10 - 20 DECEMBER 2020
OPEN DAILY 12 - 4PM
MARKET HALL, VICTORIAN MARKET
We are delighted to be working in collaboration with Inverness’ historic Victorian Market to present a new exhibition, Super Market, across a series of empty shop units in the Market Hall.
The group exhibition features 20 artists invited to take inspiration from the market’s history, paying tribute to the wide variety of former shops and previous tenants. It will feature window commissions and film works alongside a series of guided tours and weekend workshops delivered following Covid-19 guidelines.
Find out more about the Thursday night tours and family weekend workshops here.
Find out more: each unit has a QR Code on the window with more information about the artist’s presentation. Simply use the camera on your smart phone to access this or click on the artists' images below.
Covid-19: we ask that you observe social distancing and follow the one-way system in the Market Hall, indicated by arrows on the floor. There are a few shop spaces which are open for you to go inside and see the artwork, a maximum of two people or one family bubble are allowed inside each unit at one time.
Thank You: we would like to thank Jo Murray and all the staff at The Victorian Market, High Life Highland’s Exhibitions Unit and Highland Signs for their support.
Unit 1: former ‘Beauty Box’
The Dream Box installation is a three-dimensional drawing where the objects are taken out and enlarged from the artist’s two dimensional paintings. The Dream Box is a place where to escape from grim reality. Here you are allowed to dream with your eyes opened and immerse yourself in a different environment. You can find here a dream garden, with a collection of plants from different realities and sweet little Nothings who don’t have any other purpose apart of being cute and beautiful.
Evija Laivina (1978) was born in Latvia. She graduated from University of Highlands and Islands in 2019 with BA Hons degree in Contemporary Art and Contextualised Practice. Her work explores beauty, body positivity and human condition. Her creative work includes drawing, painting, sculpture, installation and photography. She believes that insights in art are supported by a cross- disciplinary practice and she finds her work in one discipline will influence her work in another. Past work includes the Beauty Warriors collection of photographs featuring strange and unusual-looking beauty products. The project received the LensCulture Portrait 2017 award and was nominated for Henry Nannen 2019 Award in Germany. In response to the shops former use, as the Beauty Box.
Thomson & Craighead
Unit 2: former ‘Saffron’
In Unit 2 we will be screening ‘Saffron’ by Thomson & Craighead, a documentary portrait of Kasia Pogo who ran the world food shop from this space. Kasia sold a dizzying array of specialist foods from the four corners of the world to her customers visiting the shop from all over the Scottish Highlands and Islands. Kasia is the bridge between a network of global trade and a diverse clientele making their pilgrimages to her shop - whether they are recent immigrants to the region in search of comfort foods from home, or Scottish born and bred food explorers of world cuisines. In this short film the artists explore just who comes to the shop and why in a bid to reveal an intersectional map of sorts that represents something of the region’s often hidden diversity. Part portrait of Kasia herself, and part landscape and map of her clientele, this documentary artwork will seek to offer a unique view of the Highland region where foods from all over the world become touchstones between covalent cultures thriving and surviving in the Scottish Highlands.
Jon Thomson and Alison Craighead work across video, sound, sculpture, installation and online space, using technology as a means to reformulate fundamental human questions for contemporary times. Thomson & Craighead have shown extensively at galleries, film festivals and for site-specific commissions in the UK and internationally. Venues include: the British Film Institute, London; SPACE, London; FACT, Liverpool; DCA Dundee Contemporary Arts; bitforms, New York; New Museum, New York; and the Berkeley Art Museum, California.
Image: Saffron, Jon Thomson & Alison Craighead, (detail) film still, 2018, commissioned by Inverness Museum & Art Gallery
Unit 3: former ‘Esoteric Earth’ crystals
In Unit 3, our latest graduate intern Sophie Brown will be exhibiting. Sophie graduated from Grays School of Art this year. During her final years of study, her work began to focus on distorting historic Feminist theory on the female body and how it is viewed by society. Her practice is fundamentally concerned with the formation of Toxic Masculinity within Western society, with particular focus on the study of individuals who have gained large-scale media attention following the #MeToo Movement within the scope of sexual abuse and violence.
Throughout the early days of lockdown, she was inspired by her own frustration at the situation and decided to curate a live-stream exhibition (“I’M A CREEP”) through Instagram that featured 30 minute talks by herself and four other artists over the course of an evening in June. She acted as host, prompting the other participants with questions about their practice and their experiences over the past few months.
Image: I Am The Father Of Four Daughters (detail), sculpture, courtesy of Sophie Brown
Unit 4: former ‘Da Africa’
Exhibiting in the former Da Africa shop, is Fadzai Mwakutuya, an artist from Zimbabwe living in the Scottish Highlands. As an artivist she's makes thought provoking socially engaged artwork. "Artivism is my cathartic process to transcend from negative systems of oppression..an emptying of the neverending clogged mindset."
