Fiona Michie: Day Is Done
Fiona Michie’s first solo Scottish show is an eerie delight, incorporating both large and small charcoal and pastel-based drawings depicting women in tandem with nature. Her take on gothic romanticism has developed from initial forays where ivy threatens to overtake the human form, to a happy coexistence.
The stark space complements the work beautifully – indeed, the exhibition is best viewed alone as the white quietness allows the viewer to get lost in the mystery of the drawings. ‘Fix Your Eyes’ is the only piece in which a modern building can be seen, but even this piece brings to mind ghost stories where supernatural eyes watch from an uppermost window. ‘Looking Death in the Eye’, meanwhile, is a sad, poignant tribute to feathered death. The theme of feathers continues in several other works; these relate to Michie’s theme of prevented escape, the desire to fly thwarted. One piece, ‘Flightless’, is placed alone in a room so that the viewer might share a personal experience with the picture.
Day is Done is a well thought out body of work, brilliantly executed and conceptualised. Michie may be her own subject, but in using herself as inspiration she creates a certain distance, giving a little bit of herself away with each mark on the paper.
Art’s Complex, Edinburgh, until Sat 5 June