Tuesday, 28 July 2015


RACHAEL DOCHERTY is about to embark upon joining 2nd year Sculpture and Environmental art at Glasgow School of Art. She has proclivity towards wood and natural materials in her practice with work playing strongly on the idea of  conceptual minimalism. Using building mediums for aesthetic, Docherty creates ambience through site specific pieces which cause interaction on a physical and emotional level with the viewer.

There are more female artists/designers than male in the exhibition - do you consider this an important statistic?

No, I don't really believe in gender. Gender is just another constraint that society enforces on us to ensure people conform. I don't think me being female makes my work intrinsically different from that of a man so it doesn't matter in my opinion.

How do you think your minimal style will work alongside the exhibition's mix of fine art and design pieces from a range of backgrounds?

Well I can't be entirely sure how the work is going to look side by side. We all have very different styles which could very possibly clash. However, I think the shared theme and where we chose to display the work could help combat this. My work does tend to be quite minimal and I'm hoping it doesn't get lost among the louder pieces. We'll just have to wait and see.

In the past your minimal style has highlighted traditional and natural materials, some would say speaking louder than more modern material based works due to its strong sense of form. Why do you choose to work this way, is there a particular influence which encouraged this?

Well I'm really interested in structures and boxes. Always the boxes. I've been trying to work out why. I think maybe because they're so obvious. They're like an original form, stripped back and so completely man made but they're so common that they appear almost natural. This interest in structural forms obviously influences the materials I use. If you want to construct something structurally sound you need to use materials that will hold their shape. This is why I tend to use less malleable materials, like wood or metal.

Would you say that your work is based around the theme of form rather than exploring a personal experience or idea in the style of perhaps, Richard Deacon? Or do your structural explorations look into structure in society/your own life?

Certainly, form is very important in my work but there's always more to it than that although I wouldn't say it's about purely personal experience. Possibly personal opinions that aren't completely formed. I think that saying I'm concerned with structure in society is accurate. And of course, society has an impact on my life which causes my work to be personal to some extent.

Can you share some of what ideas/topics you are exploring for Paradise?

I've been thinking about the idea of "paradise" and the thing that comes to mind for me is the impossibility of it. Society can't ever function well enough to create a paradise. I suppose the only paradise that could ever exist is one excluding the human race. It seems to me that in a utopia everyone would be happy and contented with their existence. This is impossible of course as; in our world one person's happiness relies on another's misery. I guess that's just the way humanity functions. I watched a documentary a few months back called "The Galapagos Affair: Satan came to Eden" which made me think in this line of thought. The documentary is about a few individuals who traveled to one of the Galapagos Islands in the 1930s, which was unpopulated at that time. They went there in search of a "paradise" and to escape general society. Of course, the venture ended badly, for some more than others. So this is all feeding into my work for the exhibition. I'm looking at the futility of the idea but also the hope that drives people to continue striving for perfection.

Learn more about Rachael Docherty by following the link to her page and visiting her social media outlets. You can also continue to keep up to date with the exhibition by following our instagram @paradise_exhibition and the blog




Article by Emma Hislop

Wednesday, 22 July 2015


Next week Paradise opens to the public with an after party for those who seek enlightenment.
Join the minds who created Paradise for a utopian disco.
Sounds to be heard come from
Free yourself from the cycle of rebirth
and join us in Paradise

Sunday, 28 June 2015


LORNA POLLOCK works in graphic textile design breaking the boundaries of stereotypical use. She employs everyday materials to inhabit space in a way that draws the viewer in to be left wanting. Pollock is going on to further her work with Glasgow School of Art's textiles department.

