The Commissions for The Fife Arms

Iwan and Manuela Wirth invited specific artists to make work that would be integrated into The Fife Arms through special commissions. These include a large-scale site-specific ceiling painting, chandelier and much more.

Guillermo Kuitca (b. 1961)

Untitled, 2018 Oil on wall 300 x 5500 cm ~ Clunie Dining Room

Working in his distinctive ‘Cubistoid’ style, Argentinian artist Guillermo Kuitca has created a dramatic mural that envelopes the Clunie Dining Room, transforming the space into a theatrical ‘stage’. Painting the mural was a physical process inspired by choreographer Pina Bausch’s mantra, ‘in dance, walking is enough.’ Pacing the length of the room, Kuitca would tilt his abstractions to the rhythm of his footsteps. In this way the mural evokes figuration, although nothing recognisably ‘human’ is visible. The forms and colours Kuitca selected for his immersive painting were heavily inspired by the ebb and flow of the Clunie River, directly outside the dining room, and the patchwork of colours and line of the surrounding hills and village rooftops. As the light changes throughout the day, we can imagine the river’s coursing waters, the forms of the rocks beneath the surface and the colours of the Highland landscape.

Zhang Enli (b. 1965)

Ancient Quartz, 2018 880 x 600 cm (main ceiling) 100 x 300 cm (bay window) Drawing Room

Zhang Enli is a Chinese artist who captures the familiar, overlooked and everyday items. In ‘Ancient Quartz’ Zhang took inspiration from cross sections of Scottish agates and the Cairngorm crystal whose deceptively simple exteriors conceal as dazzling array of colour and texture. Both are made by the unique landscape here in the highlands and their qualities evoke the peaks and troughs of the landscape which formed them.

Richard Jackson (b. 1939)

Red Deer Chandelier, 2018 Stainless steel, glass, plastic, neon, electronic devices 738 x 140 x 138 cm Reception

Richard Jackson is a Los Angeles based artist. ‘Red Deer Chandelier’ is composed of machine milled enlarged replicas of bag pipe drones and glass antlers. The glass antlers’ form is based on the antler of red deer Each piece was made by hand – blowing, pulling and rolling the glass to produce uniquely coloured, textured form. Typical of Jackson, the chandelier is a visceral and humorous interrogation of a classic light, normally associated with stately homes where the fixture drips with crystals in elaborate, florid designs. Instead Jackson has combined the heroic and the slapstick, the traditional and contemporary with systematic procedure.

Subodh Gupta (b.1964)

Chandelier for Fife Arms, 2018 Stainless steel structure, stainless steel utensils 190 x 410 x 440 cm ~ Fire Room

Subodh Gupta is an Indian artist, whose work incorporates everyday objects that are ubiquitous throughout India, such as steel tiffin lunch boxes, thali pans and milk pails. These objects are often seen by those in the West as exotic but to those in India they are daily household items. In ‘Untitled’ Gupta has assembled numerous glimmering mass-produced pans, pots and pails, embellished with colourful bulbs. Gupta emphasises the symbolic potential of these items – removed from their original use as storage containers in the home and recontextuliased as art, encouraging us to reflect on the idea of community and how this has had to adapt to a new globalised society.

Bharti Kher (b. 1969)

CIPHER I, II, III, 2018 bindis ~ The Spa

Bharti Kher splits her time between the UK and India. Her triptych of installations titled ‘Cipher’ (2018), commissioned specifically for the Fife Arms, utilise bindis as their medium, much like another artist might use paint or clay. Kher describes this project as ‘a time tunnel that you can climb into, or a vortex, or a womb, or a safe hole.’ The spiral geometry of ‘Cipher’ is its own metaphor, perhaps a quasisacred geometry, especially when read in the vein of Kher’s interests in Buddisht and Eastern mythologies. Within the works Kher has recorded movement and action, not just in the act of sticking the bindi, but also in the patterns which move and shift our gaze.

Art at The Fife Arms

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