Tools For Survival‘ an exhibition by Jenny Pope, Liz Douglas and Felicity Bristow

Exhibition Preview: Thursday 8th August, 6-8pm
Exhibition continues: 9th – 30th August

For this exhibition the artists have created new work that investigates ‘tools for survival’ with a specific focus on the urban environment of Glasgow in relation to green space, the ‘hurricane low Q’ in 1968 and the 2002 Glasgow flash floods and other relevant sources to inspire, question and challenge notions of what it is that is required to ‘support our survival’ in current times both on a personal level and in abstract in a contemporary visual context.

Jenny Pope |

Jenny Pope is fascinated with tools, the human doer in her loves to collect rusty objects, catalogue, reconfigure, make and enquire. The human being in her asks questions around personal change processes, our ability to be open and fluid alongside our tendency to remain stuck.

Jenny thinks of survival in psychological terms, she makes objects to convey both the desire for change as well as the ambivalence around the awkwardness of the process. In this exhibition Jenny is combining the presentation of her ‘Tools to Evoke Change’ sculptures with disused surgical trolleys, alluding to individual crisis as well as questions raised concerning around our current climate emergency. In her work Jenny endeavors to create talismans for hope in the future, along with mechanisms to deal with the difficult and often overwhelming overload of information from digital and personal sources. She has used the act of crocheting (in Sunrise Catchers) as a meditative process to deal with personally challenging times. She has envisaged the green spaces around the Briggait as places for early morning contemplation

Liz Douglas |

The aim of this new work by Liz Douglas is “Transformation” and what it takes to ‘Transform’ our humble objects into works of art. The object that is of particular interest to her is an 18th century shepherd’s lantern from the Live Borders Selkirk Museum Archive. ‘The Shepherd’s Calendar’ by James Hogg (Edinburgh University Press, 2002) contains historical narratives about shepherds’ in the 17th and 18th century who endured violent snowstorms.

The metaphor of the lantern is one of survival, light and dark, illumination and vision. These metaphors are from a rural environment but equally relevant to an urban environment.

The qualities of fragility, strength and structure are elements that she is exploring; particularly how to strengthen papers using different methods and materials. In her investigations into materiality Liz has been considering several questions including: Can we still read the weather? Are these observational skills still needed and used? Do we rely too much on the ‘experts’ and the weather apps to tell us what the weather is and is going to be? Are we in danger of losing the ability to observe and make independent decisions which impact on our survival?

Her focus in Glasgow is ‘hurricane low Q’ – a ferocious storm which struck Glasgow without warning in mid-January 1968.

Liz Douglas acknowledges support towards this project from a Visual Artist and Craft Maker Award: South of Scotland 2019 in partnership with Creative Scotland.

Felicity Bristow |

Felicity Bristow has been working very specifically with the idea of physical and mental ‘flooding’ from natural and personal sources, reflecting on local rural and national urban issues of climate change (increased flooding of rivers in the Scottish Borders, recent flash floods in cities resulting from existing drainage systems not being able to cope with sudden deluges) and the exhausting perceived pressure to work or be actively communicating and responding 24 hours a day via social media and other online connections.

Felicity has been researching emergency ‘flood kits’ designed to aid people to survive and deal with the overwhelming and destructive force of the excessive flow of water from the natural and built environment. While researching what is needed to help survive a flood she has also been reflecting on her process of experimental making as a device for creating a kit for mental resilience.

Using an exploration of the physical exhibition space and making as a method of meditation for personal survival and reflection she is presenting a series of ‘flood books’, ‘lifelines’ and sculptural ‘disambiguations’.