Coming from working within Tramway, how has the cultural history of the building and its place in Glasgow's arts community influenced you/your work?
Studying within Tramway was a constant source of inspiration. It taught me to appreciate and see the potential in my working environment. From the exposed peeling brick walls to the tram lines still engrained in the floors it was impossible not to incorporate these features into my work. The exhibited work at Tramway was a physical reminder of what I wanted to achieve and pushed me to work harder. The individuality of the work gave me the confidence to pursue my ideas with a sense of excitement over fear. To remain curious.
How do you feel working on an exhibition with your peers from VAS that come from a range of design and fine art backgrounds and what impact does it have on your work?
It's very exciting. From sharing a studio space together I think we were all naturally inspired by each other's work and were always keen to see what everyone was going to do next. Working in the same space as fine art students, especially those interested in sculpture, influenced me to stop restricting my ideas to two dimensions and to carry out work in the outdoor environment.
Would it be accurate to say that the viewer will experience some evidence of this for ‘Paradise’? Tell me more about how you push the boundaries of conventional design.
I would like to continue the style of work which I developed at VAS, so the environmental influence will definitely be there. However for 'Paradise' I would like to focus on a more traditional use of print. I'm often influenced my artists which practice a different specialism to myself and so the early stages of my work are always very varied. During development I think it is important to explore all lights of an idea and to not discard a possible idea because it is not traditional to my specialism. I think this method of development aids me to producing original work.
What brought you in your interests and influences to choose textile design as a specialism? Are there any obstacles you have faced from this medium?
Although I love to explore the workings of varied specialisms I find my talent lies in print. It has taken me a few years (and a few courses) to confidently decide what I want to pursue. I think it was simply through trial and error that I came to my decision to study Textile Design. I think my biggest obstacle is knowing when to choose a final design. Initially I often struggle to fling myself into a new project. However when I become engrossed in the new work I'm doing I find it difficult to decide on a final outcome because I don't want the project to end.
Do you think that a project has to end? Or that it can continue on and develop, being continually renewed or can it remain the same?
I do find comfort in knowing that I am able to return to a project if I wish. However I think it is important to try new things and develop as an artist and I think moving on from project to project changing subject matter, materials etc is vital to this.
Thinking about how you hope you will grow as a designer and as an individual, what are your plans for the future? Can you share what you may have already outlined?
Over this summer working on Paradise has really helped me work independently away from a studio space and I'd like to continue practicing individual work outside of education. For example I'd like to explore selling my work online via Etsy, Art Rookie etc. However I'm really looking forward to beginning my studies at GSA in September. My time there will definitely influence and improve my work as a designer. I currently see myself specializing in Print in the future but I'm open to that changing, I'll need to see where class projects and opportunities take me.

Learn more about Lorna Pollock by following the link to her page and visiting her social media outlets. You can also continue to keep up to date with the exhibition by following our instagram @paradise_exhibition and the blog




Article by Emma Hislop

Sunday, 14 June 2015



We are delighted to share our sponsorship from Popchips.
It is support from large businesses to small projects such as Paradise which encourages and motivates exciting opportunities.
Popchips are a delicious pressure cooked potato chips on the healthy side of snacking at only 97 calories per bag!
Snack worry free with us and popchips at our opening night launch party 31st July 7pm @ VoioidARCHIVE & The Poetry Club

