We are delighted to present our twice yearly exhibition of studios holders’ work, showcasing the diverse creativity happening within Perth Creative Exchange.

Welcome to this rolling series of creative events led by Journeys in Design, exploring urban design for well-being, collaborating to develop and deliver new Walks, a series of Twilight Talks and an evolving Exhibition across art, design and industry. 

June 2021: a walk on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, collaborating with design experts and enthusiasts 

June 2023: a walk in Glasgow Green, developed and delivered by those with experience of homelessness   

and coming up next…

Concrete Designs to Thrive

12 to 28 June 2024

in and around The Briggait, Glasgow

  • – Material and Modernity Exhibition 
  • – Twilight Talk and ‘zine CDT workshops
  • – Glasgow Green and Grey Walk by Design,

How can we build in well-being so all of us can thrive?

Introduction

Concrete is our material focus for this exploration of urban design and well-being. From the minute to the monumental, concrete is the basis for a huge array of urban interventions across art, design and industry, forming the structural warp to a cultural weft of people, places and activities. 

By Leaves we Live

CDT is underpinned by reflection on the work of pioneering Scottish botanist and town planner, Patrick Geddes.

As a generalist, Geddes worked ‘across silos’ to engage with Creative Allies from science and the arts; his Outlook Tower offered a culture hub for exploring ideas, his Summer Schools brought like minds together and his itinerant Cities and Town Planning Exhibition offered a means to disseminate his work.

In addition, four approaches adopted by Geddes find focus in our CDT programme:

  • civic co-design: understanding local landscape and culture through direct engagement with community
  • – ‘conservative surgery’: retrofit rather than the wrecking ball, a regenerative appraisal of what might work best
  • – the power of nature: biophiliic design, with provision of urban green space and in choice of materials 
  • – internationalism: an enthusiastic embrace of opportunities to debate and exchange beyond borders

Themes and Variations 

Bringing more manageable focus to the broad landscape of urban design, CDT draws on eight essential acts of life:

MEET, HEAL, PRAY, LEARN, NEST, VOTE, WORK and PLAY. As we tour on from Glasgow, we explore different urban landscapes and enable diverse creative energies, giving voice to the local en route. 

Is it a CON?

As evidence grows of the intimate link between individual, community and planetary health, there is a clear tension in referring to Concrete in relation to well-being. Across the globe, concrete is the most utilised material on the planet after water, contributing to 8% of global CO2 emissions; in Scotland, 40% of landfill derives from construction.

As law makers and regulators seek to guide and cajole, designers confront the heavy carbon footprint of this ubiquitous material with innovative approaches to method and material. 

Image Building

Scotland’s photo-maestros have created a stunning archive of the country’s urban landscapes, in particular through imaging the post-war rise (and fall) of archetypal concrete structures. CDT draws inspiration, collaborating with local photographers and creatives to build smartphone archives and a series of zine CDT’s on our Walks by Design.

City Linking

As the programme unfolds, we stretch our journeys beyond borders, inviting creatives from allied cities around the world to foster new international collaborations. We hope you enjoy this ambitious programme, and will journey with us as it unfolds.

Journeys in Design seeks to enable well-being through Design, engaging people at a local level with our walks and workshops and further at the national and international level with our exhibitions and talks.

Come and feast your eyes; curiously, defiantly, unceremoniously, with some uncertainty or even puzzlingly at this well oiled troupe’s compendium of wall and plinth offerings.

You may come across a gorgeous colour cord here, or a lyrical painterly phrase there, something slightly melancholic, hushed and shy. Across the street on another wall maybe a temple to some exuberant excess, who knows? Maybe?

These six disparate coves of the borders continue applying the pigmented stuff. All of us at one time have had a studio here at St. Mary’s Mill, times change, but we have come together for another show. 

Come and see, drop in, find out. We’ll be pleased to meet you.

Participating from St. Mary’s Mill: Alan Richmond, John Berry, Jim Douglas, Alex Hain, Colin Philip and Rob Hain.

I started painting figures on objects as an experiment to see if these might not be looked at more closely than something in a frame.

Since the advent of photography, paintings have had to compete with other images for our attention. I started painting figures on objects as an experiment to see if these might not be looked at more closely and for longer than if they had been on a canvas, framed and on a wall. I soon discovered that different characteristics of the objects – their significance, their associations, as well as their colours and textures, worked together with the painted figure in surprising ways. Often there could be an immediate connection between the figure and the surface I had painted it on: cyclists painted on a map seemed to be heading for the beach and sea; a boy at an easel painted on a yellow brush appeared to be working in brilliant sunshine

My work is almost entirely figurative but I also realise that I have had a lifelong problem with backgrounds. In some earlier charcoal pieces I set silhouetted dynamic figures on a clean white paper background. In other painted images swimmers, divers and athletes were superimposed on to acrylic textured backgrounds – the figures almost always responding in unexpected ways to their new settings. From this I moved onto figures painted on collaged surfaces and so painting on objects seems to be a natural development.

