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Briggait One

In her first Glasgow Solo- Exhibition, April explores the inherent agency of our surrounding landscape, manifested through the transient nature of both its animals and materials. Utilizing her experiences as a woman moving through varied landscapes as a methodological approach, April delves into questions of animal, human, and non-human agency. Her observations of Scottish Post-Industrialism and local stories of heritage reveal the interplay between decay and transition evident in our material landscapes, from rural Lanarkshire to the built city of Glasgow. Navigating the intersectionality of painting and sculpture, she transforms the gallery space into a space where refusal and desire intersect, herding the audience along specific pathways with blocks of material colour.

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April is the 2023 recipient of the SSA x Wasps Award, with the prize being a solo exhibition at The Briggait in Glasgow. In Beyond the Surface, April explores the inherent agency of her surrounding rural landscape, manifested through the transient nature of both its animals and materials.

Beyond the Surface - April - Wasps (waspsstudios.org.uk)

"My work is an abstract exploration of landscape and of the processes I observe within it. It is figurative, colourful and highly gestural. I live in a rural town placed between Glasgow and Edinburgh, which holds a rich industrial heritage, situated off of the River Clyde. My practice is rooted in painting and sculpture, exploring these moments in nature of collapse, of renewal and regeneration, of land ownership & place making.

I paint large-scale canvases using acrylics. Acrylic paint can be a challenging medium, it dries fast so you need to react. A comparison I like to make is between painting to this scale and feeling intimidated by the force of nature. Quite often I am hiking and the weather turns or I am caught in a storm, there is a tension and a weight to these frames which sparks questions of body and agency that my smaller works don’t. 

Quite often, I am masking off, I am painting and repainting areas of the canvas. The surface of the work is layered with a lot of information, finding this balance is something I am still very much exploring, as at one stage, the abundance of information can crumble into a sea of nothing. So there needs to be this blank space, which collapses and coexists with the other side.

Quiet retellings of landscape exist within my work, small moments that perhaps would otherwise go unnoticed. The animal wool caught up in the barbed wire, the brightly coloured rope binding together specific objects.

In Sculpture and Environmental Art, at GSA, we regard context as half of the work. Yet perhaps artistic situation is half of practice. 

My exploration of my rural situation in Lanarkshire, contrasted by my time of study in the built city of Glasgow, makes for a rich feeding ground of information for my practice."

April is a Glasgow based contemporary artist working predominantly through sculpture and painting. She studied a BA(Hons) in Fine Art, Sculpture and Environmental Art & most recently a Master of Letters in Fine Art, Sculpture & Performance, at the Glasgow School of Art. Her recent exhibitions include work shown at: The Royal Scottish Academy, House for an Art Lover, French Street Gallery, Wasps South Block & the McLaurin Gallery.

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