Fresh talent to make waves at new exhibition

Artworks by a wave of remarkable talent in Scotland are being showcased at a new Talbot Rice Gallery exhibition.

Ten artists are displaying their work at the University of Edinburgh’s contemporary art gallery in the show Meet me at the threshold from 26 March to 21 May 2022.

The exhibition brings together the work of the Talbot Rice Residents, emerging and re-emerging artists who joined the gallery as part of a two-year national scheme.

Supporting talent

The Gallery partnered with Edinburgh College of Art to host the group as part of the Freelands Artist Programme, which supports artists in the early stages of their career.

The artists have drawn upon a range of influences and events for the exhibition, including ancestral lineage, intimate personal relationships and the translation of language.

Questions around human agency and our responsibility for objects and materials, are also explored in some of the works.

Using video, sound, drawing, textiles and sculpture, the evocative exhibition contains moments of grief, joy, resistance, intimacy and fracture, organisers say.

Aideen Doran

Aideen Doran’s video Depositions of the Despoiled Subject (2021) weaves together family history, parliamentary records and oral testimony to reflect upon truth and testimony in the artist’s hometown of Lurgan, Northern Ireland. 

Originating from a chance encounter at the grave of John Furfey, a ten-year-old boy who was murdered by law enforcement agents in 1879, the work intertwines Furfey’s story with accounts of 1970s rent strikes and 17th century uprisings.

Jenny Hogarth

Jenny Hogarth presents an intimate, diary-style portrait of her relationship with her eldest child Bo, through a new multi-channel video work. Created using body-mounted cameras, the work offers first-person vantage points as the pair spend time together cycling, shopping for books, getting lost in a maze, and practicing yoga.

Filmed over several years, the work is a window into their private time together and reveals how Bo’s autism shapes his life – capturing moments of humour, tension and tenderness within the everyday.

Sulaïman Majali

Sulaïman Majali presents arab reclining by a stream, an installation that takes its title from William Holman Hunt’s 1854 watercolour of the same name. A reproduction of the painting sits amid items found in a preparation and storage space located between a former museum and lecture theatre. Majali uses languages of the studio to encounter empire through the magic operation of poetic speech.

Stephanie Mann

Stephanie Mann brings together elements from her extensive research within the University’s collections and geology department. Mann’s explorations into how objects materially and historically exist includes pulverising unwanted items from collections and experimenting with implanting their dust into rocks to create new specimens and complex formations.

The varying success and points of resistance to her efforts deepen her philosophical inquiry into the agency of objects and their ability to refuse or withstand human intention.

Rosie O'Grady

Rosie O’Grady has created a series of photograms – photographic images made without a camera – based on an encounter with distinctive rock formations at Ploumanac’h, Brittany, France. The same rocks were photographed in 1926 by British Surrealist painter Eileen Agar, who framed them comically to emphasise their anthropomorphic quality.

O’Grady makes digital images analogue by exposing picture from the screen of her phone onto light-sensitive paper. She uses this technique to trace processes of translation, examination and influence.

Sarah Rose

Sarah Rose's work is concerned with the life cycles of materials and how they can be reclaimed and recovered.

Her works – including a custom-made ‘serpent’ brass-wind instrument and a discarded underwater cable casing – entwine historical and symbolic narratives, and raise questions of how nature and human intervention co-exist, overlap and conflict in both the aftermath of empire and the present ecological crisis.

Rae-Yen Song

Rae-Yen Song presents three large fabric works, a series of drawings and a gnomic sculpture – all carrying the elaborate story of may-may songuu – a cautionary tale about the origins of appetite and consumption.

The multi-layered narrative, woven with personal memories and aspects of a sisterly relationship, offers a modern fable on the origins of appetite, consumption and greed and is told with irreverent humour and a distinctive colour palette.

Eothen Stearn

Eothen Stearn brings together her research into the University’s Lothian Heath Services Archive and presents the first in an ongoing series of interviews she is conducting with key figures that lived Edinburgh in the mid-1980s when the city became known as the AIDS capital of Europe. An AIDS activist, DJs and a GP and Professor of Addiction Medicine recount their relationship with the crisis, recalling moments of grief, kinship, resilience and solidarity.

As well as these first-hand accounts, Stearn compiles her own screen-prints, materials from the archive and original footage from JOY – a legendary Edinburgh club night that united marginalised communities in reaction to Section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988 which banned local authorities and schools from 'promoting homosexuality'.

Tako Taal

Tako Taal’s moving-image work, Departures, is a poetic meditation on absence, and distance. Her camera traces the surface of the naming blanket that she has had since birth, emphasizing its embroidered patterns and signs of age of use.

Shadows cast by unseen figures pass behind it as a poem written by the artist’s late father is recited by his two brothers - one in Gambia, the other in Florida. Their disparate voices unite as they recall and utter the words of their absent brother.

Mona Yoo

Mona Yoo’s light and sound installation pulsates from the gallery’s windows. Sited at the threshold between outside and inside, the work resonates differently as day turns into night.

The light moves rhythmically to the sound of the artist’s voice as she imitates an English and Korean translation of ‘I am the space where I am’ in morse code. The sounds are recited over and over, until they falter and break down.

We are delighted to open Meet me at the threshold, an exhibition of new works by our Talbot Rice Residents. The artists explorations range from colonial histories, to ‘90s club sub-cultures – from geological investigations to physiological experiments – together they demonstrate a vast range of conceptual enquiry and skilled production. We can’t wait to share the work of these exciting emerging artists with our public audience.

Stuart FallonAssistant Curator of Talbot Rice Gallery

Talbot Rice Gallery 

Images credit - Neil Hanna Photography

Homepage image  - Rae Yen Song