Back in Scotland for a month and saw lots of lovely art and people, but by far the best news of the trip was hearing of the return of Gallery – A New Contemporary Space: Scotland’s premier exhibition space in a locker.
Conceived by former Duncan of Jordanstone School of Art and Design students, Fraser MacDonald and Euan Taylor as a space for exhibiting the work of students and ‘real’ artists and powered by a car battery in the locker below, Gallery, A New Contemporary Space, came to fruition in 2006. It has since hosted 6 exhibitions, 2 of which were retrospectives (one, of course, essentially being a ‘re-spective’). The space at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art has received much support and enthusiasm from students, faculty and visiting artists alike, and has more than warranted this comment on it’s Facebook page:
“‘One of the key nodes of activity in the archipelago of contemporary art’….. (Frieze)”1
Gallery began strong with a piece by “the best contemporary artist”, Alan Shearer, described in the promotional catalogue as,
“..a conceptual juxtaposition between fundamental art theorists and his own enormous ego…”
Nobody enjoyed the show (or Alan), but everyone was optimistic that Gallery would do better next time.
They did not disappoint, and went on to show the unambiguous piece, ‘How do I seduce the Contemporary Female? ? ?’ (2006) by post 20th century type-esque feminist, Alex MacIver. Thus
providing the Duncan of Jordanstone student with his first solo show and firmly sealing Gallery‘s reputation as the Mathew Building’s number 1 locker-gallery space of 2006.
Gallery, A New Contemporary Space has since went on to aid the careers of international artists such as David Shrigley, Thomas Guichard and Alan Shearer again. Gallery gave Shrigley his first solo show – a roaring success – which catapulted the tall artist onto the international stage and probably sparked his second solo exhibition at Dundee Contemporary Arts an hour later.
They had a minor dip in popularity after inviting Alan Shearer back with, ‘Re-Spective. My Ninth Retrospective’, his ninth retrospective to date. Few attended the opening, the general concensus being that it was, “excessive, greedy and pointless”, but this has not stopped Gallery, and after a slow 2008, it will be re-opening it’s tiny red door on January 28th 2009 to either Richard or Linda …fingers crossed for Linda.
With a stack of proposals awaiting inspection and a guaranteed Ian Hamilton Finley exhibition on the cards, Gallery, A New Contemporary Space is continuing to go from strength to strength – and possibly door to door. Although, the graduation of it’s co-curators may well mean relocating, this should not be a problem due to the numerous supply of bus stations, swimming pools and gyms across Scotland. Providing the recession does not effect locker usage, Gallery will get it’s 10p back once it’s done, maintaining it’s status as a non-profit endeavor.
Thus Gallery, A New Contemporary Space will continue to live up to it’s interntions:
“to facilitate an institution abundant in creative talent and exhibit products of this creativity within a professional yet accessible contemporary gallery, while providing a social platform of networking and exchange of thoughts and ideas between students and professionals.” Yes please!
1. Dr. John Blackwood (Dundee network) 4.08am, December 23rd 2008.
*all other quotes from the Gallery, A New Contemporary Space manifesto provided by Fraser MacDonald and Euan Taylor