Exhibition: Rhythm Transmission

5–7 November 2021

Kirsty McKeown and The Arbroath Correspondence School

Rhythm Transmission
Friday 5 – Sunday 7 November 2021
10am – 4pm

This exhibition celebrates and charts Dundee based artist Kirsty McKeown’s twelve months Free Drawing School residency entirely undertaken during a global pandemic.

Time, duration, distance and a desire to connect with others during lockdown using non-digital methods are the fundamental inspirations behind the work in this exhibition.

As restrictions on gatherings and travel were tightened again McKeown began methodically recording her limited permitted journeys through photography, drawing and mark making; the repeated actions becoming a way of counting the days and mapping time.

Traditional in-person workshops and artist residencies at Hospitalfield were postponed, leading to feelings of creative aloneness and isolation. This coupled with digital burnout caused by teaching art and design entirely remotely since March 2020 was the catalyst that led to the creation of ‘The Arbroath Correspondence School’; an on-going mail art project that rejects the demands of always on 24/7 communication by seeking to reinstate a sense of human connection and mutual learning utilising the postal service for the distribution of slow art.

McKeown’s work includes a series a photograms that capture the ebb and flow of the tides in Arbroath and Auchmithie, drawing parallels with the strange lockdown phenomenon of time seemingly contracting and expanding. Printmaking plates strapped to the bottom of boots; gouging a record of travels, transit drawings and video.

The Arbroath Correspondence School Archive is on display; featuring almost 100 pieces of mail art including two collaborative works created with The Correspondence Collective.

About the Artist

Kirsty McKeown is an artist based in Dundee. She graduated from Duncan of Jordanstone in 2012. Recent projects have focused on the influence of war-time Britain on the changing roles of women at work, with specific reference to four factors: political, physical, industrial and domestic. She works with materials and processes including college, printmaking, analogue photography and altered objects; using found materials and her immediate environment as inspiration. Kirsty McKeown primarily uses her immediate environment as inspiration, usually beginning with looking at the social history of the location. Taking the history of Angus fisherwives as a starting point McKeown began the Free Drawing School residency by undertaking two walks – one from Auchmithie to Arbroath and another from Arbroath to Auchmithie; retracing the steps of the fisher wives who made the six-mile return trip on foot to sell the catch – recording her movements through the landscape using photography, drawing and mark making as she went.

Images courtesy of Ross Fraser McLean / StudioRoRo


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