Drawing on Drawing

ECA Sculpture Court until 4th March

The exhibition being shown at the Edinburgh College of Art, Drawing On Drawing, is an amalgamation of the work of students, staff and alumni of the college, in all types of media and themes.

Being held in the sculpture court and various surrounding corridors and balconies, the exhibition is well worth a look, purely for the value in viewing the work of developing artists. It is interesting also because of the political and cultural comment often found in the works.

One of the most striking pieces of art can be found in the sculpture court, by James Brown. The piece shows a three-dimensional representation of a cityscape, seen in a large square laid out on the floor. Its colour is an overwhelming variety of shades of grey and shows many other entities among its confused mass:  rats, an anatomical heart and a notepad with numbers written upon it, and the sequence ‘999’ with a circle drawn around it. The piece is busy and crowded, with a dark vibrancy that suggests the coexistence of so many different entities in harmony within the city itself.

Another piece of highly evocative art is the collection of prints labelled ‘pork chops’ by Bobby Nixon, which show in strongly contrasted monochrome skeletal, seemingly malnourished figures in five different stills, in which the figures often seem to dangle mid-air in abstract.

In one of the stills a ravenous pit-bull leaps through the blackness, with disproportionately large eyeballs hanging in mid-air, all the while surrounded by the long, thin vines of plants. The whole piece alludes to the sort of medieval art in which figures are biblically tortured for their sins in a Dante-inspired Hell.

The exhibition as a whole is understated and somewhat arbitrary in its layout, but the quality of its content speaks for itself, and, perhaps typically of student art, raises a lot of questions about society and our place in the wider world. It is therefore a challenging and intriguing exhibition.

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