Her work explores her identity and sense of purpose within the varied cultural environments she exists in, within the western diaspora and Africa. An introvert by default, Fadzai is an existentialist preferring to spend solitary time, researching varied concepts. Embedded in her work is the recurring theme of multiple identities, lost or stolen identities. Reflecting on her creative process Fadzai creates social statements in her art, scrutinising, questioning or challenging convention and norms of human nature. She finds comfort in both solitary and collaborative creation of artwork rejuvinating in her, a sense of purpose, a form of self expression. Often using unconventional techniques like burning, charring and creating layers using resist methods, she applies her critical thinking and research process, reflecting on intersectional themes. Her projects forge links with traditional and contemporary practice which inform our diverse cosmopolitan landscape. Adopting a multi media process allows Fadzai to juxtapose art making methods, layering natural with man made broken found objects.
Image: Cracked Resolution, textile piece, image courtesy of Fadzai Mwakutuya, photograph by Ewan Bush
Unit 6: former Fish Shop
Since graduating in 2016 from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design with BDesHons in Illustration, Jacqueline Briggs has been working from her studio in Inverness Creative Academy. Much of her work is an exploration of nature and culture and how these two elements interact. Being from Papua New Guinean and Scottish heritage, these contrasting cultures and landscapes provide a source of rich inspiration. Recently Jacqueline created a mural exhibited at Eden Court as part of the Scottish Black Lives Matter Mural Trail. She is currently exhibiting an installation as part of Dundee's 'Festive Windows' project. From March 2020-October 2020 she worked on 'The Sea Inside' Cromarty community art project with fellow young artists Alice Taylor and Izzy Thomson researching local knowledge, sea stories and folklore surrounding the area resulting in a community artwork based around local's personal connection with the coast. This provided inspiration for a series of fish paintings based around the most commonly caught fish in Scottish waters. Jacqueline is in Unit 6 which had traditionally been a fish shop for many decades.
Image courtesy of Jacqueline Briggs
Unit 7: former ‘Rachel Jane, Healer & Holistic Hairdresser’
Exhibiting in Unit 7 is visual artist Catriona Meighan, she has a diverse creative practice exploring the expanded field of painting, printmaking, installation and socially engaged work. Research can involve walking and physically exploring places, looking at archival and historical material, reading, initiating conversations, and working with a range of materials. Outputs can be physical objects, collaborative works, and events. She produces painted works, printmaking, collage, artist books and uses installation and expanded painting when exhibiting work in the public sphere, working in communities and collaborate in a variety of ways. Outcomes of her practice can be a deeper understanding of material process, of a particular theme or issue and a raised awareness of these things in context. Taking the previous tenant, a hairdresser and healer, as inspiration to investigate aspects of hairdressing and haircare seldom considered. Superstition and hearsay meet a whimsical exploration of salon naming.
Image courtesy of Catriona Meighan
Unit 8: former ‘The Candy Box’
Exhibiting in Unit 8 is artist Holly Osborne. Osborne graduated from GSA in 2018 and has since returned to the Highlands. Her practice reflects on stereotypes, ideals and mundanity, using drawing, painting, ceramics and sculpture as a vehicle. She is a collector of images, gathering material from a range of different sources - stock photos, screenshots, vintage knitting patterns, adverts, social media, etc. Osbornes artistic practice draws from contemporary sources, finding images mostly from online. She engages with our relationship to image in the PostInternet condition, working from photos taken from television, her phone or even directly from the moving image onscreen as life drawing. Staged, awkward figures come into play, questioning our aspirations. Engaging with a disquieting humour, she aims to unsettle and seduce with these darkly comical characters. Crude yet witty depictions that grasp the fallacy of image and our perception of others. Taking inspiration from the units past as The Candy Shop, Osborne’s creating a site specific candy land, complete with strange inhabitants.
Image: Creature, knitted sculpture, 2018-2020, image courtesy of Holly Osborne
Unit 11: former ‘Imperial Music’
In Unit 11 is Inverness based artist Jack Kay. Jack’s exhibited work draws on the history of the Victorian Market Hall and the memories locked within, channelling the fish, meat and game traders of the past and his own memories of the ‘Imperial Music’ record shop, which were all located in Market Hall by the Church Street entrance. Jack is a political protest artist, his work focuses on social-political topics, where he explicitly illustrates the conversations, consequential impact and aftermath of such themes on modern human society. He is primarily a sculptor, but also uses photography and digital imagery in his practice.
Image courtesy of Jack Kay
Unit 13: Souvenir Shop
A postcard project organised by Isabel McLeish. See the postcards here.
Unit 14: former ‘Chocolate Story’
Hester Grant, originally from Dumfries and Galloway, is now based in Inverness having graduated from UHI Moray School of Art in 2016, BA Fine Art (Hons). Hester’s artistic practice explores the concept of "obscenity" through examining how mainstream pornography, illegal drugs, the fashion industry and "lad culture" affects society. She is inspired by artists such as Isa Genzken, Aurel Schmidt and Ryan Trecartin and filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky. Hester takes a performative approach to creating work, presenting pieces under the character of "Lidl Kim". Lidl Kim's Penne Palace displays how changeable the value of consumer goods is and how ridiculous the fashion industry is. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, people were stockpiling pasta and toilet paper while it didn't matter how fabulous we looked as we were all stuck at home with no one to look at us. Hester decided to create jewellery out of pasta to show how worthless expensive jewellery and fashion accessories are and what truly matters is survival.
