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Yasmin Ali

Urbanism // Design

Abstraction from Architecture

October 31st, 2015
Abstraction from Architecture
Abstraction from Architecture

Abstraction from Architecture was an exhibition recently held at Edinburgh Printmakers. It was curated by the artist Bronwen Sleigh, known for the influence of architectural features within her work which was also featured within this exhibition. It also features the work of George Charman, Carla Scott Fullerton, and Andrew MacKenzie, all artists chosen by Sleigh for their focus on architecture.

Bronwen Sleigh's work features manmade places and forms, including architecture and a careful documentation process to translate the shapes to 2d prints and 3d drawings and sculptures. Her eye for architecture brought together these artworks and artists through careful curation.

MacKenzie's work features abstracted line drawings in bright pastelwork overlaid on traditional landscapes. Two paintings, one from Edinburgh University's collection and one from London, plus four pastel and gouache on paper drawings made bespoke for this exhibition including 2 lithographs made with EP assistant director Alastair Clark.

Sculptor Fullerton worked with Glasgow Print Studio to produce sculptures which playfully incorporated screens for screenprinting within the work, as well as moulded copper sculptures from etching and litho plates

Charman's work combines surface quality and the use of printmaker to abstract a surface, as well as understanding the role of the viewer's response to the environment. A featured piece includes a rubbing from a building from his neighbourhood estate, combined with a screenprint dusted with cement to produce a mesmerising pattern. A series of work in frames (pictured) explore the nature of interior space through collaged printed imagery of a striking installation featuring chains.

12 September - 24 October 2015

Abstraction from Architecture
Artists: George Charman, Carla Scott Fullerton, Andrew McKenzie and Bronwen Sleigh


Event Preview: ACT Symposia Spring 2015

January 20th, 2015





Strathclyde's Architecture school has announced their ACT programme for 2015, which builds on the success of last year's sessions. Award-winning artists, academics, artists, architects and writers have been invited for a carefully curated curriculum of Architecture, Culture and Technology seminars.

Current themes are:

  • Modernity and Identity
  • Urban Art Practice
  • Land and Rights to The City

The series begins on the 5th of February with Modernity and Identity. Speakers on this theme include Gary Boyd, Reader in Architecture at Queen’s University, Neil Gillespie, Architect and director of  Reiach and Hall and Ashraf Salama, Professor, Head of Architecture at the University of Strathclyde. All three esteemed speakers also have a connection to the Venice Biennale Architecture programme 2014.

Each session takes place on a Thursday evening, from 1600-1830. The symposia are open to all. For professional architects this is an RIAS-RIBA accredited CPD course.

Dates for sessions:

Modernity & Identity 5th February;Urban Art Practice 19th February;Land Rights to the City 5th March

Times: 1600-1830 for all sessions

Venue: University of Strathclyde, Department of Architecture,  75 Montrose Street

RIAS members - £10 per symposium; Students and unemployed - £2.50

For more information and to book please reply to

// Reviews to follow


BOXPARK, London: Retail starts in boxes...

October 19th, 2014



















BOXPARK is dubbed as the world's 'first 'pop-up' mall', by streetwear brand BOXFRESH, founded in 1989, opened in East London three years ago. I'm visiting London so I took the time to go see it, as it has long been on my London to-do list.  Its innovative concept looks like shipping containers on plan, and actually makes use of these in its construction.

Shipping containers have found popular repurposing in buildings of late, including notably Dundee's District 10, an office complex, but somehow still look fresh when seen in context. BOXPARK also has a strong digital brand and online presence, as well as plans to go cashless and pay soley via its app. While there, I visited resident streetwear and record brand MILLIONHANDS to return an online purchase, and it was all done smoothly at the touch of a computer button.

The mall has a streetscape at Ground level and an upper level foodcourt with a range of eateries including chains and one-off outlets, as well as communal picnic areas. There is also space for regular events and parties on the upper level. The retailers chosen at Ground level all have strong brands, including the independent labels, and many carry a generous 20% student discount to appeal to the youth vote Boxing clever, BOXPARK punches above its weight within its competitive locale of trendy Shoreditch.

Boxpark Website - here

// Images from BOXPARK marketing pack

Entries in: Springburn Winter Gardens Competition

September 21st, 2014

Restore Springburn Winter Gardens is a passionate and informed community-led project by Springburn Winter Gardens Trust to restore Scotland's largest glasshouse, the 'A-listed' Springburn Park Winter Gardens, for future generations of Glaswegians. It has been backed by an architectural competition for a pavilion to be constructed in the interim phases of the project during restoration.

The competition, run by GIA Glasgow Institute of Architects in association with NG Homes and MAKLAB, has attracted a range of competition entries, whose 3D printed models and images are currently on show. To coincide with Doors Open Days, the top 25 are facing a design competition public vote is on at Mosesfield House today from 11am till 5pm.


// models printed by MAKLAB



Event Review: How Near is Here? Locality Programme, Collective

September 20th, 2014

















'How Near is Here?' Intensive Programme / Tuesday 9 - Friday 12 September

| Collective |

| Session Review | Thursday 10am - 1pm

Last Thursday, I attended part of a intensive programme of talks, walks, workshops and discussions at Collective, centred around themes of Locality and consquent roles of public art and urban interventions within a given locale or local context. Key questions posed included:‘What constitutes the local now?’ and ‘What role does art (and culture) play in constructing a locality?’

The intensive programme and its symposium were titled 'How Near is Here?' and formed Collective Gallery's Summer School with attendees largely ECA Art graduates and professionals engaged in contemporary art practice and academia or community arts.

The workshop I attended was led by artist collective Eastern Surf, who presented an interesting series of work from their portfolio, including novel self-initiated projects such as The Meta Model, a 3D virtual model which brings together areas of work from disparate locations. It also exists as a 3D animated walkthrough and a physical architectural model.  They explore similar themes in their in-situ work, Quartermile Render Ghosts. This satirical work saw the photography of people in poses similar to those in architectural visuals, walking through the housing development, posing questions as to the nature of architectural representation, public/private interfaces, and issues of surveillance and CCTV. This set the tone for the interactive workshop in which we produced paper and painted versions of rendered masks, emulating the style of facial detection and recognition software. We also explored the themes and ethos of identity camouflage which is a growing part of this dystopic vision of the future, with software currently piloted around the world, including America and New Zealand.


Above: Eastern Surf's Meta Model


Emma Balkind, PhD Candidate at Glasgow School of Art, was the respondent to this session, and presented a series of ideas around recent urban interventions, including the failed Aberdeen City Garden project, which was blocked by a private developer. Referencing sources as disparate as Hannah Arendt and Law on Common Lands, Balkind explore dialectics of Urban Vs Rural; Feudalism/Capitalism; Public/Private; The Common and The Enclosure, and The Virtual Vs The Physical. Her discussion also touched on aspects of inhabitation, land amenity and The Human Condition.

The settings provided food for thought; the gallery is part of The City Observatory on top of Calton Hill, having moved from its Old Town location over a year ago. With idyllic panoramic views of the city, as well as provocative changing exhibitions, the venue is well worth a visit.

// With Thanks to Collective