For Greg Thomas, the music in Kim Moore's new release with Blackford Hill is at once a physical thing which moves, an image, and a word provoking profound affect. There is something 'urgent' here, he writes.
What can an artist do when faced with another war? Engage as a war artist ... that is, stand by and reveal the horror? But surely, art always challenges the neutral? Artists make things that engage with ideas and situations. Michail Mersinis proposes a repurposing of the instruments of war to make sensitive participatory gestures that constitute a respite from the language of war and hate. The tragedy is happening in Ukraine now -but is it even possible to act innocently?
What cast of work is this, we might say of Peter Howson's new show at Edinburgh City Art Centre. He gives us a lot of matter to grapple with and a lot of things to ponder over. This is the first major retrospective of Howson's work with over 100 paintings over four floors. Arresting and compelling says Greg Thomas in review, and also grim and dark. Get along and make your own mind up is best.
Everyone, like Samuel Johnson, has an opinion on Macpherson's Ossian, but few of us ever manage to get a hand on an actual copy of the works. Fortunately, Murdo Macdonald does the bibliographic work for us, and details the doggedness of his desultory browsings and subsequent musings which led to the composition of his own versions. (is there ever anything but versions to work through here?) So, this is the big chance to find out what it was about the versions of this poetry that set Europe aflame with romantic passion and melancholy, and, as Napoleon himself put it, 'Devour Ossian!'
People get nervous about the very notion of data; some assume it can only be used in scientific, and business applications – is that at all a sustainable view in the digital age and the new world of AI? In her project ‘Bit Parts’, Elke Finkenauer shows us how data is the artist’s necessary friend, the work ‘focusses on human and creative, rather than technical, challenges to data: acknowledging subjectivity, working with idiosyncrasy, and keeping questions of means, as well as ends, alive.’
What is going on in Wyndford ? Barnabas Calder (in his book reviewed by Florian Urban in The Drouth August 21) tells us that Architecture, and especially the production of its materials, steel and cement, is the worst of climate change culprits, yet in Glasgow a whole estate is about to be pulled down and rebuilt. We are supposed to be on the brink of some massive changes in our way of living -but not just yet! Kelly Rappleye has organised an event which might enshrine Wyndford not so much as a cause célèbre as a cause désastre.
Scotland's foremost Irish historian and Ireland's finest Jockstorian, Owen Dudley Edwards, finds a textless chronicle of the farcical and chaotic politics of Jockland in the 2020s. It's to be sung swiftly, though it's no song of Solomon. The rulers from Laputa assume they have (in the jargon of the period) 'taken back control', but none of them can actually determine where Jockland is, or if it even exists ...
The hutters at Carbeth dwell in the forest -when they can get there. They have a history: it's a green one and a working class one; it's one of urban folk in the countryside, and they're prepared to fight for it. Greg Thomas speaks to a couple who make and remake their stand in the forest.