EM14 - Week Two by Shelley MacDonald


"There is industry afoot in the Project Space at Surface and many hands have made work, the weight of which is yet to be determined. Ali’s black, corrugated tubing dangles from the ceiling, like some strangled vacuum cleaner, a gesture of domestic suicidality perhaps? A nearby draped child’s chair is staged to be kicked in ghostly assistance. Across the way Ali has colonised more space and a swathe of midnight blue Lycra stares blankly. Have I stumbled across the abandoned set of a desperate housewife? Ali is away meeting a late friend. Will absence make the art grow fonder? I don’t hang around to find out.

The artists are bedding down and dreamtime has arrived but only Sarah is awake. I walk over find her amidst an orchestration of colour and texture; plaster contaminated by builder’s utility will be dispensed with in favour of Paris, only one variable permitted. Smashed glass and tray upon tray of paint in various states of exhaustion and experimentation await transformation. Conscious of my scrutiny Sarah pulls my attention away to her neighbour, Tony. She marvels at his patience. Labour intensive marks measured by rule and eye are left idle for the time being as there are more important matters requiring even greater patience. Forest is playing at home. I look at Tony’s empty chair which has now acquired a pillow. Either the strain of his meticulous draughtsmanship or being an ardent fan are clearly taking their toll. The Reds are drawing at the city ground, at least someone is.

I glance in the direction of Sarah’s work once again and this time she diverts attention to Alex’s nearby table. She fingers remnants of green latex which look like Shrek’s sneeze and don’t yet fill me with intrigue. But his chicken wire is looking promising, emerging from the floor, waiting to be dressed in a patchwork coat. And just how is Alex managing the lofty heights of the Surface Project Space as previously he has been drawn to the bowels of buildings launching seven exhibitions in the basement of his student house under the tag of MinusFiftySix whilst at Loughborough. But right now I’m minus Alex and have to ponder how his pre Surface work will seed his new creative progeny."

Our EM14er's are now hosting weekend workshops for adults. Learn something new, explore the project space and see the Graduates work before their exhibition! All workshops are free with limited spaces - sign up here.

Photograph by   Joe Dixey

Photograph by Joe Dixey

Written by EM14 writer-in-residency Shelley MacDonald.