Louise Hopkins & Carol Rhodes among artists contributing to Robert Louis Stevenson-inspired Below Another Sky
The project incorporates themes of travel, art, poetry and the Commonwealth
When Robert Louis Stevenson declared in his poem Travel exactly how much he would ‘like to rise and go / Where the golden apples grow,’ his artistic antenna was most definitely heightened. The work was first published in 1865 and he had access to neither cheap flights nor Google Earth. It is the fourth line of the poem, however, that has lent itself to an international residency programme initiated by the five bases of the Scottish Print Network.
By enabling ten artists from Scotland and ten from other Commonwealth countries to undertake research residencies, ‘Below Another Sky' gave them a taste of Stevenson’s imagined idylls. This is expressed most eloquently in two shows by Louise Hopkins and Carol Rhodes, which run in tandem at Edinburgh Printmakers over the next month, and which capture very different sets of experiences. Where Rhodes revisited India, a place that has heavily influenced her work, Hopkins, unable to travel in 2013, chose to imagine a set of landscapes, and invited other 'Below Another Sky' artists to send her souvenirs from their own expeditions.
‘Ideas about geography and topography are important to both Carol and Louise's work,’ says curator Alexia Holt, ‘so it seemed appropriate to show them together. It also seems to fit with Stevenson’s interest in their being two ways to travel, physically and through the imagination.’
This is the first public presentation of 'Below Another Sky' before a showing of all 20 artists during the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. ‘There have been lots of surprises,’ says Holt. ‘People really liked the idea of having a blank canvas, and for it not to be a directed residency, but to see what comes out of it more in the long-term.’
Edinburgh Printmakers, Sat 7 Jun–Sat 19 Jul.