As a Young Snail, A Middle Aged Snail, and an Old Snail, I Was Not a Fast Worker, McLuckie’s fifth exhibition at Murray White Room, includes two distinct series of beaded panels. One series, called The Youth, features a grouped study of young faces in what is the most naturally figurative work McLuckie has done to date.
The other series, Twenty Four Seven, is entirely abstract and features a spiral motif, the kind of symbol repeated across many cultures around the world. McLuckie’s father was a fervent amateur anthropologist and folk art, with its inherently pre- industrial temporality, is something McLuckie has always been interested in.
The meticulous nature of the exhibition’s two beaded series, in which each of the 11 beaded panels can take up to two weeks of patient, fulltime work to hand stitch around 30,000 glass beads, is complemented by a series of collages.
These collages introduce a more spontaneous sense of time while also folding chronology back towards 20th-century modernism through a dialogue with the work of Henri Matisse.
Proceeding from a basis in craft, McLuckie’s practice explores the mythology, history and ritual of making, explains gallery director Murray White.
“Alasdair’s signature is in the detail and in the making, whether that’s in his drawings, the woven glass beads or the more recent collages,” White says.
“Through this methodical practice he’s also looking at processes that self-referentially record a sense of time captured through craft and labour.”
McLuckie says his works have come to embody the pre-modern rhythms of the natural world.
“Time in my work is not linear but circular, and repetition is a constant in this kind of craft-based methodology.”
Indeed, in Twenty Four Seven, the recurring spiral motif can be seen as a circular meditation on the hours of the day, as each panel features 24 spirals. Displayed sculpturally on plinths, these ‘hours’ accumulate into a symbolic week, as there are seven works in the series.
Image – The Snail Logic to a Man with a Hammer, Everything Looks like a Nail 2018
collage on paper, synthetic Polymer paint and ballpoint pen on Binders board artist frame 36 x 61 cm
Image courtesy the artist and Murray White Room