Damian Callan is a practising figurative painter based in Edinburgh. He teaches drawing and painting classes for adults and art classes for children at his studio near Haymarket. In the spring and summer he runs landscape painting courses in and around Edinburgh. He is the author of two books, Paint Like Degas and Paint Like Renoir. His work is exhibited widely in the UK and is held in collections across the world. He has written articles for Artist & Illustrators Magazine and The Artist Magazine and regularly demonstrates drawing and painting techniques at public events in Edinburgh.

An exhibition of work by artists and makers based out of Inverness Creative Academy.

Stop by Inverness Creative Academy to see a showcase of the amazing work that is made at this creative hub for the Highlands. The participating artists are also hosting an Open Studios event on Saturday 12 May (10am-4pm) which you are invited to. Don’t miss the rare opportunity to get a glimpse of working artists’ studios.

Fiona Hutchison and Joanne Soroka are two prominent tapestry weavers who are showing new work at the Patriothall Gallery this May. While women’s art, and in particular textiles, has historically been sidelined by mainstream culture, today it is increasingly valued and celebrated.

Based on her own experience of sailing, Fiona’s work is inspired by all things maritime, enhanced by poetry and literature on the subject. She works primarily in tapestry but also in paper and recycled plastics, drawing the maximum from these media in two and three dimensions.

Inspired by her diverse ancestors, Joanne’s work reflects on the places they came from and their journeys as migrants to new and unknown lands. More recent work looks at the plight of refugees and the hazardous migrations of birds. She uses rich colours and textures to highlight these themes.

The two textile artists have both exhibited internationally, with their work held in public and private collections.

Each artist has a unique voice, but there are also many points of contact in their concerns and interests. Like weaving itself, the work is often about connections which are the strongest ties.

Born in Edinburgh, Fiona Hutchison is an artist and teacher working in tapestry and mixed media. Having graduated from Edinburgh College of Art with first class honours, then a postgraduate diploma (with distinction), she has gone on to travel the world promoting Scottish tapestry. She has networked with tapestry artists through attending symposiums in Lithuania, Russia and South Korea, participated in artist residencies in Norway and Scotland, and has taught across the USA with the American Tapestry Alliance. A professional member of the Society of Scottish Artists, she exhibits in solo and group shows at home, in Europe and across the world. She is a founding member of the European Tapestry Forum and STAR* (Scottish Tapestry Artists Regrouped).

Joanne Soroka was born in Montreal and graduated from McGill University, the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and Edinburgh College of Art, leaving with a post-graduate diploma (with distinction). She was the Artistic Director of the Edinburgh Tapestry Company (Dovecot Studios), before setting up her own studio in Edinburgh in 1987. She makes tapestries, other textiles and paperworks, with occasional forays into other media. Her work is in the collections of museums, well-known companies and hotels. She has won numerous awards. Joanne has exhibited around the world, with over a hundred group shows and eleven solo shows in twenty countries. She is the author of Tapestry Weaving: Design and Technique, now in its seventh printing.

A joint exhibition with artists Rosie Vohra and Gabrielle Lockwood Estrin, building on their decade-long dialogue through collaborative collage practice, exploring connection, growth, and belonging.

Hand

Over is a collaborative exhibition by artists Gabrielle Lockwood Estrin and Rosie Vohra. The exhibition explores collage as a process and principle that is inextricably linked to human connection, growth and sustainability. Through reusing existing materials and reshaping them, they create a new body of work that addresses themes of absence, presence, connection, and belonging.

The heart of their collaboration lies in a continuous exchange of drawings, collages, and paintings, either through post or in person, spanning many years, life events, and locations. This ongoing dialogue forms the basis of their creative process, where each work responds to the last, fostering a conversation of back and forth. By relinquishing control to each other for each iteration of the exchange, they embrace play as a central element, allowing for the unexpected to enrich their collaborative dialogue.

Their collaborative process embodies a playful exploration of rupturing, reforming, and repurposing old works as they create new connections and meanings, rooted in their shared understanding of the themes they explore. This collaborative endeavour, rich with the depth of each artist’s perspective, invites viewers to engage with the work on multiple levels.

Rosie Vohra is a multidisciplinary artist working and living in Leeds. Vohra explores the intersection of collage with drawing, painting, textiles, and sculpture. She uses collage as both a conceptual and material tool for deconstructing and reconstructing meaning from existing material. Her work often explores collective storytelling with personal introspection, offering insights into the complexities of human existence and the process of identity formation. Through her work, Vohra advocates for openness and the potential for metamorphosis, providing a framework for embracing multiplicities.

