15 August 2015


With the twin deadlines of the second exhibition and departure time just round the corner it has been a packed week for the Glenfiddich artists.  For those such as Jon Sasaki, Ben Martin and Seok Hyun the focus is very much on completing works for the opening where as for Daniel who has already exhibited the last few days of his residency are an opportunity to squeeze in as much as possible.

Although Daniel was due to finish his residency at the start of August he requested if he could stay and extra month which we were happy to oblige. This extra time has allowed him to add two new dimensions to his residency project which focused on the Dufftown Keith Railway. Along with help from his friend and former 2014 resident Suso 33 Daniel has completed and installed in one of the railways tunnels a number of paintings on small squares of wood. Over sixty 20 cm by 20 cm squares of MDF have been adorned in Daniels usual style with military style cap badges from around Europe and fitted over the metal plates that help hold the tunnel  together.

In addition to these small works he has also completed two larger paintings entitled, Spirtisim with Adam Smith’s Mother, a study in conflicting views of womanhood. These have been installed in two old control boxes further down the line and as such are possibly the most easily visible works to passengers passing by on the train, but only for a few weeks as these works will only remain in situ till the end of September when they will be retrieved to protect them from the ravages of a Scottish winter.

A much more permanent work is the sculpture by Seok Hyun which has now grown to a size where working from a ladder is no longer possible. This required some specialist access equipment to be hired in and after a quick training course Seok Hyun was able to reach the upper levels of the work in safety. With the structure now almost completed the final touches of living plants each planted in its own growing pocket of compost are being incorporated into the tree.

For recent graduate of Grays School of Art, Ben Martin, the residency has proved to be an opportunity to try some new approaches further refining his practice. For his contributions to the second exhibition Ben has continued his employment of function, line, space, object, weight and tension, but  was keen to try a companion piece outside the gallery environment.  Involving nothing more than a tree, a length of tow rope and a very heavy steel plate the work itself was simple enough. Getting the plate up to the chosen site was however anything but!

With the use of planks, rollers and lots of huffing and puffing the metal plate was manhandled into position, but the combination of heavy steel and soft ground did not provide a satisfactory footing for the work. So like the Grand old Duke of York the sheet came back down the hill again!