‘Zentools (Fool’s gold is precious too)’ – Fiona McCubbin at Seventeen

A new exhibition by a Gray’s School of Art graduate which will open this weekend was inspired by a month-long residency in Toronto.

Fiona McCubbin Zentools exhibition‘Zentools (Fool’s gold is precious too)’ is a duo exhibition by Gray’s graduate Fiona McCubbin and Canadian artist David Hanes, which opens at Seventeen on Saturday, March 14.

Curated by, and including texts from, Sarah Watson, the show’s inspiration has its roots in a residency Fiona undertook with Artscape, a community cultural hub located on Toronto Island, Gibraltar Point, where she met David.

Fiona, who received a Diamond Jubilee Commonwealth Travel Bursary from Aberdeen City Council to undertake the trip, said she wanted to find a similar environment to that of the Scottish Sculpture Workshop (SSW) in Lumsden where she also completed a residency last year.

She said: “My time at the Scottish Sculpture Workshop rekindled my strong affiliation with rural places. I knew that I wanted to continue my professional practice and learning through peer discussion and skill sharing in a similar setting, surrounded by the natural environment.

“Artscape has an open and inclusive attitude that facilitates educational programming in contemporary art. Their beautiful old school house property on Toronto Island is a unique retreat from the city and is an ideal environment for dialogue.”

With a shared interest in the ritualistic processes of material experimentation, Fiona and David’s diverse and expanded sculptural practices consider the meditative functions of ornamentation.

Fiona’s interest in the practice of divining, the employment of pendulums, L and Y shaped instruments, the tracing of water within the land, buried metals, oils, gravesides or gemstones is something which has influenced her work.

She explained: “I wanted to explore the relationship between aesthetic form and function by focusing on the performative nature of such pseudo-scientific practices and belief systems, which seem driven by intuition and sensory impulse.”

In addition to the exhibition, there will be parallel events held at the Ruthrieston Temporary Studio on Holburn Street, including film screenings, palm readings and discussion.

Fiona, who now lives in Dundee, said: “I still feel a strong connection with Aberdeen, both socially and creatively. There are a lot of exciting changes and development happening within the cultural sector of the city, and it is important to be a part of this growth and discussion.

“Showcasing and curating an exhibition feels like the drawing together of friends, Gray’s tutors and alumni. I want to make sure there is an element of fun, social engagement and non-formal learning to the project.”

David’s work considers the complexity of representation within simulated and mediated realities through his expanded sculptural practice. He examines the architecture of the internet and digital forms of communication by charting its effects on subjectivity, individualism, identity, essence and affect.

Zentools (Fool’s gold is precious too) will run at Seventeen, 17 Belmont Street, Aberdeen from March 14 to 26, with the opening night on Friday, March 13.

For more information about the parallel events, follow the Ruthrieston Temporary Studio on Twitter @tempstudio and Facebook.

Release by
Jenny Rush

Communications Officer | Design and Technology

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