Jamie Lewis reviews Grace Ndiritu’s Performance in the Glasgow Herald 9.25.15

Work created at fire-hit Mackintosh in Turner art show

Jamie Lewis

ARTWORK made by students in the fire-damaged west wing of the Mackintosh Building at the Glasgow School of Art is to take centre stage at a new exhibition for the 2015 Turner Prize fringe.
The work was created in the celebrated Mackintosh Lecture Theatre with survived the devastating blaze on May 23, 2014 with its infrastructure intact.It will be the first major solo show in the UK since 2007 by Grace Ndiritu, a UK-Kenyan artist who taps into Ancient Egyptian history and ceremonial rituals.
It sees Ms Ndiritu bring the building back to life energetically through a special performance that was filmed in the Mackintosh Lecture Theatre with a group of 40 participants last week.
The film will be shown, along with the props and costumes from the performance, in an exhibition that opens in the Reid Gallery at the GSA on October 2 and runs until December 12, 2015.
Ms Ndiritu has shown in exhibitions across the globe and her work is housed in museum collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
In 2014, she was featured in the ’40 Under 40′ – the 40 most influential and promising people in the European art world under the age of 40 – in the leading art magazine, Apollo.
Her exhibtion at the Glasgow School of Art marks an important development as it will be the first show to feature her wider practice as an artist, including painting and photography.
“We art delighted to be able to work with Grace,” says Jenny Brownrigg, exhibitions director at the GSA. “It’s especially exciting to be staging a show that both showcases her wider practice and features a new work we have commissioned specially for the exhibition.”
“The work is a symbolic celebration of a new working phase for both Grace and the Mackintosh Building,” adds Brownrigg. “It at once awakens memories of the Mackintosh Building and brings ‘The Mack’ back energetically to life.”
Among the other works on show in the exhibition is a painting installation that examines the issue of sweatshops from three angles: Indigenous Tribes producing culture and spirituality to feed the New Age movement in the West; The Art Studio – artists who are making objects to feed the art marker and Third World Countries – where poorly paid workers make products to feed the luxury, global consumer market.

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