Keeping busy

29 May

It’s over a month since I have posted on Artelogical. I have been busy doing art rather than writing about it due to a series of commitments that were all bunched together. While it is wonderful to be busy, at times it all seemed a bit much and I found myself quite looking forward to getting to the end of it. But such is human nature, that now that it is over and I have no immediate exhibitions on the horizon, I am not exactly fretting today, but can see that I might start fretting in a week or two if nothing turns up.

The run started back in February when I had an exhibition of my floating sculptures, Nostalgia for the Body at Tom’s Etching Studio in Hackney Wick; then there was getting the maquette ready as one of the four finalists for the competition for a sculpture to commemorate the fire on Eastbourne Pier.  That will be showing at the Towner Gallery in June.

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Phoenixvane

I had arranged last summer to have an exhibition at the Olive Museum in Ano Gazea, near Volos in Greece to coincide with the Greek Easter which this year was on May 1. The Olive Museum is in the most perfect position overlooking the Pagasetic Gulf.

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The view from the Olive Museum, Ano Gazea

Apart from displays about the olive industry, the museum also has a small exhibition space for contemporary art. With hindsight it might have been sensible to postpone, but the prospect of setting up an exhibition in the sun was just too tempting. It did provide the perfect space for my installation Stone, Sea, Skin which is about the short span of human existence in the context of geological time.

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McDougall: Stone, Sea, Skin installation

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McDougall: Stone, Sea, Skin

At the same time I was trying to get my sculpture Flightpaths ready to be delivered to Broomhill for the finals of the National Sculpture Competition with a May 21st deadline. Flightpaths imagines the trajectory of birds and insects which have flown through the air at that spot in Broomhill in the past.

It is a huge honour to be one of the ten finalists. My sculpture will be in the park for a year. One of the ten will be chosen as overall winner by a panel of judges and the  public also have a chance to vote for their favourite.  Whilst winning either award would obviously be lovely, it was wonderful just to be part of it,  to see Flightpaths in place and also to meet other artists as well as the owners Rinus and Aniet and have a chance to look round the sculpture park and see the amazing works they have there.

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McDougall: Flightpaths

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You can read about the process and how it developed in my posts on the Broomhill competition blog here

It was then back to Hastings on Saturday and on Monday I was setting up for my exhibition at Project 78 in St Leonard’s. It was the floating sculptures again – more of them than ever before.  This  is my attempt to persuade myself that mortality is all for the best. For my beings are disembodied spirits, missing their time on earth; whilst they have consciousness they lack agency; they cannot feel the sun on their backs or enjoy a good meal.

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McDougall: Nostalgia for the Body

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Or that was the idea – at the Private View last night, people told me that my beings were not unhappy, that they were enjoying themselves.

So the beings, nostalgic or possibly partying, remain for a short time at Project 78  and I am left looking for a different project. It’s not that I don’t have lots of ideas rather that I am unsure at the moment which one to pursue; that brings its own problems; with no immediate deadline, it gives me absolutely no excuse not to tidy up the studio.

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