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Tabula Rasa

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Tabula Rasa | 29th October – 22nd November

Kaunas Photography Gallery
Rotuses sq. 1./Vilnius st. 2,
Kaunas, Lithuania, LT-44280
Phone (8 37) 321789

This exhibition profiles 5 Glasgow based artists whose work embraces individual methodologies of conceptual photography which offer fresh approaches to image-making. Working independently of one another, the works of the artists comment variously upon the passage of time through processes of making, or through reference to nature, places and personal memories/histories.  Most of this work is being presented for the first time.

In Frank McElhinney's '45 Sun Pictures in Scotland’ two hundred pinhole cameras were placed in the 45 most populous cities and towns of Scotland in late December 2014. They were filled with photographic paper and tied high on lampposts, drainpipes and trees facing south. A month or more later the cameras were recovered. Unfixed images burned into the photographic paper were scanned before they faded away. The final prints show sun trails and traces of 45 places. The work makes reference to the Scottish Independence Referendum, which stirred the political consciousness of a disillusioned people. It was supposed to settle the national question once and for all, but that did not happen.

Alan Knox' 'Man in the Moon' uses large format black and white negatives from his family archive, which he then held to the sky so to be backlit with the full Moon’s reflection. The faces of his ancestors filter the motion of the lunar orbit which is traced as he re-photographs the negative at regular intervals. His practice thus seeks to reflect on the lost aura of the work of art caused by mechanical reproduction. ‘In my practice, one may become receptive to the loss of the other by investing the lunar satellite with the ability to gaze back at the viewer through the mediation of photography, tracing the timeline of my Grandfather's life’.

Kotryna Ula Kiliulyte's ‘Amber Room’ began in 2014 and explores notions of nostalgia, national identity and the politics of migration. It has been an evolving work and journey, which has grown to be the biggest body of work the artist has made so far. The work has different configuration depending on where it is show, the exhibition version is also augmented with a photo-book.

Stephen Healy’s ‘Nature’ is a body of work influenced by painting, with its approach towards subject matter and spatial composition, borrowing obliquely from the abstract expressionist movement with the use of the ‘Rothko’ square format. The hand printed process allows Healy to uniquely mark each print with its own identity - embracing accidents in the printing process and incorporating them with the completed work. The subject matter he has chosen in portrayal, lends itself to a surreal other worldly nature, challenging the viewer to question its origins.  He states that he ‘goes to great lengths in the search for my material, using medium format film only in order to retain honesty in realization of image’.

Julia Bauer's ‘Pinboards’ function as part of a larger project exploring ‘corridors’, starting with the functionality of institutional spaces that most of us walk in everyday. The premise of the work is that beauty and aesthetics can be found in the most boring of places, such as these colorful empty pinboards devoid of the messages that previously populated them. Of this work, she says ‘In order to remember things, I need to leave marks. I need the evidence of tangible media in front of me to allow me to think and creatively explore ideas about space, spatial contexts, time passing, text, object and human presence.’

Also on show in the exhibition will be a selection of self-published print by artist photographers such as Tine Bek, Scott Caruth, Sam Wood, Craig Gibson, Matthew Williams, Sarah Amy Fishlock, Alishia Farnan, Dave Ferrie, and Donald John MacLean, as well as photo-zines such as Simulacra, Goose Flesh, and Et Dieu Crea La Femme. Diverse in their making, these give some illustration of the dynamics of the photography sector in Scotland.

‘Tabula Rasa’ is the result of a long-running international partnership between Street Level and Kaunas Photography Gallery that has seen a number of initiatives in cultural exchange – artists residency, exhibition, and knowledge sharing.  This is the latest installment in this cooperation.

Banner Image: © Alan Knox
Left Image: © Stephen Healy