Gabrielle Lockwood Estrin is an artist and arts educator based in Glasgow. Through painting and printmaking she explores the relationships between our internal and external worlds. Her visual language gives colour and form to emotions and experiences, exploring how these manifest and shift in our bodies as we navigate environments, relationships, and changes around us.

Often working on collaged surfaces of paper or fabrics with a previous history – creating structures from old drawings and monoprints – her layered shapes interact and undulate, mapping internal journeys. Negative and positive spaces reflect absence and presence: reliant on each other, they can only exist through an experience and memory of each other. Her work gives shape to the spaces created by loss, and explores what grows from and within them.

Rosie Vohra (b.1992, Hertfordshire) lives and works in Leeds. Vohra studied on The Drawing Year at The Royal Drawing School in 2014 where she was awarded The Sir Denis Mahon Award 2013. Prior to this, she studied Fine Art at Leeds Arts University from 2010-13. Recent solo and duo exhibitions include: Fruiting Bodies, Leeds Arts University, 2023; Flying Inside Your Own Body, Slugtown, Newcastle, 2023; WORMB, Quench Gallery, Margate, 2022; Canopy Kilt, Proudick Gallery, London 2019. Recent group exhibitions include: Leeds Artist Show, Leeds Art Gallery, 2023; The Amber Room, Matt’s Gallery, London, 2023; Post Curse, Freehold Projects Space, Leeds, 2019; Social Event, Platform, Glasgow International Festival, 2018. Vohra’s work is held in public and private collections including: The Government Art Collection, The Royal Collection, Hauser and Wirth and Leeds Art Gallery Collection

Gabrielle Lockwood Estrin (b.1987, London) lives and works in Glasgow. Lockwood Estrin graduated with Honours from Glasgow School of Art in 2010, she received the Armour Award for drawing and painting, and was later awarded a scholarship for postgraduate study at the Royal Drawing School in London. Following this, she completed a two year printmaking fellowship at City and Guilds of London Art School. She has also studied at the Instituto Superior de Arte, Havana. She has exhibited widely in London, Berlin, Havana, Glasgow, Edinburgh and around the UK and has been awarded artist residencies in Scotland, Venice, America, and Cuba, including a residency at the Women’s Studio Workshop in NY in 2020. Most recently she had a solo show: Mapping The Parts, at Mono8 Gallery in Manila, Philippines, 2023, was artist in residence with 16Nst Gallery in Glasgow and was commissioned to make a new work for the exhibition and publication Rupture, Rapture: Womxn in Collage exhibited at Patricia Fleming Gallery, 2023.

Showcasing iconic woodland types from the Highlands that have clung on to inaccessible topographic margins. A feast of colour, pattern, texture, botanical detail and atmospheric places.

Arboreal Realms showcases the character of some of the most iconic woodland types in Highland, with surviving remnants often clinging to inaccessible topographic margins. From 2 years’ work, over 60 compositions are a distillation of wooded places, pattern, colour, textures, seasons and atmospheres at both the macro and micro scale ranging from realistic portrayals to more stylised abstractions in both oil and acrylic. The allure, shelter, scale and detail of woodland is endlessly rekindled at the turn of each season; whether clad in leaf or laid bare, trees emanate a strong and often distinctive localised Highland identity. Broadly two differing Arboreal Realms are explored:

• Pine, Birch and Juniper woods known as Caledonian Pine Forest (plus plantations) over peaty acidic soils with heather, bilberry, grass and sometimes localised bog underneath

• Oak, Birch and Hazel woods over deeper brown earths with bracken or grassland and spring vernal flora underneath. There are also a few forays into damper woods with more base loving plants.

With the high rainfall that the west coast, montane and inland gorge topographies receive, rich assemblages of lichens, mosses and ferns grow on the trunks, ground and rocks of these woodlands, forming what have poignantly recently been renamed part of Britain’s Lost Rain Forests. Many remnant native woodlands have struggled to regenerate since deer, sheep and rhododendron replaced people managing woods locally. Fortunately the hard work of rewilding and reforestation initiatives offer a more optimistic future for native woodlands across Scotland; this exhibition aims to raise interest and awareness.

I want these woodland-themed paintings to make the viewer feel immersed in arboreal realms; to be in awe of places where trees, which span several human generations are allowed to colonise and regenerate, to grow and age and to rest as dead wood that supports other life. Beneath vast aged protective tree canopies is a wealth of intricate detail, connectivity and hidden history that observing closely can heighten senses, helping one to feel grounded and refreshed. I hope paintings convey my reverence for the intricacies and inter-dependencies of nature and its tenacity to cling on, adapt and thrive alongside human influence. The surety of turning seasons is hopeful and inspires me. Woodland and coast are my go to sanctuaries; immersion in the interconnections of systems seemingly beyond human control, and painting them lifts me. I hope the viewer may feel similar respite and resonance.

