'The only way to do it is to do it'

27 March – 4 October 2015
Hunterian Art Gallery
Admission free

Works by Josef Albers, John Cage, Willem de Kooning, Raydale Dower, G.O.D.S, Robert Motherwell, Ciara Phillips and Ossip Zadkine.

The only way to do it is to do it is an exhibition and series of events that bring into focus the enduring legacy of the radical liberal arts institution, Black Mountain College (North Carolina 1933-1957). The exhibition echoes an ethos shared by Black Mountain College then, and Glasgow today: two artistic communities keen to promote learning through collective experience and activity. This approach was succinctly articulated by Black Mountain College teacher and choreographer Merce Cunningham in his mantra 'the only way to do it is to do it'.

The exhibition includes prints by teachers at Black Mountain College alongside works by Glasgow-based artists, Raydale Dower, G.O.D.S. and Ciara Phillips. Intrinsic to the exhibition is a series of live activations by these three contemporary artists which invite the public to encounter printmaking, dance, sculpture and sound in locations across the university campus. Following the model of Black Mountain College, process - rather than result - will be the tenet driving these events.

A visionary social experiment, Black Mountain College was founded on ideals which re-imagined education as a collaborative experience, rather than a system of targets and rewards. With an expansive curriculum ranging from colour theory to agriculture to furniture design, the school sought to alter the psyche of Post-War Middle America, and in doing so fostered dialogues between some of the most pioneering artists of the twentieth century.

The only way to do it is to do it is curated by students of the inaugural class of the MLitt Curatorial Practice (Contemporary Art) programme, established jointly between the University of Glasgow and The Glasgow School of Art. Class members are; Emma Campbell, Ashley Holdsworth, Marcus Jack, Grace Johnston, Vanessa Larsen, Rosie O’Grady, Leticia Rojo Bermudez, Eilidh Ratcliffe and Sophie Platts-Palmer.

This exhibition has been realised through access to The Hunterian print collection with support from Hunterian staff.

Public Programme
Live activations will take place throughout the exhibition. 

Artists’ Biographies
Ciara Phillips works primarily in printmaking and often uses screen-printing to develop multilayered work on large and small scales. She is interested in art as an intuitive process and often collaborates with community groups and other artists on collective projects. Phillips received a BA in Fine Art from Queens University in Canada and graduated with a Masters in Fine Art from the Glasgow School of Art in 2004. In 2014 she was nominated for the Turner Prize and participated in Generation: 25 Years of Contemporary Art in Scotland, at The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh. Solo exhibitions include Just You, Bergen Kunsthall (2014); Workshop (2010 - ongoing), The Showroom, London (2013); And More, Inverleith House, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (2013) and Pull Everything Out, Spike Island, Bristol (2012).

Phillips will work with Print Lab to undertake the live activation in August. Print Lab includes Freya Fullarton, Tristan Leicester, Hannah McDonald, Kerry McManus, Ciara Phillips, Lewis Prosser, Lilian Ptacek, George Ridgway, Bryony Rose, Martha Simms, Katie Sludden, Anna Thompson and Ella Walker. 

Raydale Dower works with sound, object and performance. He is particularly interested in gesture, sonic space and sculptural form. In 2011 he presented Piano Drop at Tramway, Glasgow, capturing the anarchic act of dropping a piano with high-speed photography and ambisonic sound recording. Dower studied sculpture at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, Dundee and received an MDes in Sound for the Moving Image from The Glasgow School of Art. Previous exhibitions include Continue Without Losing Consciousness for Generation: 25 Years of Contemporary Art in Scotland, DCA, Dundee, 2014; Caesura for the Reid Gallery, The Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow, 2014 and he initiated and programmed Le Drapeau Noir in collaboration with Tony Swain and Rob Churm for Glasgow International, 2010. Dower is a co-founder of instrumental ensemble Tut Vu Vu.

G.O.D.S (Glasgow Open Dance School) is a not for profit voluntary organisation run by Julia Scott, Romany Dear and Ashanti Harris. Founded in 2011, G.O.D.S' main focus is to program and facilitate dance and movement related workshops and resources in and around Glasgow. The group is open to anybody with a desire to move, dance, learn, teach or share. It is intentionally fluid with a non-thematic style, all forms of moving and methods of teaching are encouraged. G.O.D.S. value feeling, shared learning and collective movement above individual excellence. Past projects include, Monthly dance and movement workshops, various locations across Glasgow (2011- 2013); Least Event as part of Glasgow International, The Pipe Factory, Glasgow (2012); G.O.D.S at Market Gallery, Market Gallery, Glasgow (2014); G.O.D.S Black History Month Project, CCA & Kinning Park Complex, Glasgow (2014); and as part of Romany Dear’s exhibition, Dancing in a circle is a reminder that we are part of the whole, CCA, Glasgow (2015).

Hunterian Art Gallery
University of Glasgow
82 Hillhead Street
Glasgow G12 8QQ

Open Tuesday – Saturday 10.00am – 5.00pm and Sunday 11.00am – 4.00pm
Admission free

First published: 13 March 2015