Monday, 8 June 2015


RAYA MITCHELL works in a breadth of disciplines, notably exploring a blend of photography, painting and printmaking. Her recent work has featured complex layered prints using the skilled method of collagraphy and collage, her intricate style gives a sense of ghostly fragmentation and an ebb of longing. We discuss how she formulated the initial idea for Paradise and what is to be expected.
How did you come to bring about your idea for the exhibition?
Initially I gathered source material by taking my own photographs with a disposable camera. With the theme paradise in mind I wanted to capture ordinary, everyday moments that while being elevated above the mundane are far from the conventional notions we have of paradise. My thoughts to begin with were that it is these moments that are little windows into paradise. A painter that has sparked my interest recently is Christopher Orr. His artistic process begins by sourcing photographs from old Kodachrome slides and National Geographic magazines. The imagery is often combined with painterly marks and moody tones, creating subtle atmospheric scenes. Orr explains that the purpose of this process is to take the subject out of its original and dull setting and give it a completely new meaning, by putting it into a different context. Using a similar approach for acquiring source material my ideas began to change and develop. There is an obvious visual relationship between the found Kodachrome images and the images in newspapers and magazines. More often than not both sources appear to be trying to capture or chase the idea of paradise; or rather the idea of paradise is being sold to us through advertisements and the media. My work aims to question whether we have a 'predefined perception of paradise' and it is this concept which I plan to explore.
Do you feel that the use of archival source material or indeed another artist’s work as a source has the same validity as creating your own being that in today’s society almost all ideas are a recycled, repurposed version or response of/to a previous?
Personally, I think that the concepts behind the work determine whether personal or found material is more or less valid as a source. It’s extremely important to consider which sources you use when developing and refining your work; as different sources help to visually communicate different ideas. One of the most important pieces of advice I’ve been given by a tutor is that no idea is completely original. Prior to this I was always worried that my ideas were too similar to my peers or professional, practicing artists I had read about. You have to process what you learn from others, experiment with ideas and mediums and then try to successfully communicate your idea to an audience.
Have there been any concerns for the exhibition being that you are a collective of artists/designers in the early stages of your career and of a young age group?
As this is our first time organizing an exhibition we are still learning a lot however, in some ways I suppose this makes it more exciting. At the moment we aren't held back by predefined ideas of what the exhibition should be like and so, it really is one big experiment. I think it’s best to just enjoy the experience and not get too caught up about everything being absolutely perfect.
You were recently awarded funding from Young Scot and Creative Scotland’s ‘Time to shine’ fund. Can you tell me more about the fund, and how it will help the project?
The fund aims to support young, aspiring students who work in a creative field. We were very lucky to be granted a substantial amount. A share of the funding will go towards the expense of promoting the event. Thereafter, the funding is to be divided between all nine students who are participating in the exhibition; each individual has the opportunity to spend the money on what they need for their own project. As the funding will give us access to more materials and whatever else we may need; we will have more freedom and our creativity won’t be restricted by financial factors.
It is fantastic to see support for smaller arts projects from large organizations; in relation to your everyday projects do you feel stunted by financial constraints when producing work?
No, I would say that finding ways of being creative on a financial budget often leads you down a path to something more unique, being more experimental with everyday objects and materials, and trying to get the very best out of what you have to work with.
And finally, what are your hopes and dreams for the future? Being that you will embark on a degree with GSA in painting and printmaking come September.
The thought of taking up an artistic occupation is romantic and obviously every art student hopes to have a very successful career however, it’s a hard field to find your way in and it’s extremely competitive. In an interview I recently watched online, Marina Abramovich speaks of how a great artist must be to ready accept failure and not many people want to do this. Quoting her directly: ‘The real artist…always changes their territories… (Being) ready to fail, that makes a great artist.’ She further explains that ‘when you become routine that is the end of everything.’ I hope to be an artist who partakes in changing the artistic conversation, one who is always progressing and never becomes satisfied with and fixated on one idea or medium.

Learn more about Raya Mitchell by following the link to her page and visiting her social media outlets. You can also continue to keep up to date with the exhibition by following our instagram @paradise_exhibition and the blog




Article by Emma Hislop

Tuesday, 2 June 2015


MEGAN GALLACHER has been accepted into Edinburgh College of Art’s esteemed fashion course and is very open in her approach to creating her work. Her inspiration has been drawn from many different areas, including her own engagement with the fine arts. She is not held down by any discipline as such though, often her work crosses over the boundaries of what would be considered “fashion design”.

Your typical work is within the realms of fashion design. Will you be taking "Paradise" from a fashion angle?

No - for this exhibition I’m focusing on a fine art approach to objects as my source of inspiration.

Are you planning to work in a specific fine art discipline?

Hopefully sculpture. I want to explore the memories of “paradise” we attach to various material objects and the deterioration of those different memories.

What do you want the public to take away from “paradise”?

I’m hoping it will raise questions about their own objects. I intend for the audience think more about what it means to have their memories associated with items which are not necessarily “precious” in the common sense.

Can you speak on your creative process?

I like working with my hands, and manipulating/experimenting with materials. I then try to find artists sources as inspiration, relate their findings to my own, and expand on that. Not everything can be finished, so you can always go back and rework everything, which makes my “final” ideas a part of my continuing development process.

You have chosen to base this on a project at Tramway Visual Arts Studio. What has VAS been like for you and how has it affected your ability to make work?

VAS has been a excellent experience. It has opened me up in a sense, to think about everything. For example, a line not just being a line, but it’s what can I do with the line. It has allowed me to push myself in different ways.

Finally, what are the challenges and positives of not being in VAS for this exhibition?

It will be much more difficult to seek advice, hopefully I should find this from friends: everyone's working collaboration. Peers are always help in inspiration. I also think I worked so well in that space, but it will be revealing to see if I can push myself without a tutor!




Learn more about Megan Gallacher by following the link to her page and visiting her social media outlets. You can also continue to keep up to date with the exhibition by following our instagram @paradise_exhibition and the blog




Article by Freya Wilson