In 2023 my work received a commendation at the Scottish Fine Art Awards and was also shortlisted for the Highland Art Prize. This year, I am concentrating on two solo exhibitions and building collaborations linked to my arboreal artwork. – Liz Green

Born in 1964, I am a self-taught contemporary landscape painter working in oils, acrylics and mixed media. I have lived in Inverness since 2003, painted part time since 2010 and fulltime since January 2023 when I moved into a shared studio space at Wasps Inverness Creative Academy. As a person that loves being outdoors I paint the places where I have felt most keenly alive, most inspired, fulfilled and moved. I try to capture that mood of being exposed and immersed in a landscape with all the thoughts and feelings that provokes. Working in the studio based on field sketches, photographs, imagination and process-led experimentation my paintings include a mixture of realistic detail and stylised abstraction, often doing several versions of the same composition increasingly simplified and stylised. As well as meaning, I get excited by pattern, texture, form and my painting style is constantly evolving. My previous life strongly informs my art. With a degree in botany and a career as a plant ecologist (nee E.A.Cooper) working with the Conservation Agencies and NGOs I have a deep understanding of semi-natural ecosystems. Working as an environmental policy campaigner gave me an acute awareness of the value and jeopardy of semi-natural habitats. Doing garden design work to suit places and people, then working at Culloden Academy embedded my interest in visual communication and narrative. It was worsening arthritis that propelled me to start painting more back in 2010. I have not looked back and have a huge amount in my head that I still want to explore with paint.

Liz Green’s website / Liz Green’s Instagram

April is the 2023 recipient of the SSA x Wasps Award, with the prize being a solo exhibition at The Briggait in Glasgow. In Beyond the Surface, April explores the inherent agency of her surrounding rural landscape, manifested through the transient nature of both its animals and materials.

My work is an abstract exploration of landscape and of the processes I observe within it. It is figurative, colourful and highly gestural.

I live in a rural town placed between Glasgow and Edinburgh, which holds a rich industrial heritage, situated off of the River Clyde. My practice is rooted in painting and sculpture, exploring these moments in nature of collapse, of renewal and regeneration, of land ownership & place making.

I paint large-scale canvases using acrylics. Acrylic paint can be a challenging medium, it dries fast so you need to react. A comparison I like to make is between painting to this scale and feeling intimidated by the force of nature. Quite often I am hiking and the weather turns or I am caught in a storm, there is a tension and a weight to these frames which sparks questions of body and agency that my smaller works don’t. 

Quite often, I am masking off, I am painting and repainting areas of the canvas. The surface of the work is layered with a lot of information, finding this balance is something I am still very much exploring, as at one stage, the abundance of information can crumble into a sea of nothing. So there needs to be this blank space, which collapses and coexists with the other side.

Quiet retellings of landscape exist within my work, small moments that perhaps would otherwise go unnoticed. The animal wool caught up in the barbed wire, the brightly coloured rope binding together specific objects.

In Sculpture and Environmental Art, at GSA, we regard context as half of the work. Yet perhaps artistic situation is half of practice. 

My exploration of my rural situation in Lanarkshire, contrasted by my time of study in the built city of Glasgow, makes for a rich feeding ground of information for my practice.

April is a Glasgow based contemporary artist working predominantly through sculpture and painting. She studied a BA(Hons) in Fine Art, Sculpture and Environmental Art & most recently a Master of Letters in Fine Art, Sculpture & Performance, at the Glasgow School of Art. Her recent exhibitions include work shown at: The Royal Scottish Academy, House for an Art Lover, French Street Gallery, Wasps South Block & the McLaurin Gallery.

An artist’s take on Victorian zoologists, their textbook illustrations, love of microscopy and their curious journeys to kill and collect from the natural world.

The exhibition is loosely based around my fascination with Victorian zoologists, their textbook illustrations ( often etchings or engravings from drawings done by them selves) Their fascination with killing, catalogueing, collating, pinning, dissecting and putting under glass everything they could from the natural world around them which contrasted starkly with a simultaneously very romantic view of the same world.

Alongside these works are etchings and collaged pieces based around marine travel. The ‘curious journeys’ are however more about the period of time and the way in which all these pieces were created. The making of the artwork was a curious journey and the needle point mark making became a means of staying sane during a dark time.

Louise has been a printmaker first and foremost since graduating with a BA Hons in Printmaking in 1980s. Along with an interest in conservation and the natural world she developed her own unique style of creating copper plate etchings with a fine needle point. Following on from an artist residency at Inverewe Gardens in 2020 (which was cut short by Covid) her work moved away from almost pure illustration to more abstract themes still based very much on the 16th century methods of producing copper plate etchings. A second residency in 2023 saw her work take on a number of more defined abstract themes.