TEXT ONLY EXHIBITION

'Picnic in Kelvingrove' - a collaboration between Lily Garget & James Mackay (filmed by Ben Deans)

For the theme ‘àite’, James and Lily collaborated on a piece to convey ‘place’. James wears a grey pullover and a black cap, sitting under a tree, filmed by Ben on a camcorder. Grass dances lightly in the foreground, and the film pans upwards from a piece of wood amongst the greenery. James plays around an intervallic voicing to express the serenity of the park. The fuzziness of the filming equipment, moving with the natural shakes of Ben’s hands and paired with James’ harmonic textures, creates a distinctly nostalgic feeling. The camera slowly zooms in to James, who doesn’t turn to the camera but appears to be fully engaged in the sounds that emerge from his guitar. In the moments following the end of the song, the distant murmurs of park dwellers enter the phonic tapestry. James sits on a picnic blanket Lily dyed with buttercups, rhododendrons, dandelions, roses, clematis, rose bay willow herb and bluebells. Lily dyed the blanket in response to James’ music, threading between the colours and textures of a park setting and the interactions that abound from them.

'The State of Things' - a collaboration between Niki Zaupa & Ben Deans

 

‘The State of Things’ also responds to the theme of ‘àite’. A repetitive beat emerges into a vast, machinic sound that accompanies a video of metamorphosing objects. Fragments of domestic objects float against a light grey background before being moulded into dark lumps of rapidly changing textures. These shifts are so transient that everything becomes abstracted, caught between replication and fabrication. At one point in the video, waves of slate grey textures ripple against a black background. To create this visual uncertainty, Niki photographed a desk, a kitchen, a living room table, a bookcase, a bay window and a bed from multiple angles, and then aligned these into point clouds using photogrammetric software. The resulting multi-dimensional models were then rendered differently and fed into a neural network for re-interpretation. The result is an amorphous blend of light and dark, familiarity and strangeness: objects moving with an agency against the cinematic pulse of Ben’s soundscape.

'The Open Window In An Empty Flat' - a responsive piece by Breagha Charlton (responding to work made by Lily Garget)

For the theme of ‘gluasad’, only Breagha Charlton’s hands can be seen in a video of her playing the harp. The sound of birdsong marks the opening of the piece. The harp is foregrounded, and a leafy tree moves delicately outside. The natural light catches on the strings, which shimmer after being touched. Breagha’s hands move with soft precision, often mirroring each other, creating a serene feeling of symmetry. The sound of the harp submerges the scene in a sleepy melancholia.

'The Open Window In An Empty Flat' - a responsive piece by Breagha Charlton (responding to work made by Lily Garget)

 

Lily’s piece responds to Breagha’s song. Assuming the form of scribbles, white, green and red strings catch on densely linear pieces of thread. Sometimes the coloured strings intertwine, or encircle each other, with areas of overlap and mirroring. There is a softness that emanates from the textures of the piece. The organic shapes test the tautness of the structure upon which they are splayed.


'Standing Still' - a collaboration between Ben Deans & James Mackay

‘Standing Still’ is a collaborative piece by Ben and James, responding to the theme of ‘gluasad’. Ben’s audio-visual contribution is from the perspective of someone in the backseat of a taxi. There is a driver upfront, only signified by a white sleeve, softened by the gradients of night-time. Aspects of the environment interrupt the space between the front seat and this sleeve, which include blurred signs, a red traffic light and floating orbs of light. The angle invites the viewer to surrender to the time of the taxi journey. The result makes the viewer feel as though they are in a dense cocoon, swaddled by the momentum of Ben’s ambient soundscape. There is an ambivalence created by the inertia, the strange spatiality, the lack of markers and the synthesiser swells. James’ guitar solo transforms the contours of the phonic landscape, floating above the piece with a voicing that invokes the raw city in the early hours of the morning.


'Max Heather' - a collaboration between Breagha Charlton & Ben Deans

‘Max Heather’, a collaboration between Breagha and Ben, is an affective portrait of a bee as it rests and feeds itself, responding to ‘àrainneachd’. Filmed by Ben using a camcorder, the video documents a bumblebee sucking up sugar water using its proboscis. A large yellow and pink petal sits behind the bee, exaggerating the golden fuzz of the bee’s body. The voices of Breagha and her grandfather conversing about bees are interspersed with the high-pitched buzz of a nearby hive, and enriched by harp and sounds from the city. At the end of the piece, the camera shakes. In the background there is a white windowsill and flakes of plaster. Having finished its feed, the bee crawls into the concave groove of an upturned petal.


