We’ve all seen art for sale in cafés and restaurants, but what about an exhibition in your local watchmaker’s shop? Process is an exhibition hosted by Paulin’s Stockbridge branch in Edinburgh, bringing the work of thirteen local artists together in the cabinets and on the walls. It is a fitting theme for a horologist’s temple, with each artist responding through different media and in varying directions.
Will Knight’s scale drawing of a Watchmaker’s Workspace is a good example of the symbiosis that this exhibition has created between creative spheres – the craftsmanship of a watchmaker echoed here in Knight’s architectural technique.
Laura Sayers, Glasgow-based artist who is usually found creating intricate miniature figures and detailed scenes from paper, has created a work made from her offcuts, asking us to think about negative space and pattern, turning waste into a pleasing composition. Other artists include Angus Henderson, Danka Nisevic, Callum Russell, Lauren Li Porter, Hatti Voar, Clementine Carriere, Jake Hemingway, Morven Mulgrew, Rachel Brown, Chris Silver and Susan Castillo. There’s something for everyone with textiles, ceramics, prints, drawings and paintings on display.
The exhibition was a chance to showcase both emerging and established artists primarily from Glasgow and Edinburgh, curator Aimee Murphy tells me. ‘It’s a really tough time for artists at the moment and it was great to have the opportunity to give them a platform.’ Murphy has successfully gathered together an eclectic mix of artists after an overwhelming response to the initial open call. As a result of the interest in the exhibition, she hopes they will be able to keep the space as a flexible creative workshop and gallery with new exhibitions every few months.
I was quite ready to see this purely as a canny marketing move from Paulin, designed to lure in more visitors with a surplus of ‘artisanal’, ‘handcrafted’ goods – every hipster’s buzzwords. After speaking to the curator, however, I have been convinced that this is a genuine attempt to think in new terms about the role of independent retailers and see their potential to work alongside other creatives for mutually beneficial purposes in these tough times. Paulin takes considerably less commission than a commercial gallery would and the artists were given the choice of putting their work in purely for display or for sale. The result? A celebration of the care of craftspeople, whether they’re a painter, a potter, an architect or a watchmaker.
Process will remain on until mid-January.
With thanks to Flora Zajicek for this review – Instagram and Twitter @florazajicek