CRITIC’S CHOICE

The Herald Magazine - - Arts VISUAL -

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

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