Caithness, Scotland - Bullseye Projects presents Field Notes, a group exhibition of site-specific installations inspired by the landscape, history, and culture of Caithness.
The Byre, a remote complex of stone buildings in the northernmost county of Scotland, sits amid a hillside pasture overlooking Latheronwheel strath and the North Sea. Beginning in 2016, The Byre has opened its four distinct spaces - horse barn, cow barn, store room, and hay barn - to artists, who develop work in response to The Byre's unique surrounds. Through a series of site visits and a residency, artists Annie Cattrell, Anne Vibeke Mou, Anne Petters, and Jeff Zimmer have explored iterative, researched approaches to The Byre that will first manifest in August of 2019 and evolve over the course of several months.
Field notes are literally notes taken while one is researching in the field. It is the gathering of information that needs to be directly observed. What if that which you are looking for is imperceptible in any way that can be readily explained? What if something cannot be observed, only felt? This is the through line of the artists' varied approaches to the exhibition.
Scottish artist Annie Cattrell's cross-disciplinary practice is rooted in collaboration with experts in fields such as neuroscience, meteorology, engineering, psychiatry, and geology. In Field Notes, Cattrell responds to the poetic nature of the building, its history, and its connection to the landscape, in a series of sculptures that seek to understand unquantifiable aspects that are felt rather than seen; the undercurrent of the space.
Annie Cattrell studied fine art at Glasgow School of Art, University of Ulster, and the Royal College of Art. Her work has been exhibited at venues including Mori Art Museum, Japan; Victoria and Albert Museum, UK; Inverness Museum and Art Gallery, Scotland; Kunstverein Freiburg, Germany; Nationalmuseum, Sweden; Museum für Gestaltung Zurich, Switzerland; and Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany. Cattrell has undertaken many large-scale commissions and her work can be found in both private and public collections including MacManus Art Gallery and Museum, Dundee; Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums; Edinburgh City Art Centre, and the Scottish Arts Council. Cattrell was joint winner of the Bombay Sapphire Prize in 2008. She has been a tutor at the Royal College of Art since 2000.
Known for her use of obsolete artistic and production traditions, Anne Vibeke Mou develops her own glass using historic materials from specific sites. In Caithness, kelp was once gathered from the sea, dried and burned, and the ash used in glass recipes of the day. Mou is re-creating this transformative process to fabricate her own glass, referencing the intimate relationship between land and sea found in both the industry and mythology of the region.
Born in Denmark, Anne Vibeke Mou received a BA from Glasgow School of Art in 2002 and an MA from the Royal College of Art, London, in 2005. Mou has participated in residencies at The Studio of the Corning Museum of Glass, New York; Upernavik Museum, Greenland; and the National Glass Centre, Sunderland, UK. She has created commissioned work for The Laurence Sterne Trust and the National Glass Centre, Sunderland, and been included in exhibitions at Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, UK; Kunstraum Langenlois, Austria; and Camden Arts Centre, UK, amongst others. She currently lives and works in Newcastle upon Tyne.
In her recent work, London-based Anne Petters transforms translucent sheets of fused and powdered glass into ethereal sculptural books. The pages, covered in indiscernible writing, capture the flow of thought. Petters approaches The Byre in a similar manner by focusing on its dual life and the conflicting experiences of those that live in a region and those that visit. The Byre inspires romantic, transformative experiences in those who visit and yet it is a simple barn. By focusing on this tension, Petters' work captures the fleeting and ineffable in glass.
Anne Petters is a multimedia artist with a strong background in glass. She received a Diploma in Fine Arts from the Institute for Ceramics and Glass Art, Hoehr-Grenzhausen, Germany, and a MFA in sculpture/glass from Alfred University, New York. Born in Dresden in 1978, she grew up in the German Democratic Republic. Petters has been awarded numerous artist residencies and received the prestigious Queen Elizabeth Trust Scholarship for excellence in British Craft in 2014. She has taught as visiting lecturer at the Royal College of Art and is currently leading the glass studio at City & Guilds of London Art School.
Jeff Zimmer's atmospheric, multi-layered glass paintings of rich vistas contain the menacing shadows of offshore oil platforms or military drones, generating a jarring juxtaposition that is both beautiful and terrifying. Concurrent with his painting, Zimmer has been collecting images of memorials and monuments to LGBT persons throughout history. He etches these on thin sheets of glass used to protect cell phone screens, contrasting the fragility of human memory with the potential long memory of digital photography. During his visits to The Byre and Caithness in general, Zimmer has been seeking out and visually translating the little-told stories of underrepresented communities in the region.
Jeff Zimmer originally trained in theatre in Washington, DC, before moving to Edinburgh, Scotland, to obtain his Masters in glass painting. He received second prize in the 2014 Coburg Prize for Contemporary Glass, and was awarded the 2014 Stephen Procter Fellowship at the Australian National University, School of Art & Design. His work is in the permanent collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum, UK; European Museum of Modern Glass, Germany; Glasmuseet Ebeltoft, Denmark, and Glasmuseum Frauenau, Germany. Zimmer teaches in Edinburgh and has lead masterclasses and workshops at other locations including Pilchuck Glass School, Washington; North Lands Creative, Scotland; and Bild-Werk Frauenau, Germany.