Exhibition Preview: if any, before

Exhibition Preview: if any, before

Alistair Ogilvy previews the Telfer Gallery's new exhibition 'if any, before'.

'if any, before' is an exciting new exhibition curated by The Telfer Gallery featuring a selection of Glasgow School of Art graduates. All three artists featured have received The Phoenix Bursary set up for artists affected by the GSA fire last year. The Telfer Gallery was looking to showcase artists who didn't get the usual traditional degree show, and put a call out for Phoenix Bursary students to submit applications. The artists are Fran Caballero, Tim Dalzell and Caitlin Merritt-King. 

The title, 'if any, before' is taken from a computer game manual. It's an interesting title because it does not express a complete thought and will leave the artists and audience open to interpretation. This exhibition is extra memorable as it's the last in the current venue on Miller Street until The Telfer Gallery move to their new space at the Barras Market in September. The exhibition runs from the 6th-21st of June with a preview on the 5th. There will be an after party on the 5th at Brutti Compadres from 9pm til late. 

Bio's: written by Sofie Fischer-Rasmussen

Fran Caballero

...graduated with BA (Hons) Painting and Printmaking from The Glasgow School of Art in 2014. He is a member of Glasgow-based collective Fanfare and was involved in the organization and exhibiting of Perm, a recent series of five one-night-only, solo shows. Recent Exhibitions include Fanfare II, Veneer Gallery, Glasgow (2014), School of Fine Art Showcase, McClellan Galleries, Glasgow (2014). Gjallarhorn and the 10 Fight Losing Streak, The Old Hairdressers, Glasgow (2015). 

Nurturing a literary sensibility in his painting, Caballero finds inspiration in the turmoil of the working environment. Often the use of large, breezily painted surfaces act as flatbed for smaller icons, contained in their own display. The resulting pairing of studies demonstrates an on-going intrigue towards the meeting points of figuration, formalism and nonchalance. Reworked canvasses and indecision play large roles in the activation of his work, with drawn and premeditated elements meeting to characterize the muddied process of making. 

Big green* expands on Caballero’s dialectic with the studio. Its starting point draws from conversation around the Subbuteo playing surface, widely known as a tabletop game simulating team sports, most notably football. The cloth used in the game acts as simulation of a marked field, in which pieces can be rearranged and manipulated on. The canvas shown in if any before mimics the Subbuteo cloth, interrupted instead by heads-up display of drawing and menu screen motif, by gauntlets and turkey. 

*Provisional title of work 


Tim Dalzell

...graduated with BA (Hons) Sculpture & Environmental Art from Glasgow School of Art in 2014 and has since continued to work in Glasgow. After graduating he co-founded the YAKA collective. Dalzell was recently selected for the ‘New Contemporaries’ exhibition at The Royal Scottish Academy and was awarded the Sir William Gillies Bequest Award. He has also been selected for a follow up exhibition ‘New Scottish Artists’ (2015) opening at The Fleming Gallery, London in May 2015. 

Dalzell is interested in how the development of virtual space accessed through mediums such as the internet, games consoles and 3D modelling software has, in recent years provided the opportunity for the creation of entirely new environments and situations. He’s particularly drawn to those that create a psychedelic atmosphere through their inability to truly replicate the ‘real’. 

‘What Monkey’s Can Teach Us…’ Dalzell’s new work for the Telfer Gallery, will explore the narrative of the humble ladder, primarily in relation to video gaming. Since the release of Donkey Kong in 1981, the ladder has been consistently used as a tool to explore and progress through endless virtual environments. Though the ladder features in the vast majority of map-based video games, its operation has regularly been made awkward through poor design and failure to truly replicate reality. The frustration of manoeuvring characters to an exact position to attach to a ladder, only to seconds later plummet to an inevitable death, thanks to the slight mistouch of a button, has become all too familiar. How often IRL are we required to climb ladders 500 metres high? 


Caitlin Merrett King

...graduated with BA (Hons) Painting and Printmaking from Glasgow School of Art in 2014, completing a semester at Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore in 2012. Earlier this year she co-curated Perm: a series of five solo one-night-only exhibitions at The Old Hairdressers in Glasgow. She is also a member of the Glasgow-based artist collective Fanfare. Recent exhibitions include Key Lime Pie, Glasgow Open House Festival (2015); Faux Sho, curated by (It’s all) Tropical, Assembly House, Leeds (2015); Bacon Scissors, The Old Hairdressers, Glasgow (2015); Voidoid 002, Voidoid Archive, Glasgow (2014). 

With a hyper conscious awareness of modern art practice and the performance of being an artist, Merrett King is also interested in object relations, i.e the ability of objects to convey meaning, indicate character or pertain to a specific cultural significance. She investigates the initial material experience of ‘things’ in terms of desirability, functionality, with the ‘thing’ itself often acting as an autonomous character within an constellation of other objects/players. These interests manifest themselves as textiles, sculpture, film and installation works. 

For this group exhibition at The Telfer Gallery, Merrett King will present a new soft sculpture.


For more information about the exhibition visit www.the-telfer.com

Preview by Alistair Ogilvy

Miriam Chefrad

Miriam Chefrad

Dana Finnigan

Dana Finnigan