Alastair Fletcher (Fletch)
Visual Arts Scotland Graduate Showcase 2021 Shortlisted Graduate Award
“It’s just a scratch”
“It’s Just A Scratch” is a new presentation of works by Glasgow born and based photographer Fletch. Combining high quality photographic prints with repurposed Glasgow City Council fencing, perspex from bus stops and wallpaper paste, Fletch produces a body of work concerned with conflicting relationships between imagery, materiality and the context from which they’re borne.
The framing of the imagery is as important, if not more so, than the content of the photographs. The use of repurposed council fencing, seen around many of Glasgow’s City parks and public spaces, is a nod to the relationship one builds to the ephemeral aesthetics of a space from which their personhood is inextricable. The material language of something like this fencing goes beyond unpacking the meaning of a fence (as a barrier, a defence, a border, a separation) and instead speaks to a consideration of this specific type of material as it relates to memory or experience – it’s position within a life.
While the work and materials maintain an inherent link to Glasgow, its important to note that this is coincidental, dependent on the chance that lead the artist to be born and grow in the city. While that may seem obvious, what’s essential to understand is that the works on show must be considered beyond a purely semiotic reading of the individual parts. Every community will have an equivalent to the council fencing, to the perspex, to the situations that lead to the images housed within them. Understanding their relationship to a broader emotional experience necessitates an empathetic interpretation of the material, one that address all aesthetics as placeholders for the immaterial.
The photographs collected here present a notion of youth in flux, ending without announcement, our connections to one another blurring, filled with noise and grain from the film. At their most abstract, the pictures speak to the ache that comes with knowing something is almost over. The afterglow as the comedown sets in, your anxiety creeping up on you in the first shadows cast by the setting sun. They’re the numbing spectre of tomorrow’s depression looming over your back.
These pictures are of moments like that, as they happen inside you. They’re photos of an uncertainty that exists in a space beyond the possibilities of branding. In a, perhaps somewhat unsympathetic way, they are naked. – Allan Gardner
Documentation by Matthew Barnes
Thanks to Raydale Dower, Neil Clements, Allan Gardner, Kenni Campbell, Max Howarth, Billie Turnbull, Mae Mackenzie, Julie-Rose Rahbek, Jake Gatehouse, Rory Wood, Thomas Connolly, Jamie Bannerman and Monica Gowans.