to 6pm, by appointment, or anytime there are films and events on (n.b. the bar and cinema are not necessarily open at all these times - please check the schedule)


For his first solo exhibition in the North East (at the Star and Shadow Cinema, Newcastle upon Tyne, June 2007), Edinburgh and Newcastle based artist Andy Slater has completed four new paintings in the style of abstract decorative landscapes as well as performed alchemy, turning lead into gold (wrapped chocolate). Building on layers of hypnotic pattern and collage, the new paintings make reference to art history and Greek mythology in their subject matter. They present a dialogue between abstraction and naturalism and induce in the viewer a sense of wonder, and a contemplation of landscapes, both rural and urban. The chocolate multiple, in a limited edition of 50, is comprised of 150g of pure dark Belgian chocolate per bar; the work questions scale and value and is a playful reminder of the confectionary of one's childhood imaginings.


Andy Slater's work to date has dealt with beauty, love, and qualities of masculinity and femininity. He has made embroideries based on the story of Faust, and his installation-based work includes wooden architectural constructions designed to alter one's sense of scale and space. He collaborated on the creation of the set for the performance-to-camera film 'The Set Up' (by Susie Green and Ilana Mitchell) and assisted in making a music video for local band 'Field Music'. Slater has a first class BA Honours in Fine Art from the University of Dundee and has undertaken research residencies at San Martino de Scale, Sicily and on board the MS. Stubnitz.


The exhibition takes place inside the Star and Shadow Cinema, a volunteer-run collective arts organisation which supports the programming of films and events not found at mainstream venues in Newcastle. Andy Slater helped build the cinema (including putting up the ceiling, installing the seats, and constructing and preparing the circulation space). This exhibition continues the Star and Shadow's commitment to sharing space with cultural producers for the realisation of activity of wide interest. For further information about the cinema and its charitable collective existence, please visit the website at www.starandshadow.org.uk


High resolution press images are available on request. Many works available for sale.