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Gathering - Intervention: Marian Casey
The second intervention for Gathering, which includes getting a tattoo...
Until Saturday 16 February
Donations welcome, free entry
Curator Marian Casey's live intervention in Gathering seeked to provide a new lens through which to examine Francis Macdonald’s (1873-1922) oeuvre.
Casey, in collaboration with Evan Paul English – a Brooklyn-based interdisciplinary visual and tattoo artist - will offered to tattoo a very small design based on Frances Macdonald’s work on the heel or ball of visitors’ feet. These are the parts of the body where tattoos are the most temporary, and the rate at which the tattoos fade differ depending on how calloused the feet of the visitor are and how much time they spend on their feet. In this way, the body and action of the visitor will participate in the collaging of Macdonald’s legacy, acting in both the reframing/restoration and the erasure of her work, as the tattoo gradually fades.
The project explores collage as a manifestation of temporality, absence, and the collision and unification of disparate elements. It is a reinterpretation of Macdonald’s work as collage through vision and practice, a meditation on gender and cultural memory, and as an experiment in collage-making itself. The space of the grotto will act as a living collage, as the designed space, the body of the curator, and the bodies of visitors all move together to push together/pull apart as a total collaged work.
About Frances Macdonald
Frances Macdonald was part of the Glasgow Four, a group of artists, designers, and architects that comprised of herself, her sister Margaret Macdonald, Margaret’s spouse Charles Rennie Mackintosh, and Frances’ spouse Herbert MacNair.
The Glasgow School of Art is regularly credited to Mackintosh alone. However, the first half of the building was designed when the Four were still working together in Glasgow, and both halves of the building (completed in 1899 and 1909) show Frances and Margaret’s distinctive influence in their interiors. The destructive fires the Glasgow School of Art suffered in 2014 and 2018, in addition to MacNair’s destruction of most of Macdonald’s work after her death, have contributed to Macdonald’s comparatively limited recognition. The repeated physical destruction and rebuilding of Frances’ legacy mirror the cycles of erasure and rediscovery visited upon women artists by the fashions of art historical discourse.
If we define collage as creation of an artistic whole through experimental use of non-traditional, unexpected disparate elements, Macdonald’s work, both individually and collaboratively with the Four, embodies collage through its material state, method of creation, conceptual underpinnings and creative influences.