John Kinross Scholar in 2018
How did the experience affect you as an individual?
Before the scholarship, I had lived in several European cities where I would usually move for work or education. Unlike previously, staying in Florence was uniquely liberating as I was never part of any institution or community which allowed me to see the place through a different prism.
For me, art was by a product of my attachment to a particular place where I belong or would desire to be part of. It was perhaps a certain reflection of a longing or relationship with that place in a ubiquitously subjective manner. However, having the status of an observer changed my relationship with the present where passivity became a personal virtue and a drive for ideas as it allowed me to put a spotlight on the tangible urban reality around me. As I did not belong to Florence, Florence belonged to me – I was a fleeting spectator recording what I saw through my pastel sketches and analogue photographs.
What was the impact on your practice?
Having the luxury to solely dedicate my days to creation and personal growth, I had the opportunity to reflect on my practice and highlight the interaction with light in the context of the city as a main orchestrating force for my art. Florence had a profound effect on the way I look at light. The pastel sketches and photographs I produced took me on a special tangent which focused on the momentary transient effects of light and its interaction with monumental forms. The pieces were composed of elements that reveal characteristics of urban morphologies, spatial sequences and the key elements that sculpt the Tuscan architecture. Observing the changing warmth of the shadows falling on forms, textures and details revealed sensitive information about the way southern light behaves while revealing the diverse reality of the Florentine public space and ambiance. This intense daily spectacle of transient colours that light produced still fascinates me and serves as a main driver in the present context – Scotland.
What would you say the long term impact has been on yourself and you work?
The scholarship allowed me to weave my architectural education and artistic ambitions into one as I had the opportunity to immerse myself in the fabric of the city as both. I believe that no other place could have provided me with the intense urban drama of density and light and sophisticated spatial sequences at once in order to collide imaginative creation and informative research into one.