In 2015, I reviewed Paperwork 2 for Edinburgh Guide... “do make your way to a Pop Up gallery at Venue 208, 2 Howe Street - an evocative collection of diverse yet complementary art.”
Following great success each year at the Festival Fringe, the sixth Paperwork exhibition has popped up at Venue 208 showcasing the visually exciting work of Marion Barron, Trevor Davies and Ruth Thomas. Their distinctive compositions - drawings, paintings, collages - share an artistic vocabulary in terms of line, pattern, shape, space, colour, tone and underlying reflective mood.
Trevor Davies moves between the abstract and representational, such as the precise contour of a bowl, a precious yet cracked archeological find, with a scrap of text by Cicero as wallpaper background.
Creatively crafted collages enhance dimension and depth such as “Doorway,” its enigmatic layered effect like ancient parchment. Davies has an inventive use of found objects and materials – tickets, cardboard, greaseproof, sandpaper, salt, wire, thread. He has a masterly touch in depicting abstract figures, shimmering outlines in sculptural Giacometti fashion such as in “Two Figures” (shown here) - the large triangle is a gel print on a sandwich wrapper. Here, too, is his selection of barnacle-clad wood blocks and razor clams, tactile treasures from the sea.
The geometry and symmetry of buildings inspires Marion Barron; through her minimalist form of shape, colour and contour, here is a series of meticulously designed architectural rectangles and square blocks to convey underlying structures.
“Foundation” has a fine textured use of striation to evoke the emergence of concrete pillars and metal struts. An exquisitely serene painting, “Interior,” (illustrated), in soft monochromatic shades of grey and cream expresses a calm, intimate space with Rothko-esque simplicity.
It is often said that Nature is the earth’s greatest living artist. Ruth Thomas is inspired by the geography and geology of land and sea, exploring the artistry imbued along a sandy beach. Her delicate drawings are akin to microscopic images illuminating the structure of pebbles, shells and rocks and fishing nets.
“Forth” (see image above) is such an atmospheric thick slice of the crust of the earth, where land meets the sea on the shoreline, shimmering bluey-green water and a wave of rolling hills beyond. Such fluidity too in “Across the Loch,” a glossy transparent effect crafted from ink on wet paper. Ruth creates natural ink from plant materials as well as a collage of shells and seaweed in sketches and artbooks.
This is another truly enriching collection of cool, finely composed artwork which will please the eye and inspire the imagination. A most attractive designed and illustrated catalogue is available with an insightful preface and informative introductions by the artists.
Looking forward to Paperwork 7 in 2020!
16 - 26 August, 2019 @ 11:00 to 18:00
Free (not ticketed)