On Friday 15 June, ROSL ARTS travelled to Glasgow to see the fruits of our Visual Art Scholarship 2017 with Artist Stephanie Hier, David Dale Gallery, and our residency at Hospitalfield.
Taking the train east to Bridgeton and a walk through the industrial streets will lead you to David Dale Gallery & Studios, formerly David Dale College. Named after the eighteenth-century businessman who set up Britain’s first Turkey-red dyeing works in the area, David Dale had a great influence on business practice in the UK and owned much of the land in Glasgow, some of which has retained his name. This area has not yet been gentrified and therefore enables impressive space for creative output, 18 Studios reside on the first floor, outdoor courtyards, and a naturally lit gallery on the ground floor.
The gallery currently boasts a bright green floor, a last-minute decision made by Stephanie as she brought the exhibition Walnuts and pears you plant for your heirs together in the space. Hier is originally from Toronto but lives and works in Brooklyn, New York, so the exhibition was developed remotely with only a week to install the work, much of which has been shipped from the US to be presented in Glasgow.
Looking at the exhibition, there are beautiful moments of painting which are playfully transported into contemporary culture with references to production, consumerism, and recognisable imagery. Cartoons and temporary tattoos appear a lot in Hier’s current work, which juxtaposes the depth and traditional references held in her painting style, one that is comparable to that of the Dutch masters in both form and subject. The traditional depictions of food and flowers with shadow and light sits beside Disneyesque flattened images with simplified lines.
There are references to the painting process with cartoons painting the walls, ceramic frames adorned with paint brushes and tubes, as well as a hypnotic film depicting the process of making paint and featuring a happy cartoon painted animation by Hier, skipping in the middle of the frame. She layers all these elements in a manner so that it would not be unbelievable for them to have been undertaken by different artists completely. The styles do not match and makes the work lose context, an element that reflects the artist's interest in the consumption of images in digital form and the equal plane on which they are all presented. The internet blends high and low culture seamlessly, a blending that is paralleled in Hier’s work.
The low, consumerist culture is highlighted with temporary tattoos that present something decorative but fleeting in their common use but here they are permenant and used to highlight elements of the exhibition, such as the ceramic cabbage on the floor or the line of a painting on the wall. There are so many elements to Hier’s work that can be investigated, examined and discussed, while the final pieces are meticulously produced, clever and beautiful. The exhibition can be universally understood with references that translate around the globe and the work has a sense of humour as Hier presents the very traditional medium of painting alongside references that take all the unwanted formality out of the final exhibition.
It has been a pleasure to work with David Dale Gallery in Glasgow and Stephanie Hier. ROSL ARTS is proud to have enabled this exhibition while supporting the great work of David Dale and introducing our members to this exhibition space and the fantastic Stephanie Hier, who is well worth keeping an eye on as her career progresses.
You can own some of Stephanie’s work from the exhibition as David Dale Gallery are selling editions, visit their website to find out more.