One of my abiding memories of seeing film footage of the Mackintosh Building in the aftermath of the Glasgow School of Art fire in June was the sight of Louise Hopkins’ temporary artwork Dance Number 2017 still clinging on for dear life to hoardings on the side of the building.
The artwork had somehow survived the ravages of the fire. Its rhythmic dancing abstract forms, designed to respond to the lines created by the scaffolding and barriers erected in the wake of the 2014 fire, defied the odds and stood their ground. Unfortunately, Dance Number had to be unceremoniously removed along with an illustrated GSA timeline in front of the Mack as part of the work to stabilise the building.
Hopkins works on an architectural scale, and for the last nine months has been developing a large-scale work of geometric abstraction made for the Cample Line gallery spaces in Thornhill, near Dumfries. To accompany it, a group of ten new and recent works on paper have been installed in tandem. Flying Fox is a new temporary commission and exhibition by Hopkins. In its dimensions, siting and concentrated arrangement of repeated colours and forms, it’s closely related to Dance Number. Flying Fox has a pared-down abstract language, arrived at by Hopkins through an extended period looking and walking around Cample
Line’s building and its surroundings. Using digital enlargement, Hopkins’
abstract imagery has been made gigantic while retaining the intimate, fluid and handmade qualities of the small watercolours she made as a starting point. The new and recent works selected by Hopkins bring a playful aspect to her exploration of context, sharing associative references with Flying Fox, as well as between themselves and with Cample Mill.
Flying Fox, Cample Mill, Thornhill, DG3 5HD, 01848 331000, www.campleline. org.uk, until December 15, Thur-Sat, 10am-4pm (or by appointment), free