Meet me at the threshold
Aideen Doran, Jenny Hogarth, Sulaïman Majali, Stephanie Mann, Rosie O'Grady, Sarah Rose, Rae-Yen Song,
Eothen Stearn, Tako Taal, Mona Yoo
Meet me at the threshold brings together the first ten participants of Talbot Rice Residents, a part of the Freelands Artist Programme. Through video, sound, drawing, textiles and sculpture, the exhibition explores ancestral lineage and intimate personal relationships, interrogates methods of communication and the translation of language and explores our responsibility for objects and materials. Containing moments of grief, joy, resistance, intimacy and fracture, Meet me at the threshold demonstrates the breadth of enquiry pursued by these remarkable artists and showcases the quality of emerging and re-emerging artistic practice in Scotland today.
To find our more about each artist click on their name below to view or download their Artist Guide.
The full Exhibition Guide is available at the foot of the page.
Aideen Doran’s video Depositions of the Despoiled Subject (2021) weaves together family history, parliamentary records and oral testimony to reflect upon truth and testimony in the artist’s hometown of Lurgan, Northern Ireland. Originating from a chance encounter at the grave of John Furfey, a ten-year-old boy who was murdered by law enforcement in 1879, the work intertwines Furfey’s story with accounts of 1970s rent strikes and 17th century uprisings. Resonant and personal, the work connects seemingly distinct moments in history – foregrounding pertinent instances of civil resistance and questioning the reliability of historical narratives.
Jenny Hogarth presents an intimate, diaristic portrait of her relationship with her eldest child Bo, through a new multi-channel video work. Created using body-mounted cameras, the work offers first-person vantage points as the pair spend time together cycling, shopping for books, getting lost in a maze, and practicing yoga. Filmed over several years, the work is a window into their private time together and reveals how Bo’s autism shapes his lived experience – capturing moments of humour, tension and tenderness within everyday life.
Sulaïman Majali presents arab reclining by a stream, an installation in the round room that takes its title from William Holman Hunt’s 1854 watercolour of the same name. A reproduction of the painting situates itself in a nexus of things located in a conjoining space of preparation and store between a former museum and lecture theatre. Majali uses languages of the studio, itself a site of rupture, to encounter empire through the magic operation of poetic speech/to grieve and dream on the verge.
Stephanie Mann brings together elements from her extensive research within the University of Edinburgh collections and geology department. Mann’s explorations into how objects materially and historically exist includes pulverising unwanted items from collections and experimenting with methods of implanting their dust into rocks: to create newly inhabited specimens and complex formations. The varying success and points of resistance to her efforts further her philosophical inquiry into the agency of objects and their ability to refuse or withstand human intention.
Rosie O’Grady has created a series of photograms (photographic images made without a camera), based on an encounter with distinctive rock formations at Ploumanac’h, Brittany, France. The same rocks were photographed in 1926 by British Surrealist painter Eileen Agar, who framed them comically to emphasise their anthropomorphic quality. O’Grady exposes her own digital images shot from the screen of her phone onto light-sensitive paper, rendering them analogue - using this technique to trace processes of translation, close examination and influence.
Sarah Rose's work is concerned with the life cycles of materials and how they can be reconstituted and recovered. Her works in the exhibition—including a custom-made ‘serpent’ brass-wind instrument and a discarded underwater cable casing—entwine historical and symbolic narratives, foregrounding transformation within assertions of power and control. Rose questions how nature and human intervention co-exist, overlap and conflict in both the aftermath of empire and the present ecological crisis.
Rae-Yen Song presents three large fabric works, a series of drawings and a gnomic sculpture – all carrying the elaborate tale of ✵may-may songuu✵. The multi-layered narrative, woven with personal memories and aspects of a sisterly relationship, offers a modern fable detailing the origins of appetite, consumption and greed. With irreverent humour and a distinctive colour palette, the works continue the artist’s practice of self- mythology and autoethnographic world-building.
Eothen Stearn brings together her research into the University’s Lothian Heath Services Archive and presents the first in an ongoing series of interviews she is conducting with key figures that lived through the epidemic in Edinburgh – dubbed the AIDS capital of Europe in the 1980s. An AIDS activist, DJs and a GP and Professor of Addiction Medicine recount their specific adjacency to the crisis, recalling moments of grief, kinship, resilience and solidarity. Alongside these first-hand accounts, Stearn weaves her own screen-prints, materials from the archive and original footage from JOY – a legendary Edinburgh club night that united marginalised communities in reaction to the discriminatory Section 28 (2A) instated by the Thatcher government to prohibit the "promotion of homosexuality" by local authorities.
Tako Taal’s moving-image work, Departures, is a poetic meditation on absence, and distance. The camera traces the surface of the naming blanket that she has had since birth, emphasising its embroidered patterns and signs of age of use. Unseen shadows pass behind it as a poem written by the artist’s late father is recited by the voices of his two brothers - one in Gambia, the other in Florida. Their disparate voices unite as they recall and utter the words of their absent brother.
Mona Yoo’s light and sound installation pulsates from the gallery’s windows. Sited at the point of threshold between outside and inside, the work resonates differently at the point of transition from day into night. The light oscillates to the sound of the artist’s voice as she utters a sequence of dits and dahs, imitating an English and Korean translation of ‘I am the space where I am’ into morse code. The sounds are recited over and over, until they falter and break down.
Meet me at the threshold is curated by Stuart Fallon and is generously supported by Edinburgh College of Art and Freelands Foundation.
The Talbot Rice Residents programme is part of the Freelands Artist Programme.
The Freelands Artist Programme is a five-year programme that supports emerging artists across the UK in partnership with g39, Cardiff,PS², Belfast, Site Gallery, Sheffield and Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh.
Friday Tour | Tina Röck
12.30pm, Friday 29 April 2022
For this lunchtime tour we'll be joined by philosopher Tina Röck who will ask us to think about what it means to be.
Conversation | Eothen Stearn (with Maggie McKeown, Roy Robertson and Louise Williams)
6.30pm, Tuesday 3 May, 2022
An informal conversation with artist Eothen Stearn and those who collaborated on her project about the HIV epidemic in Edinburgh.
Screening and in-conversation | Jenny Hogarth (with Laura Haynes)
6pm, Wednesday 4 May, 2022
A screening of When You Talk About The Volcano Will You Talk About Yourself (2022) followed by a conversation between Jenny Hogarth and Dr. Laura Haynes.
Friday Tour | Stephanie Mann (with Julie-Ann Delaney and Ian Molnar)
A lunchtime tour exploring the nature of objects, with special guests and handling session with artist Stephanie Mann.