The Space Between (2 stars)

This article is from 2010.

The Space Between

Erratic mixed printmaking show

Taking the theme of ‘space’ as its departure, it is unsurprising that the selection of work in Amber Art’s current show is erratic: by its very nature all artwork deals with space. It appears instead that the term is a comfortable theme within which to couch the exhibition’s glaringly disparate prints.

And yet, the work of the 13 contemporary artists on display here is arranged in a way that only emphasises its inconsistency. Prints that would have benefited from being placed side by side, such as Bronwen Sleigh’s muted graphic prints ‘East Way I and II’ are divided by jarring works, in this case Gayle Robinson’s colourful abstracted landscape study ‘Rainbows and Furrows’. The same curatorial short sightedness happens again with Kelly Stewart’s silkscreen prints of Edinburgh street scenes. The obvious pairing of ‘Old Town’ and ‘New Town’ studies are separated oddly by Sophie McKay’s acrylic, portrait screen-print ‘Spells’. The closeness does little to enhance either artist’s work.

The only real fluidity in the exhibition lies in the standard of work on show, but unfortunately this is due to its bland and tepid nature. It is only Patrizio Belcampo’s screenprint ‘Aubrey’ that strays from the comfortable genres of landscape and portrait. Presenting a sophisticated monochrome work of silhouettes donned in medieval garments and tinged with sadomasochistic undertones, Belcampo provides the edge needed to elevate the show from mundanity.

Amber Arts, 661 1167, until 18 Sep (not Sun/Mon), free.

The Space Between

  • 2 stars

A mixed printmaking show bringing together thirteen contemporary artists to consider the notion of The Space Between. The individual responses explore separate yet concurrent points of view, examining the perceived and physical space inherent in pictures. All the artworks are original prints commissioned for the…


1. verity14 Sep 2010, 7:39pm Report

Does this reviewer know what a print is? Judging by the article, I doubt it.
It is ok to give a show a negative review, but it is rather bad form to praise your student friend who is exhibiting in the same show, whilst being extremely negative about the other artists, many of whom are highly skilled and established in the field of printmaking. It was a missed opportunity to highlight the many different types of printmaking on view, as group shows of the quality and breadth are rare outwith dedicated printmakers' workshop galleries. I don't think the List should employ reviewers who , firstly, do not really know what they are looking at, and secondly, have personal axes to grind. It is not ethical. There are plenty honest reviewers around, who also have some expertise in the field they are writing about.

2. susan1020 Dec 2010, 5:52pm Report

I think the idea that the last response challenges the reviewer's ethics is ridiculous, and even questions her right to her job! The review is extremely brief, but having seen the show myself I also think it's spot on. It seems pointless to approach a show simply from the perspective of the medium which it displays; an exhibition of paintings is not judged simply of the method of painting, but on its subject matter, as the reviewer has done here with the field of printmaking.
I don't know anything about personal axes, but it seems that they are more apparent in your response than in the review itself.

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