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Edwyn Collins | Alec Finlay | Edward Summerton

July – August 2010

Edwyn Collins | British Bird Life
Edwyn Collins has been fascinated by birds for a long time. When he was 8 or 9 he found a fledgling greenfinch in his garden and kept it in a shoebox in his bedroom. Edwyn enjoyed long summer holidays in Helmsdale as a young boy and was excited by the wildlife he could get close to there.

In 2005 he had a stroke and brain haemorrhage. Edwyn had to learn everything again from scratch and in this time he started drawing. Firstly with ‘the guy’, then onto birds. Observe his work from the early drawings and see how the detail and definition grow with his ‘restoration’ and Edwyn starts to experiment with colour.

Edwyn is a musician, songwriter and artist. He was born in Scotland and now lives between London and Helmsdale with his wife Grace and son William.

At the age of 16 Edwyn sold his stamp collection, bought a guitar and has never looked back since. He set up the now legendary Postcard Records with his friend Alan Horne as a vehicle to release his early 80’s band Orange Juice records. With Orange Juice and as a solo artist he has released nine albums, with more in the pipeline. He is perhaps most famous for his worldwide hit ‘A Girl Like You’. His most recent album, ‘Home Again’, has been very well received by critics and fans alike.

In 2008, Edwyn exhibited his collection, British Birdlife, for the first time at the CCA in Glasgow. this year he exhibited alongside Donald Urquhart, Edward Summerton and Alec Finlay in Aviary at An Lanntair in Stornoway, Lewis. This exhibition contains his most up to date work and his first experiments with colour.

Alec Finlay | Specimen Colony
Specimen Colony is the first series of works by Alec which were developed on the basis of a nest-box structure. Each box is decorated or camouflaged by the markings of a different bird. This series was selected for the Northern Print Biennale 2009.

Alec is an artist, poet & publisher. He has exhibited widely, including BALTIC (Gateshead), Royal Scottish Academy (Edinburgh), Yorkshire Sculpture Park (West Bretton), Turner Contemporary (Margate), Sainsbury Centre for Visual Art ( Norwich), John Hansard Gallery (Southampton), Bickachsen 6 (Bad Homburg).

While artist in residence at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, he created a series of art projects on themes connected with nature and contemporary culture, AVANT – GARDE ENGLISH LANDSCAPE; at BALTIC, he created a series of publications and performances. More recently, he was at NaREC, the New and Renewable Energy Centre (Blyth), he has also completed recent projects for Milton Keynes Gallery, Kielder Partnership and Bluecoat Gallery (Liverpool).

Collaborative poetry and art projects with children, include WORDWOOD, Mesotic Laboratorium, Mesostic Curriculum and nine colours. Publishing includes the award-winning pocketbooks series, platform projects, bookscapes, morning star and web – books and poetry published in magazines and anthologies, including Island, Practice and Poetry Review.

Edward Summerton | The Empty Nests
The Empty Nest series is open to the interpretation of the viewer. Why no birds or eggs? Do they represent the fragile state of our vanishing ecology? Are the bird’s nests related or important at all? Why are there 12? Is the title “The Empty Nests” important? Has the artist’s child left home? Are they a bit Country and Western? Are they supposed to be serious, or humorous?

Edward Summerton has exhibited internationally in both solo and group exhibitions as an artist whose work has expanded from the practice of painting into photography, sound works, prints, objects and collaborations.

He co-curated Blind Sight where 50 visual artists were invited to submit sound works to be exhibited as a jukebox installation in Scotland and Finland; Doctor Skin, a unique public art event where artists designed temporary tattoos to be worn by the public; Bird of the Devil, a publication collaborating with 17 writers, and Digital VD, a one hour film work involving one minute films by 60 international artists.

Edward Summerton is currently a lecturer and researcher for the School of Fine Art, Duncan of Jordanstone College, University of Dundee and the warden at the Strict Nature Reserve.