'Glacier' - a collaboration between James Mackay & Michiel Turner

‘Glacier’, by James and Michiel, is an explorative guitar duo responding to ‘àrainneachd’ and ideas around Scottish glaciers and the processual concept of geometric and climatological cycles. James and Michiel play live, framed by grey curtains as they sit in front of a bay window. The natural light bounces off the curves of their instruments and their hair. A monstera plant leans towards the window. James and Michiel communicate through sound: their melodies interact across varying frequencies and moods, held in the tension between charged rhythm and structured collapse. At one point in the piece, James switches between his guitar and a mandolin, which extends out into a bright melody. The mood shifts with the octave shift, and both Michiel and James play with discordance, pulling away from the core rhythm and melody. The piece is vibrant and layered, encompassing the myriad emotional tonalities of ice as it changes form and force.


'The Warp and the Weft' - a collaboration between Lily Garget, Ben Deans & Michiel Turner

Responding to the theme of ‘àrainneachd’, ‘The Warp and the Weft’ is a collaborative film by Lily, Ben and Michiel. A shot of a woven tapestry strung up in a deserted woodland opens the piece, which explores the intricacies of soil life. The tapestry is a vertical strip of hand-dyed wool depicting a sky, hills, tenements, earth crust, the worm layer and the bedrock layer. The shot changes so that the textiles piece is hung up on infrastructure surrounding a building. Close-ups reveal the knotting together of wool to create windows. Shots of leaves and the decaying undergrowth of the woodland interrupt the various angles of the tapestry. Crushed leaves float down to the wool, while sunlight dances off the warp’s threads. As the camera zooms in to different aspects of the tapestry, the earth beneath entangles with the materials. The wet sound of hands squishing the rich earth of a wormery is subtle, and the sound of a distorted guitar charges the scene with a liveliness, an intimacy. A blurred macro shot of the wool at the end of the film is intensified by mechanical white noise, as the definition of the wool becomes hazy and abstract.


'About Growth' - a collaboration between Niki Zaupa, James Mackay & Breagha Charlton

‘About Growth’ is a striking monochrome film by Niki, James and Breagha. The film responds to ‘àrainneachd’, broaching ideas of mushrooms, the Fibonacci sequence and exponential plant growth. A pale, digitally rendered tree emerges against a black background. The slow, untethered movements of the tree appear as though it is floating in space, although the pace of these movements changes slightly at a later point. Despite the piece having formed thematic connections to ideas of organic growth, it feels synthetic and uncanny, a spectral version of what a tree represents. A haunting soundscape cascades the visual elements with an ethereal tone. To create this effect, ‘waste’ materials of the soundscape were ‘recycled’ and explored texturally. The film is a statement of atmospheric vastness and beauty in the strange dynamics of ecological patterns.


'Mundane, Routine & Play' - a collaboration between the full group.

For the final collaboration, which explores the themes of mundanity, routine and play, Michiel, Ben, Lily, Breagha, Niki and James weave together their skills and ingenuity to construct a day in the life of a small blue figure made out of plasticine. Delicate, reverberating guitar suffuses the scene with a gentle energy. A tapestry hangs off a branch, before rolling out on to the grass. Two hands made from pink metal wire stretch across the tapestry, and the blue figure lies in the centre. It has brown eyes, a yellow nose and a pink mouth. The film cuts to a swinging hammock, frayed pieces of a prayer flag, green woodland and an overexposed sliver of blue sky between clouds. Bugs crawl across clusters of tiny white flowers. The camera then cuts to purple flowers, yellow flowers and cherry trees. The music fades out, replaced with birdsong. A stop motion film of the blue figure drinking a cup of tea on garden steps marks a transition before the camera moves inside. A syncopated swing beat shifts the mood of the piece. On a wooden floor, five books are laid out carefully, one of which is a street atlas of Glasgow. The blue figure closes them and stacks them in a pile, before metamorphosing into a ball and rolling up the aerial root of a monstera plant. The blue figure climbs into the plant pot and transforms into water, filling a red plasticine teapot. Blue plasticine funnels through the teapot and into the soil. The scene changes to a small wood burning stove. The figure is now white plasticine, crawling into the stove along with botanical ephemera. Inside the wood burning stove is a candle and a red blanket. The figure appears to crawl into bed, and the door of the stove closes with a creak. The flickering candle harmonises with the soft harp, and the figure transitions to sleep. The sound of waves echo across a black screen before rich, distorted sound fills the space. Ripples of deep blue give the impression of the bottom of a swimming pool at night. This is the dream space, concluding the day’s routine.