Sandra Collins – “Show Me Everything”

26-02-2022 - 19-03-2022

Sandra Collins’ first solo exhibition in Compass Gallery had been arranged long before the pandemic was even on the horizon. The exhibition was postponed due to lockdown, it was decided that the works are too subtle and important to be presented solely as a virtual experience. We believe this delay has strengthened the show, given Sandra time to make additional work, explore her themes and reflect on the experience of the past two years. There is no doubt, it has been worth the wait, that this exhibition is stronger and should definitely be viewed in reality.

Her work is deeply thoughtful and highly skilled; superb draughtsmanship, delicately coloured with watercolours, she has embroidered into the page, drawing with the threads. This subtle introduction of other mediums blends well with her delicate pencil drawings. The figures are both mythical and real, Collins has delved into her past memories and at the same time she has explored and responded to the constant state of flux in the world.

"The space between reality, myth and dreams, metaphors and contradictions is at the base of this new work. While not representing anyone in particular, these characters could be everywoman (man) dipping into shared experiences and letting these thoughts (and actions) take the work on a journey of exploration… carrying possessions, hens, flashlights, plants and tools, small cities of thought balancing precariously on heads or bursting out of rucksack like boxes. Sojourners searching ultimately for who knows where, taking what they can or daren’t leave behind. Elements of winners and losers, Felix the Cat with his magic (yet ultimately practical) bag, Pandora’s Box and the influence of the news from a studio radio. Weeds and flowers meet on equal terms, everything is in a state of constant flux.

This is part of an ongoing body of work broadly focusing on internal perceptions of the outside world and how one makes sense of that. It started with a return to the basics, pencil on paper and paint and quickly it seemed natural to introduce thread ( which had previously been used for drawing on clothes) no surprises in a way, evolution has been a constant in the work. Thread used for many years, initially on three dimensional work/installations, then on clothing incorporated into performances and latterly on magazine pages. In fact figuration is only a new way of exploring ongoing themes.

Inviting curiosity and [the viewer] to lean into these works and, for want of a better expression, to take a journey of discovery where one might come across the embroidery rather than meet with it straight on. Subtle stitching at times like the pencil line, embroidered text cross-stitch style heavily influenced by traditional samplers and touching on the history of women’s work. A figure knitting away, looks out nonchalantly, while a hen sits on the table or stands comfortably at the fireplace, equally self engrossed, plumage and thoughts in unison; the deadpan attitude with a humour remembered from childhood. The common chicken, the ginger puff pillow, pecking orders and Scottish euphemisms are all there." Sandra Collins, December 2021

Education: BA (Hons) and MFA, Edinburgh College of Art

Residencies: Vermont Studio Center, Vermont, USA - Nov/Dec 2014

Publication: Steadfast Arte Magazine, NYC, USA (2015)
Artist’s book - ‘Universal Description of the Known World Without End’,
a collaboration with poet Jim Capozzi and printmaker Michael
Loderstedt, (2014)

Awards: Travel Grant, City of Edinburgh Council
Society of Scottish Artists, Royal Scottish Academy – Website Award
The Helen A Rose Bequeath for Distinguished Work
The Scottish Further Education Unit Purchase Prize

Selected exhibitions:

2022 Show me Everything, Compass Gallery, Glasgow, Solo Exhibition
2021 Compass Gallery, Glasgow, Winter Exhibition, Group Show
2020 Compass Gallery, Glasgow, Quiet World, Group Show
2019 Paisley Art Institute Annual Exhibition
2019 Compass Gallery, Glasgow, Winter Exhibition, Group Show
2019 Fidra Fine Art, East Lothian, Group Show
2018 Embassy Edinburgh, Group Show
2017 Paisley Art Institute, Scottish Drawing Exhibition
2016 Drawing on Drawing, Edinburgh College of Art
2015 Fidra Fine Art, East Lothian, Group Show
2014 Center on Contemporary Art, Seattle, Who are You? Group Show
2014 Kalopsia Collective, Edinburgh, Group Show
2014 Summer Exhibition, St Margarets House, Edinburgh
2013 Cupar Arts Biennale, Unsung (collaboration with Matthew Hawkins
2013 St Margaret's House Arts, Edinburgh - Group Show
2013 Society of Scottish Artists Annual Exhibition, Edinburgh

Photographs courtesy of Antonia Reeve Photography