Art of Alison Kinnaird - Luminesce

Aptly for an exhibition of graphite and glasswork, Alison Kinnaird’s Luminesce is a gentle and delicate affair. Housed in the small spaces of Gallery 369 – sadly soon to become yet another office block – this exhibition pleasantly ponders upon the fragility and value of both human nature and the natural world.

Underscored by the sound of minimalist plucks upon a harp, a tour of Kinnaird’s collection offers some enjoyable artwork. Adam and Eve - two uterine globules of glass suspended on string from the ceiling - offer a glimpse into the intimacy of gestation. Foetal forms are etched delicately and enchantingly into the heart of each orb. Such warm organicism is offset by the structural geometry of some of Kinnaird’s other works. A number of prismatic pieces depict figural glimpses into both domestic and city life through images that shift from scene to scene as one walks around the room; effigies appear and disappear dependent upon the side from which the works are viewed, emphasising the constant subjectivity of perception.

Perhaps most remarkable of all Alison Kinnaird’s works is the gallery’s centrepiece: A display featuring multiple rows of razor-thin military men made of glass, each etched with a variant uniform and facial expression. These figures are underlit with LEDs - most with white, but those more contorted characters shot through with an ominous blood-red – used to suggest the brutality of a statistical approach to military deaths and losses. A singular pregnant female form stands among the troops, glowing with the ominous shade of scarlet and compounding the emotional weight of this light-as-air work.

Occasionally, delicacy of approach can devolve into a bland aesthetic. One major motif of the exhibition – particularly the graphite sketches - is that of feathers, flight and beautiful birds. Whilst ‘nice’ enough and undoubtedly displaying technical accomplishment, these pieces offer little for the observer to unpack. Works are also inhibited by a curation the artist herself admits is somewhat ill-judged; a blue glass disc depicting an Islamic woman and a cradled corpse has an ugly shard of mirror wedged underneath to help collect the light required for the titular luminescence – a light the artist admits is ample upon the other side of the room. Likewise, the aforementioned manifold perspective so central to the power of prismatic work is sometimes undone by placing them in awkward corners, disallowing circumnavigation.

Alison Kinnaird’s work is offers and almost meditative experience in its exploitation of the gentle and precious. Whilst not earth-shattering, this glass is occasionally intellectually penetrating and certainly very, very pretty.

Reviews by Jack Powell

Assembly Roxy

Lords of Strut: Chaos

★★★
Underbelly, Cowgate

John Robertson: The Dark Room

★★★
Pleasance Courtyard

Knightmare Live - Level 2

★★★★
The Assembly Rooms

Bulletproof

★★
Pleasance Courtyard

Thünderbards: Seconds

★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

The Blurb

Alison Kinnaird has an international reputation as one of the world's leading artists working in glass. This exhibition features a range of her glass, and a series of her drawings. www.alisonkinnaird.com/369.htm

Most Popular See More

Everybody's Talking About Jamie

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Life of Pi

From £19.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Hairspray

From £21.00

More Info

Find Tickets

SIX

From £29.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Pretty Woman: The Musical

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Heathers The Musical

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets