Spring Fling, the Dumfries & Galloway artists’ open studios event, has commissioned Scottish artist Calum Stirling to create a new installation work. This will be open to the public for the duration of the May bank holiday weekend at Craigieburn, a Nepalese-themed garden outside Moffat, in Scotland.
Stirling is a multi-disciplinary artist based in Glasgow. For the commission, he has created a new installation titled Hypobaric Empyr, which combines elements of architecture, sound and alchemy and responds directly with the unusual, culturally and geographically diverse, landscape of the garden. Stirling is a multi-disciplinary artist based in Glasgow. For the commission, he has created a new installation titled Hypobaric Empyr, which combines elements of architecture, sound and alchemy and responds directly with the unusual, culturally and geographically diverse, landscape of the garden.
Throughout the five-acre garden Stirling will install a series of architectural scale sculptures that define the core of the installation. Part folly, theatrical set and mystical retreat, in combination their intention is to generate a complimentary fictional narrative and alternative navigation of the garden. The theme of the installation comes, in part, from the work of German architectural theorist Bruno Taut – in particular his inspirational book Alpine Architecture. Written in the immediate aftermath of WWI, in it he projects a utopian conversion of the world beginning with an architectural reworking of the Alps. Taut’s Modernist and Expressionist values were complimented not only by an interest in mountain culture but also by an interest in Buddhist philosophy. Stirling has taken this connection back to Dawa Sherpa, Craigieburn’s head gardener. Dawa’s passion for Nepali plants and his previous occupation as a sherpa guide and successful Everest summiteer is evident throughout the garden.
Calum Stirling studied sculpture at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee (1983-87). In recent works Stirling has focused on exploring illusion, perception and chance occurrence in relation to both static and mobile sculptural form and space. He often makes installations devised for specific locations, such as Rostra Plaza his large-scale expanded cinema installation devised for the Mitchell Library at Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art 2008 and the project Landstylus devised for Makrolab to translate the topography of the Scottish Highlands into sound. Recent shows and projects include The Dwelling at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA) in Melbourne and a major public artwork for the New Victoria Hospital in Glasgow. Forthcoming projects include Mediations Biennale 2010 in Poznan Poland.