Hidden Door

Visual Art preview: 2D group show

Hidden Door has established the strong tradition to rehabilitate architecturally stimulating, lost and forgotten spaces.

Within them, emerging artists are offered a platform alongside more established figures. Since its beginnings in 2010, Hidden Door has valued extensive artistic diversity and has welcomed varied art forms. The 2019 Hidden Door Weekender, as a miniature version of the full festival, makes no exception to this ambition.

An integral part of this undertaking is a group show of artists who have previously exhibited within Hidden Door. They are united by their choice of art forms acting on two-dimensional surfaces: Painting, Drawing, Print, Photography.

For the 2019 Hidden Door 2D group show we are pleased to present Matt Storstein, David Martin, Olivia Turner, Rhona Taylor, Bronwen Sleigh, Fiona Scroggie, Jenny Martin, Tracy Hall, Kristina Chan, Daniella Turbin, Tess Glen and Camila Cavalcante.

Matt Storstein has been involved with Hidden Door as an artist and team member since its beginnings. For the first edition of Hidden Door Festival in 2014, Matt presented an exhibition of his paintings in one of the Market Street Vaults. In the Hidden Door 2D group show this year, Matt will show two still life works with distinctive mundane subject matter, drawing beauty from objects otherwise overlooked.

David Martin is the founder and creative director of Hidden Door festival. David’s paintings are based on travel and immersion in exotic worlds – explorations that grow into images of the figure in ambiguous and paradox spaces, more akin to a puzzle than a statement of fact. His work has been shown on multiple occasions within Hidden Door. David will present a large scale work from recent travels in Ghana- observations into chaotic and colourful environments through the poetics of painting.

Another longstanding contributor to Hidden Door is Olivia Turner. Olivia’s works have continued expand into three-dimensional space: From a bespoke wall painting created for Hidden Door in 2015, to 2016, when Olivia enhanced her designs further with protruding panels expanding her compositions beyond the familiar two-dimensional canvas. Over the three years Olivia has been involved with Hidden Door she has continued to question conventional ideas about perspective, composition and structure. In 2019, Hidden Door shows three of her more traditionally rooted 2D works in acrylics.

Visually related to the work of Olivia Turner is that of multidisciplinary artist Rhona Taylor: fascinated by subjects as varied as navigation, geology or industrial architecture, Rhona’s work often speaks in clear lines and clean-cut geometric shapes. For the 2015 Hidden Door edition at Edinburgh’s old street lighting depot, Rhona’s mixed-media installation ‘Wayward Currents’ transformed one room for an immersive experience of vibrant colours and patterns of irregular angles.

This spirit of Rhona’s work is also reflected in her more recent work, as in her intimate paintings that will be displayed in the 2019 Hidden Door 2D group show: combining bold colour contrasts, sharply separated image areas and the physical trace of Rhona’s brushstroke.

Likewise enthused by industrial and modern architecture is multidisciplinary artist Bronwen Sleigh, who first showed her sculpture and print works with Hidden Door in 2014. Bronwen’s works are recognised for their delicate linework and sensitive palette, provoking an extended and considered dialogue with the spaces and structures, distilling environments through print, pencil and sculptural forms.

Fiona Scroggie’s work is related to that of Bronwen Sleigh in that it also possesses a certain wraithlike quality, although Fiona’s interest is of a more spiritual kind: she draws her inspiration from different layers of time and history that are constantly surrounding and interpenetrating our own reality. For Hidden Door 2016, Fiona created an intimate space exploring the Ancestral Realm through painting and 3D modelling. Similar sibylline subjects recur in her painterly work for the 2019 group show – intimate portrayals of lone figures and enigmatic gestures.

Jenny Martin has first shown her work with Hidden Door in 2016. She is a painter and printmaker exploring themes of what people value and find precious. Her work is characterised by a proficiency in drawing and an intense yet subtle use of colour.

A powerful chromaticity also marks the work of Tracy Hall – Tracy’s bold brushstroke and her use of bright colours make her portraits of Scottish characters radiate with joy and empathy. A painter working at Garvald Edinburgh, Tracy previously exhibited her work with Hidden Door in 2017.

Likewise, 2017 was the first time that Kristina Chan became a part of Hidden Door. Kristina created a large-scale installation of prints of the Theatre itself, driven by a desire to explore the correlation between architecture and sculptural landscapes of derelict and disused spaces.

Similarly inspired by the venue of the Leith Theatre in 2018, a painterly installation of Tess Glen and a drawing-based performance of Daniella Turbin both evoked a fragile poesy within the festival. Themes of fragility, as well as of damage and loss, are also at the roots of Camila Cavalcante’s emphatic work in which she intertwines embroidery and photography.

In 2019, this eclectic group show of 29 works of 12 artists presents a cross section of the current practice of well-seasoned Hidden Door artists. Longstanding Hidden Door contributors are united here with more recent artistic voices. The bringing together of these artists celebrates the multifaceted nature of the art scene Hidden Door has continued to support.

So much more than just a gig, Hidden Door provides a platform for emerging artists to experiment, develop their practice and reach new audiences. By buying a ticket to Hidden Door 2019, you’re helping to support these artists and other creatives.

More about the Hidden Door 2019 artists.