Image courtesy of Hester Grant
Unit 16: former ‘Inverness Model Shop’
In 2017, professional photographer and film maker Paul Campbell, carried out a short project covering the people behind the counter, documenting some the faces of the businesses within the Victorian Market. The approach was simple, see the traders as they are, as we would see them ourselves as we enter the shop.
Paul’s work marks the contrast between the; sterile faceless world of retail and the bland homogenisation of the High Street across the country, against the diversity of traders in the market’s independent business’s. The collection of portraits highlights the community spirit, the uniqueness of the premises and the individuality of each shop owner. The portfolio of images will be projected in Unit 16. Paul is also a director of the Flow Photography Festival, an international festival celebrating photography in all its forms held biennially across the north of Scotland.
Image: Nancy, Rattray’s Joke Shop, courtesy of Paul Campbell
Unit 18: former ‘The Highland Cake Fairy’
Nicola Gear is a visual artist living on a converted barge on the Caledonian Canal and farming a croft in Diabaig. Her sound installation in unit 18, 'Ceilidh Kitchen', explores how food nourishes stories. Drawing is the quiet place that forms and feeds Nicola’s work; moving through the landscape on the boat, working the croft or in the city. Drawings develop in two different sketchbooks, one traditional and one digital audio recorder. From there her work branches out into public space, collaborating, involving people, using interactive installations, performance and sound.
Unit 19: former ‘Lauran's Locks’ hairdresser
Cailleach Collective is a community for, and by, young creatives in the Highlands. It aims to provide space and opportunity for young people to create as their most authentic selves, hoping to make this space as limitless and free as possible. The film shown in Unit 19 tells the story of the collective and outlines their manifesto. Cara, Maddie, Rosanna and Katie first met in the summer of 2016 at an Artist's Retreat hosted by Room 13 and have each pursued their artistic development since. A collective was always something they wanted to create, but it was not till lockdown this year that they reconnected and launched Cailleach Collective. The four artists all feel strongly about increasing access and connection across the arts in the Highlands, to provide opportunities such as they had and where they met. Finding other like-minded people really changed their lives and gave them hope, inspiration and mutual support for the future. The aim of Cailleach Collective is to give others the same feeling of connection that they experience themselves as a group.
Unit 20: former ‘Rattray's Joke Shop, Plants & Seeds’
Sadie takes up the mantle of Nancy who traded in the market for over 40 years with her dad and uncle, focussing particularly on the plants that Nancy stocked and sold. Graduating in Fine Art (Hons) from Moray School of Art UHI in 2019, Sadie’s current practice uses weeds as a metaphor to explore our relationship with the constructed narrative used by the media to discuss topics of a social, political and historical nature. The similarities in the language used to describe displaced plants and displaced people allow an exploration of issues such as control and belonging, to be examined through a different lens. Using collective voices and disjointed phrases, Sadie hopes to question the impact this rhetoric has on us and our views on these subjects. In her practice Sadie uses low value, temporary materials, such as mono-prints on newsprint, Plaster of Paris and Papier-mâché to further question the value of both the language and the ways in which they appear in our lives.
Unit 20: former ‘Rattray's Joke Shop’
Jack Catling’s performance work Into the Woods is shown as film. It invites a glimpse between stage sets, a moment to catch the breath in passing, and expel it in a new configuration before carrying on. Jack Catling is an artist working mainly through the mediums of performance, film, and installation. Through his practice, he aims to bring about space for wonders to occur, and doubts to flourish. He draws from his background in illusion, his interest in the value and perpetuity of symbols, and a shady past built from various fictions. Jack studied BA Fine Art at the Royal College of Art (2015 – 2017) and MA Fine Art Sculpture at Chelsea College of Art & Design (2005-2008). He is a founding member and director of the performance group, Parlour Collective, a group of contemporary artists, musicians, and film-makers dedicated to exploring history and mythology from imagined perspectives, and also co-director of Cabaret Melancholique.
Unit 23: former ‘Ancestral Name Services’
A film of Holly’s performance with costumes, Too Many Marys, can be viewed in Unit 23, new film recorded in 2020. Holly Slingsby (born 1983, UK) is based in Margate, UK. She studied at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, Oxford University and the Slade School of Art, London. Her practice centres on performance and uses props, costumes and video. Her most recent work explores the female body in relation to fertility myths and medicine. Holly has had solo exhibitions and performances at CRATE, Margate (2019); Margate Festival (2018); Bòlit, Centre d'Art Contemporani, Girona (2016); Tintype, London (2015); DKUK, London (2015); and SHIFT., London (2012). Her work has been shown widely at venues in London. In 2018 she published an artist’s book with Publication Studio London and The Bower; and participated in the international touring exhibition Transitional States: Hormones at the Cross roads of Art and Science.