IMI MAUFE’S TRANSLATING TRAVELS AT EDINBURGH PRINTMAKERS
Sun’s out. Summer beckons. Hands up all those experiencing restless feet!
If you’re prickling to travel, there’s an intriguing exhibition on at Edinburgh Printmakers by the Bergen-based British artist Imi Maufe.
Maufe travels often and widely by land and sea – Ireland, the Hebrides, Shetland, Hastings, Newcastle and Norway – with a voracious curiosity not so much for the grandeur of scenery as for the incidental traces of people.
She records the ephemeral and extraneous in signposts and snatches of conversation, in everyday artefacts rendered unfamiliar and enchanting by a change of context.
The verbal and symbolic languages of road signs, ships’ logs and sailing terms, the memories on train tickets, journeys through typography, Chinese whispers, ghosts in gloves on a beach are all worthy of recalling and re-imagining, recycling in various meticulously drawn, printed and published forms.
There is a pleasing tension here between the randomness of experience, the variety of Maufe’s artforms, and the crafted (Japanese-influenced?) exactitude of their setting within boxes and compartments.
Many of these invite exploration within the gallery – their contents available to take out and thumb through. For all their rigidness, these cases are tthe artist’s morphing maps, cartographic palimpsests, a world of accurately contained un-certainties.
The overall effect is both eye-opening and informative, and underlain with a subtle humour that adds relish without drawing attention to itself. I found this collection impossible to define, but thoroughly enjoyed it.—AM
Imi Maufe’s Translating Travels continues at Edinburgh Printmakers (23 Union Street) until 21 July. Entry free.