The Press & Journal: Visual artist rustles up a wild west exhibition

Posted on Saturday 19th March, 2011

Visual artist rustles up a wild west exhibition
The Press & Journal
by Morag Lindsay
19th March 2011

Display explores Scottish connection with cowboys.

The north-east meets the wild west at an Aberdeen gallery this weekend.

Visual artist Katri Walker spent 18 months filming the Huntly-based Northern Roughriders re-enactment group for her new show which opened at Peacock Visual Arts in the Castlegate last night.

Her video installation, titled North West, explores the links between Scotland’s history and the emergence of the American cowboy, and how the portrayal of the relationship has changed over time through the media, cinema and literature.

The artist, who divides her time between Mexico City and the UK, said her interest in the Wild West and its connections to Scotland was sparked by a visit to the Grand Ole Opry in Glasgow at the beginning of 2009.

Much of the filming took place at Tranquility, the Northern Roughriders’ specially-built wild west village used for rehearsals and re-enactments, which is equipped with a general store, marshall’s office, town hall, undertaker’s and saloon.

She said: “With North West, I wanted to create a portrait of a Scottish landscape that used cinematic language to make layered connections to the classic Hollywood western.”

The visuals will be accompanied by a sound installation from experimental vocalist Wounded Knee, drawing influence from spaghetti westerns and song lyrics such as This Land Is Your Land by Woody Guthrie and Letter From America by the Proclaimers.

A number of events have been organised to coincide with the exhibition, including a symposium titled Shootout: from social documentary to storytelling in contemporary moving image, taking place on Saturday, April 16, from 2-4pm at Peacock Visual Arts.

Visual artist rustles up a wild west exhibitionPeacock’s Cineclub will be showcasing weekly westerns curated by film critic Antonia Quirke. The first, John Wayne’s An Innocent Man (1931), will be shown on Tuesday, March 29, at 7pm.

The venue is also hosting an exhibition by Gray’s School of Art’s BA Hons printmaking students, titled Work and showcasing a diverse range of creations for their degree show later this year.

Kylie Roux, marketing manager at Peacock, said both shows would appeal to a wide audience.

“Katri has captured a world that is a childhood dream for many, in a visually stunning and audibly engaging way,” she said.

“It’s also great that we are able to provide the students of Gray’s with a platform to exhibit their works.

“Peacock has always prided itself on helping young talents to thrive and develop and giving them the opportunity to show- case their abilities in a real gallery space does just that.”

North West and Work are both on until April 30.

Read original article online here.