Published On: Wed, Apr 27th, 2011 at 11:31am

By All Means Necessary – Glasgow School of Art

An innovative student exhibition sparks the interest of ‘arty types.’

Friday 22 April saw Glasgow’s art lovers flock to the top floor studio at uber-cool hangout, The Art School, to witness a special exhibition of recent work by artists Jackson Marlette and Robin Leishman.

The two students in their final year at Glasgow School of Art put together the unique event, calling it By All Means Necessary, in a matter of weeks, and greeted the many guests with a cold beer and a polite eagerness to discuss the concept for the exhibition:-

“The idea was to show that massively differing personal inspirations can sit side by side in a harmonious habitat through linking imagery,” said Robin.

“We wanted to show that art doesn’t need to be consciously curated together to work collaboratively in this sort of space. There just needs to be an overlap in passion to allow the work to make sense together, and in our case what links our work is the psychology, imagery and military motifs.”

Indeed, walking into the exhibition space, sparse but for the adorned walls, visitors were confronted with two very different fine art styles.

Jackson Marlette’s work used primarily paint and spray paint on canvas (materials that are sometimes considered ‘primitive’ in a contemporary sense), and focused on memory and paranoia.

The most striking aspect of his work was the imagery of guerrilla militia and live arms, set against a background of vivid primary colours and erratic brush strokes to create a contrast between the unsettling and the childish. Needless to say, the result was disturbing,  yet captivating.

Like Jackson, Robin’s work also focused on childhood and memory, however the materials used in his case included photography, and pine and steel etchings.

A favourite among visitors was a mural of photographs showing toy soldiers carrying a wounded comrade away on a stretcher. The photos had been stitched together with thread to create one large, touching scene.

Robin said: “I wanted to explore the relationship that we all form with inanimate objects in order to stimulate an organic memory of the past.”

“It’s privately a shrine to the memory of my father. By using the military toys that he once played with as a child, I was hoping to create a bridge to a man that I never knew by developing a relationship with his possessions, and using their motifs to engage in a visual dialogue.”

If the effect of By All Means Necessary was to show that different styles of art can exist in the same space harmoniously, linked only by one single inspiration, then the brief was undoubtedly met.

Guests at the exhibition marvelled at the unique notion of a joint showcase, and Leishman and Garrett have certainly caught the attention of Glasgow’s art luvvies, which will surely stand both artists in great stead for the future.

You can next see Robin Leishman and Jackson Marlette’s work displayed at the Glasgow School of Art’s Fine Art degree show from June 11- 18.


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