Must I Paint You a Picture? (3 stars)

Transmission Gallery, Glasgow, until Fri 16 Jul

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Must I Paint You a Picture?

A members group show is typically a disparate affair. The annual Transmission exhibition, where members are given the opportunity to include a work of any size or medium, is a true Salon-style exposé, covering the walls from top to bottom and spilling over to the gallery downstairs.

The range of contributions come from students, more established artists and the current committee members, and includes drawings, sculptures, video works, and paintings, as well as a performance on the opening night. Usually a mish mash, this year the show looks particularly handsome in the new sleek gallery in Trongate 103.

The large-scale nature of this showcasing often prompts artists to include smaller, less attention seeking works, and experimental pieces are discreetly placed alongside signature works such as Michael Stumpf’s miniature talisman, Ciara Phillips’ textural screenprint and Conor Kelly’s quasi-historical narrative oil painting.

Freshly graduated from The Glasgow School of Art, newcomer Tawny Kerr presents a framed archival collage. In what seems to be a tribute to Zurich Dadaist, Hugo Ball, ‘Ba-Umf’ is a striking graphite drawing by Christian Newby. Nearby, Stuart Gurden presents ‘Blocks in Triplicate pts 1 & 2’, which includes a list of itemised ‘blocks to creativity’. The paper’s creased, dirty and worn out appearance reveals a continued interaction with it, perhaps carried in someone’s back pocket and used as a mantra.

Downstairs, hidden in a corner, is a piece by Shelly Nadashi entitled ‘Put us in a composition on a wall, quick, the teapots whispered in my ear’. Three halved old-fashioned black teapots are stacked below, and three different teapot handles displayed above. Animating the inanimate is a recurrent thread through Nadashi’s practice, but where she is known for her performance work, here the performative element reveals itself in the broken objects. Hinged between the title and the object, hangs a narrative that paints the picture of where and how they might have been pieced together by the protagonist in an anachronistic conjuring of a witch’s kitchen, magic and folklore.

This eclectic collection means quality is inconsistent, but is bound to offer something for everyone.

Must I Paint you a Picture?

  • 3 stars

Transmission's annual members show promises to be an intriguing example of current practice.

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