Louise Ritchie + Susie Johnston: Hidden Door 2021
About the project
157 Reliquaries is a multi-material intervention responding to the history of the gasworks and its place within the transport system of the Caledonian Railway located near Edinburgh city centre. Acknowledging the temporality of the site, its ongoing use as a learning-space and as momentarily unearthed for Hidden Door 2021, this project materially re-frames the space through working directly with discarded materials gathered onsite. Located in the shadow of the 157ft high gas-holder, the installation comprises of 157 porcelain vessels-as-reliquaries that draw attention to material agencies hidden in excavated found-objects and accumulated site detritus. Acknowledging the history of the site, within which this found matter plays its part, and the revitalising commitments of the Hidden Door Festival, these reliquaries offer an impactful contemplation of the power that art plays in the transformation and reinvention of otherwise forgotten spaces.
About the collaboration
Louise Ritchie and Susie Johnston share a deep fascination with the vitality of matter. Engaging with a myriad of materials from clay, bronze, found and repurposed objects, and traditional and non-traditional art materials, they embrace experimentation and process as part of their framework of thinking-through-making. Louise and Susie seek to reframe and challenge ideas of place and space through material engagement. For Hidden Door 2021, both artists celebrate the power of materials and their ability to transform and reimagine.
About Louise Ritchie
Louise Ritchie is an artist making work across disciplines that explore hybridity and materialities within objects and the complex processes employed by artists within the production of artworks. Louise’s practice includes painting, drawing, metal-casting, printmaking and ceramics as well roles within arts education, curation and collaborative projects. Louise is a BA (Hons) Fine Art and MFA Art & Humanities Graduate of Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, University of Dundee and a Lecturer in Contemporary Art Practice at City of Glasgow College/UWS. Louise is also a Past-President of the Society of Scottish Artists, a member of Project 1 Curatorial Panel, Meadow-Mills, Dundee and is currently a practice-led PhD researcher at DJCAD/UoD.
About Susie Johnston
Susie Johnston is an artist based in Perth working across the disciplines of painting, sculpture, and installation. Her practice spans over two decades exploring matter and metaphor as a way of creating new meanings, findings and connections. She currently collaborates with Binn Group, one of Scotland’s largest waste resource companies where she is researching the vibrancy of materials through repurposing and working with a range of objects made from soil, metal and plaster. Susie is a BVA(hons) and MVA graduate from Sydney College of the Arts and is a graduate from the MFA in Art & Humanities course, at DJCAD, Dundee. Susie has lectured since 2015 on the MFA in the Art & Humanities Programme at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design where she is currently undertaking a practice-led PhD.