Carol Rhodes: Seen and Unseen Symposium


Sat, 20 April 2024


Reid Lecture Theatre - Reid Building, The Glasgow School of Art, 167 Renfrew Street, Glasgow G3 6RQ

Further info

Cost: Free but ticketed - Book via Eventbrite


Type: Talk

Carol Rhodes: Seen and Unseen Symposium
Saturday 20 April 2024
Reid Lecture Theatre
Free but ticketed – Book via Eventbrite

The School of Fine Art and Exhibitions at the Glasgow School of Art is pleased to present a one-day symposium on the work of the painter Carol Rhodes (1959-2018). This symposium is co-ordinated in conjunction with the Carol Rhodes estate. 

The symposium seeks to speak to Rhodes’ significant artistic legacy, and to encourage the development of new contextual frameworks through which her practice might be engaged with. While the event seeks to locate itself within a timely discussion around the historicization of British women painters of the 20th century, another topic it seeks to address is how an artist’s political ideals and their contribution to a variety of communities may be articulated in relation to their practice.  

Known for her depictions of landscape, Rhodes portrayed a world of semi-fictional locations that are at once familiar and ambiguous. Intimately scaled, densely rendered and typically taking an aerial viewpoint, her works often feature uninhabited industrial terrains and edgelands – factories, canals, motorways, reservoirs – described by the artist as ‘hidden areas’. Psychologically charged and seemingly unnatural in light and colour, Rhodes’s paintings reflect our experience of place, the ways in which we perceive, make and adapt our environments.  

Rhodes studied at Glasgow School of Art (1977-82) but, following her graduation, became involved in social activism, organising and participating in feminist, pacifist, gay rights and social justice campaigns. She co-founded the Glasgow Free University and between 1986 and 1988 was part of a burgeoning group of artists associated with the artist-led gallery Transmission. From 1999 onwards, she returned to Glasgow School of Art as a tutor. In 2012, along with Merlin James, she founded the gallery space 42 Carlton Place in Glasgow.  


Symposium Papers

Distance Tactics: Carol Rhodes and Painting the Periphery
Dr. Moyra Derby (University for the Creative Arts, Canterbury)

Arteries and Lifelines
Sam Drake (Artist)

What Some Women Did
Shona Macnaughton (Artist)

Carol Rhodes: The Deluge
Painting Nerds (Artists Jamie Limond & Samuel O’Donnell)

Luminous is the Word
Rosie O’Grady (Artist)

Reflections on the Painting Notes of Carol Rhodes
Dr. Sin Park (Glasgow School of Art)

Bundesgartenschau, Pantyhose or Megadeath? Painting, Landscape and Capital in the work of Daniel Buren and Carol Rhodes’
Dr. Paul Pieroni (University of Edinburgh)

Surrogate Viewers, a Methodology of Mimesis and Dissonance in Carol Rhodes’ Archive and Studio
Rosie Roberts (Artist)

Peripheral Activity
Dr. Catherine Spencer (University of St Andrews)

Reaching the Stuff Itself: The Delicate Empiricism of Carol Rhodes
Dr. Craig Staff (University of Northampton)

The accompanying presentation Carol Rhodes: Seen and Unseen is on show in the Reid Ground Floor Corridor from 6 – 23 April 2024.

Carol Rhodes (1959-2018) was born in Edinburgh and brought up in Bengal, India. She studied at Glasgow School of Art (1977-82) and during the 1980s she was actively involved in the Women’s Movement, Transmission Gallery, Glasgow and the Glasgow Free University. At this time she made little art, but resumed painting in 1990 and started to exhibit her work in 1994. In 2012, with partner Merlin James, she set up an exhibition space in their home/studio at 42 Carlton Place, Glasgow where she co-curated exhibitions of work by, among others, Christina Ramberg, Adrian Morris and Louis Michel Eilshemius. She was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 2013 and died in 2018.

Image: ‘Open Tent‘, Carol Rhodes (1994). Oil on board, 54 x 64 cm.
Private collection. Courtesy: Carol Rhodes estate and Alison Jacques, London.

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