Rythmic Structures: #AIRetc at Modern 1

Contemporary Art ETC.....

“New works by Julie Duffy developed during her Residency in the HND Contemporary Art Practice #AIRetc studio.


Julie’s new work for Pig Rock Bothy at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art is the result of a 5 month residency at Edinburgh College, Granton Campus.  Julie spent this time researching the collaborative work of Merce Cunningham, John Cage, Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg alongside Oskar Schlemmer’s ‘Das Triadische Ballett’.  The work explores the formal qualities of dance, with the purity and severity in the movements of Cunningham’s choreography, juxtaposed with the extreme colour palette and costumes of Schlemmer’s ballet. The Bothy will be home to a screen-printed floor, hanging drapes and delicate sculptures made from felt, card and expanding foam. The final phase of the work will see dancers from Edinburgh College’s BA Hons Dance take-up residency in the Bothy. This residency will give the dancers the opportunity to choreograph…

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This is a selection of some of the work I’ve been making over the past few months. Better late than never!

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Walkaround Time

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‘Walkaround Time’ 1973

Merce Cunningham (Choreographer), John Cage (Composer), Jasper Johns (Artist), Robert Rauschenberg (Artist).


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Collaborative Project

Collaborative practice is something that I have become increasingly interested in over this past year. From my own collaborative practice to other artists working in this manner. For my one week project with both HND 1 and 2 students I was intrigued to see how the students would respond to working in a collaborative partnership.

The week was started with a talk on collaborative practice, looking at artists such as General Idea, Joanne Tatham and Tom O’Sullivan and Poster Club.

General Idea, Ontario, Canada, 2011, Dossier@-6  4354


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On the second day the students and I went to The Scottish National Portrait Gallery to see the new exhibition ‘Ponte City’. Annie Lyden senior curator for photography took us on a guided tour of the exhibition which was a great way for getting a real insight into the work and the collaborative practice between the artists Mikhael Subotzky and Patrick Waterhouse.

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It’s a great exhibition and on till 26th April 2015. Go see it!

From here the students were split in to pairs and given an artistic figure to begin research on and make work in response to. On the final day of the project the students, Colette and I spent the morning discussing the different ways they had responded to the brief.

Jek and Ray looked at the life and work of Kurt Schwitters. They were both drawn to his use of collage and this was their starting point for making visual responses. It was great to see both Jek and Ray responding immediately and making work in such a short space of time.

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Rachel and Jake’s research began with John Cage. Their research brought them to Cage’s ‘4’33’ and ‘Water Walk’. From here they began to experiment with sound through the use of objects that were around them at the time of recording. Both are musicians which I wasn’t aware of until the end of the week and I think this is a project that connected well with them.


Szabolcs and Jek discussed their recent project that has been inspired by Brutalist architecture from around Edinburgh. Through their photography and a few glitches on Szabolcs computer they have created a range of prints. These images have been transferred onto canvas bags and t-shirts. They had various examples of the prints and bags and their excitement for the project was infectious.


Bags are only £3 and I will certainly be buying one or two.

My aim for this project was to see how others found collaborative practice. It has been a way of working that I have gained a lot from and I was interested to see how others would respond to the practice. Be it through their way of working with one another to the work they made. Through the discussions with the students and the work on show I have really enjoyed the process and I hope its something that the students have gained something from.

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Artist Talk

Big thank-you to all the students who came to my talk yesterday morning. It’s been the biggest talk I’ve done on my own artistic practice and there were some really interesting questions after so I hope you all enjoyed it!

Here’s the links to the artists that exhibited as part of TANK. Enjoy!










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Oskar Schlemmer

Over the past 2 months I’ve been carrying out research on Oskar Schlemmer and in particular his avant-garde ballet ‘Triadische Ballett’. I stumbled across a performance of the ballet while watching Jean Cocteau’s ‘Blood of a Poet’ earlier in the year and it’s stayed with me ever since.

Oskar Schlemmer was a lecturer at the Bauhaus and head of the stage workshop from 1923 to 1929. The Triadische Ballet of 1922 took form in 3 parts with 3 dancers ( 2 male 1 female), 12 dances and 18 costumes. The first scene is set against a yellow back drop, the 2nd a pink stage and the final scenes in black. Each scene captures a different mood through the settings, costumes and the way the dances are played out against these backdrops.

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Unlike traditional ballet costumes Schlemmer’s costumes were made to work against the dancers bodies, limiting their movement and their interaction with one another. For Schlemmer the floor and the human body were governed by the same properties, in turn they were made up of the same formal substances. He saw the human body as a 3-dimensional projection of the 2-dimensional floor or wall upon which the dance is embedded.


In 1970 a 30 minute colour film was produced by Bavaria Atelier GmbH


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Lee Miller

Over the past year I have been working collaboratively with past AIRetc Hayley Mathers, we were brought together by a fascination with the life of Lee Miller. By looking into her extraordinary life, from fashion model, Vogue photographer, war correspondent and award winning chef,  our work has tried to understand the decisions which shaped her life.

Our research has taken form by following in her actions and learning about her life. By re-enacting key processes in her practice, following her recipes and visiting key places in her life, we have shared experiences and learnt from both Miller and each other.

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