Saturday, 15 January 2011

Explaining Art to Animals

Here are 3 fresh new pieces I've made for an exhibition at the Richard Demarco Archive. It's a foray into fine art, which is a new thing for me.

Richard Demarco is a Scottish artist famous for his collaborations with, and championing of other artists, especially European artists, and perhaps most notably Joseph Beuys. He has an impressive archive of modern and contemporary art at Craigcrook Castle in Edinburgh.

The exhibition is called 'a' and will consist of work by 26 artists, all of us current or former Edinburgh College of Art students. (I'll post more info when I have it) The idea is that our pieces will somehow engage with the art collection.
I latched onto the image of a hare in the Beuys section. Beuys famously attempted to explain art to a dead hare (How to Explain Pictures to a Dead Hare, 1965); the hare being a sacred animal which runs free, unencumbered by borders.
Here's Beuys, his face smeared with gold and honey, guiding the hare around an art gallery:

So the first piece I did was the hare. For its companions, I chose two animals which I had seen in the garden surrounding the castle, a magpie and a squirrel.

Both are animals that compulsively gather things, and I thought that if any animal would appreciate the archive it would be them. So they've all been invited inside and their gazes will fall across abstract paintings and photographs of performance art. And we'll never know what they think.


  1. If your a furry lover you might enjoy this as it's lovely stuff.

  2. hey im lizzie, i am doing GCSE art in my school. The topic is animals. I was wondering if i can base my project around your work, as long as your an artist, that will be great :D i have follwed by email so if you would like to contact me i will be really grateful, thank you xx

  3. Hi Lizzie, of course you can.

    I don't have access to your email, so you will have to contact me at