Exhibition Review: ARTchitecture



By Radoslaw Gorniak

Coming back from the summer break, I started my year with going to see the current exhibitions at Glasgow’s Lighthouse. Many of them dealt with architecture and the one I am focusing on was the “ARTchitecture” exhibition, held from the 7th of September until the 27th. It showcased twelve collages of solely one artist, Glasgow-born Marion Gardyne, who had the intention to celebrate the architectural heritage of her hometown.

The exhibit started with a short written introduction from the artist herself, giving an account of her personal life and, most importantly for understanding her work, her profession. Before working in primary teaching she had graduated as a textile designer and worked as a carpet colourist. This experience has a major influence over her art, she even uses little strips of carpet as a collage component. This, the handmade quality and the fact she did not alter digitally photographs she used, gives a certain quirky quality to her works which I found to be charming.

The works are based around her own photographs of Glasgow’s iconic buildings. The collages are in essence just various prints glued to a cardboard. However, careful layering makes a convincing illusion of depth. The building that initially inspired her was the Templeton Carpet Mill, and she later used buildings like the Glasgow Gurdwara, the Glasgow Cathedral or even the Lighthouse itself. What is interesting is that the artist did not use any modern constructions, but gave old buildings a new life. If you know any of them well, you will recognise some of the elements (like the Lighthouse’s spiral staircase) but the resulting illustrations are far from their origin. The arrangement of building’s different details make a mesmerizing geometric pattern, in some pieces almost fractal like.

Lighthouse staircase

My biggest gripe with the exhibition would be probably the venue itself. Although diversity and a small amount of chaos is the main strength of the Lighthouse as a gallery space, more justice should be done to Ms. Gardyne’s works. Despite their home-made quality, the geometries would look stunning if projected on a white wall, and a small room would be sufficient. Sadly, the exhibition was held in a space that was just a glorified corridor and the works were displayed on a clear glass, which I found to be distracting. I also found it peculiar to see a price list hung between the works.

Lastly, I strongly encourage googling Ms. Gardyne in order to know the whereabouts of her future exhibitions and perhaps read her own blog on https://artmarcollage. wordpress.com/. She certainly deserves more attention.

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