Staff Spotlight - Alex Kershaw
Our Creative Industries staff members not only lecture here at Perth College UHI, they are also real life artists. We caught up with Alex Kershaw who told us about one of her recent exhibitions, ‘Incommunicado’.
Alex is a Course Leader for our NC Art and Design course and has been lecturing in the department since 1997. She has an Honours Degree in Design and a Masters in Fine Art which has allowed her to teach across a number of creative disciplines including drawing, illustration, design, mixed media and contemporary art. Alex works with a wide range of students, from Level 4 through to BA Honours, and enjoys the challenges that come with teaching at each level.
Can you tell us about your recent exhibition, ‘Incommunicado’ and where it was held?
The 201 Telephone Box Gallery in Strathkinness was a fitting venue for my recent exhibitions, which was based on the theme of ‘Nostalgia’. This small and quirky venue is maintained and curated by fellow Contemporary Art Practice Lecturer Lada Wilson, who has repurposed the phone box as a contemporary art venue.
What was the inspiration behind the theme of your exhibition?
My initial thoughts surrounding the venue, and the fact that it was formerly a functioning telephone box led me to ideas of communication. Who would I most like to call if I was given the opportunity to do so? Even if I was given the phone numbers of the numerous celebrities or famous people that I admire, there were many that would not be available to talk –no longer in the land of the living. This is why I arrived at the name Incommunicado. Then it dawned on me that although I may not be able to communicate with them, they are still able to communicate with me through one of the most powerful mediums that exists – music.
Nostalgia is a theme which seems to prevail and ties together the somewhat polarized topics which I like to explore in my practice. This body of work is intended to serve as a shrine to those no longer with us, whose music in the 80s helped to shape my adolescent years and have continued to do so to this day.
Was there a specific piece of artwork that stood out for you?
The main exhibition piece is a sculptural assemblage made from found objects (part mannequin and part turntable) plus shards of acrylic and mirror to add an 80s aesthetic to the piece. The placing of the mirror on the turntable is designed to emulate the appearance of a sundial, which casts its wistful shadow of time over the analogue music player. An engraved perspex memorial plaque of names of 80s musicians is mounted above the sculpture bearing the birth names of those who I feel a connection with.
Having enjoyed visiting Perth’s Rewind Festival for the 9th year, I continue to look to the music and pop culture from the 80s as a major influence on my work.
You can find out more about Alex’s work at www.alexkershaw.wordpress.com/
The 201 Telephone Box Gallery also celebrated their first anniversary recently. More information can be found here.