Gregor Laird: Plastic Pastorals
Q! Gallery, Glasgow, Tue 7 Oct–Sat 9 Nov
ART GALLERY SHOW
‘Living in Edinburgh,’ says artist Gregor Laird, ‘I’m kind of surrounded by the romantic ideal of Scotland on a daily basis, all the picture postcards with this beautiful scenery on them.’
Sending up these chocolate box images would be far too easy. Instead, Laird has decided to overlay them with his own interpretation of beauty. That the artist works as a designer is obvious from the works on show at this exhibition, which takes place as part of Glasgay! His landscape images are covered with bold swatches of bright, new rave, fluorescent tones, which drag their otherwise traditional feel right into the 21st century.
‘I don’t really want there to be any nastiness about these works,’ says Laird. ‘I don’t want them to be biting at other artists’ ankles. It’s not that I think there’s anything good or bad about touristy postcards, but I’m like a sponge for anything visual. I see something and reinterpret it, and what comes out is my vision. I admire the fact that an artist like Colin Prior is so successful making landscape pieces, and that he’s done it in such a populist manner. So my pieces are kind of like a skewed tribute I suppose.’
Laird (who, incidentally, used to run Luna’s Disko Bloodbath gay night when the club was still called Ego) also draws attention to the ecologically-conscious strand to his work, and this seems visible in his images of lush greenery overtaken by plastic and modernisation. But that’s not all: ‘All the vinyl I used was recycled from my work into something pretty, because there’s so much waste involved in cutting it. It’s all quite a positive project, really – it would have been to easy to go down the ‘young artist slags off established artist’ route, but what I’ve done is more like remixing their work.’