Norman Gibson, Liz Treacher & Lucy Treacher
March – May 2008
Movement Through Light and Space was an exhibition of work by three different artists and a meeting of three different mediums: photography, sculpture and music. The photographic work of Liz Treacher was shown alongside sculptural works by Norman Gibson with Lucie Treacher providing a sound track for each work.
This inventive combination of photography, sculpture and music explored the kinetic activity of people and objects through an interplay of light and space. The photographs presented figures moving through illuminated atmospheres while Norman’s sculptures were formed from an intricate juxtaposition of shapes, textures and colours, with their own innate rhythm and motion. The accompany audio work reflected and reanimated the movement expressed in the photographs and sculptures, uniting all three mediums in a fluid dance of visible energies.
A fine art photographer based in Skelbo near Dornoch, Liz is interested in light and its ability to transform everyday life. She uses a 35mm camera and does not manipulate her images. She is a member of Visual Arts Sutherland and shows her work at Browns Fine Art Gallery, Tain and has a permanent exhibition of her work at Starbucks, Buchanan Street, Glasgow.
Liz was brought up in Elgin and studied French at University College London, where she became immersed in film-making, using a 16mm Bolex. Film-making led to photography and, an exploration of the black and white medium.
For this exhibition Liz presented a series of photos taken on the streets of different towns and cities. In the images low winter sun reflects off the rainy pavements, creating pools of light, the silhouettes of passers-by seem to be dancing in the incandescence and the heads of shoppers have a haloed glow and plastic bags take on a magical luminosity.
The photos are an exploration of how light transforms the everyday and the ordinary. Modern commuters become timeless marionettes and street textures are also changed; tarmac becomes toffee, pavements shine like glass. The photographer is capturing a moment in time when light becomes another dimension. Figures seem to be swimming in bright liquid and this gives the images a strong three-dimensional feel.
A sculptor and designer based in Brora, Norman has interests in landscape, archaeology and spatial memory. He was educated at art colleges and universities in Scotland and England and has exhibited at regional and national levels alongside a wide-ranging educational career north and south of the Border. His works are in many public and private collections in the UK and abroad and he has been involved in various cross-arts collaborations over the years, most recently as installation designer for Tabula Rasa’s dance work Hlysnan at Peacock Visual Arts in Aberdeen.
For seven years he was lecturer and director of studies in art and design education at Warwick University and three years as head of Arts, Design and Performance at Manchester Metropolitan University. During this period in universities, he undertook research for a PhD on the interplay of visual and verbal arts and delivered associated papers at international conferences in Finland, Canada and Portugal. He returned to Scotland in 1997 where an interest in the historic landscape was extended by studies for Aberdeen University’s Certificate Course in Field Archaeology and a Master’s Degree in Archaeology and Heritage at the University of Leicester.
In the work exhibited at Timespan, Norman’s sculptures provided a contrast to the swift and fleeting mobility of Liz’s urban photographs, his work suggesting a slower pace and longer durations. Some of the works presented hinted at mechanical movement in the technical world while others pointed towards time and change across archaeological periods and terrains.
Lucie is a young composer, singer-songwriter and pupil at Dornoch Academy. Although only 13, she has already attracted a lot of interest. She sings and plays guitar, piano and violin. She records and produces her own compositions and performs regularly in venues throughout the Highlands.
Lucie composed a number of audio works for the pieces on show in this exhibition. The soundtrack to Liz’s photographs invoked the hypnotic fluidity of the inner-city melody, interrupted by city sounds and the rhythm of footsteps, inviting the viewer to join in the shoppers’ dance. For the individual sculptures, the different melodies opened up new emotive dimensions and provided the viewer with musical keys to unlock the different elements and set them in sonic motion.