Blind Alchemy

12.03.10 - 28.03.10

The Royal Standard is pleased to announce Blind Alchemy, the second in a series of collaborative projects between artists Rachel Adams and Ian Giles. This exhibition presents new works made collaboratively and independently exploring concepts that underlie the practices of both artists.

Alchemy has always sat outside conventional frame works. It is an epic subject that has spilt across the centuries filling the minds of great thinkers and historians with eccentric and epic ideas. Blind Alchemy delights in the ‘home-made’ nature of alchemy rather than its wide possibilities. Adams and Giles have been intrigued by the alchemy that colours the everyday with its magic: nettle wine brewed at the bottom of the garden, then gulped down in the haze of twilight – it may not be the elixir of life but as the mind swirls and the ground seems to lift away there is no doubt that chemistry has its uses.  

 One of the pursuits of the alchemist, turning lead into gold, lies in the no man’s land between scientific procedure and magical reaction. Turning nothing into something is a key part of both artist’s practices. Rachel uses cheap throwaway materials to investigate the line between painting and sculpture whereas Ian’s work focuses on performative acts dealing with image making and transformation of the body. Doing an act ‘blind’ also hints at the process of collaboration, conjuring ideas of experimentation, accident and trial, which are undertaken in any artistic partnership.

These artists started working together in the form of a blog called ‘This to Follow That’, which became a image essay where each artist posted an image everyday, creating a visual dialogue. From this start point, the artists have researched the underlying themes and concepts within the blog to create a new series of works.

Blind Alchemy transfers to Studio Warehouse Glasgow March 12th | 28th March

Rachel Adams graduated from Edinburgh College of Art. She has shown work at  galleries including: A Foundation, London; Doma Baal, London and Catalyst Arts, Belfast. Solo exhibitions include the New Work Scotland Programme, Collective Gallery, Edinburgh. 

Ian Giles graduated from Chelsea College of Art. He has shown work at galleries including: Barbican Art Gallery, London; Paradise Row, London and the Arnolfini, Bristol.  Solo exhibitions include After Cravan at Oriel Davies Gallery, Wales.