2023 The Niche Gallery, Dumfries

March/April 2023 – I took a mini road trip from Edinburgh to Dumfries to install my piece Forest, trees, girl in the small niche @thenichegallery, a curation project by artists Denise and Mark Zygadlo. The Niche Gallery is actually 2 niches, one small and square, the other long and narrow, that were built into the exterior of the Midsteeple in Dumfries to hold a thermometer and a barometer for the town of Dumfries. In April my piece FOMO graffiti was installed in the long niche. I’m so pleased to be part of this very cool project in Dumfriesshire – many thanks to Denise and Mark for inviting me to take part.

Forest, trees, girl is a 3d collage, or ‘plexigram’ of porn images from the 1980’s with the central figure cut out; we see the room, the couch, the TV, the potted plant, but no girl. We know she is there somewhere but see only a blank, a juxtaposition. She slips, is missing. Meanwhile our eye continues to search… This piece was partly inspired by John Cage’s seminal work, Not wanting to say anything about Marcel, a series of plexigrams which was his memorial to Marcel Duchamp.

FOMO graffiti is 6 postcard sized drawings on gessoed boards that are tracings from party balloons – transfer drawings made using lighter fluid and a ballpoint pen, a process pioneered by American artist Robert Rauschenberg. The balloons used for the transfers are plastic marine waste that I collected over 8 years from a beach in New England and were part of an exhibition GYRE at TENT Gallery, Evolution House at Edinburgh College of Art. Symbols of commemoration and celebration these balloons are the dead junk of our consumer society which we purchase then ignore. Discarding these once important items without thinking has a huge impact on the environment. With FOMO graffiti the inverted text and images from the balloons create a memento of our collective amnesia.