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FOREWORD They choose to not go their separate ways, to stay true to their skool, to make something happen and commit to the city they all grew up in. It was from the outset, an ambition not well supported by the surrounding evidence. This city, no stranger to dualism, wrestled with its old demon of parochial conservatism and its new ambitions of becoming a major European political and economic capital. Yet at the beginning of the 21st century Edinburgh was still erecting nineteenth century monuments. Against this backdrop of civic cowardice ‘Square Beard’ opened in a former ambulance depot in the spring of 2010, optimism crackled in spite of the prevailing psycho geography. Were they a movement? More a moment, an attitude that ran contrary to their cities historical artistic output, coupled with a humour that defied the tyranny of local art world expectations. Democratic and inclusive within their own tribe, their scene gathered strength from the curatorial nepotism they practiced.

Dropping the capital ‘A’ from Art in favour of the anarchist A, they specialized in the contemporary alchemy of transforming the deviant detritus of our pre programmed cultural mediocrity into the fool’s gold of sub cultural spectacle. These practitioners happily accepted social entropy without offering us an exit or a solution. With it’s emblematic gestural simplicity, quirky conceptualisms and dismal aesthetic ‘Square Beard’ cast off the mental arthritis of an ossified city and kick started a new period of excellence in Scotland’s Capital. The rest as they say is just one possible future art history. Kenny Hunter


STATEMENT The man makes spasmodic geographical twitchings around a city built on the industrial footprint of the past. He seeks nothing in particular but the vestiges of these forgotten powerhouses inevitably dictate how he traverses the concrete landscape before him. His material is what he encounters and his methods are conducted by what they have left behind. -


Kiln 2 (Power Station - Ash Lagoons), Reclaimed Brick, East Lothian, 2009


STATEMENT The document is used as an investigative tool by looking at our environment and collecting the spaces and tableaux. These are revised for comment on current occurrences and momentary situations. Functional objects are stripped back to become beautiful manufactured structures. They convey our fascination with the object itself and not its purpose. Their ambiguity questioning our relationship with them. -


Automaatti, Digital C-type print, Kilpisjärvi, EnontekiÜ, Suomi, 2007


STATEMENT As a visual artist I am attracted to the investigation of the positive and the negative. In particular, I find it the greatest challenge to transform a substance that once held negative aesthetic connotations into something that is utterly beautiful. My work has involved experimentation with artistic mediums that have never been used before. -


MTV, E.coli bacteria in petri dish, 2008


STATEMENT Originating from Wigtown, in Galloway, Scotland, influences my work and practise through the effect of the great amounts of religious iconography in the rural area. In forms of imagery, architecture, monuments and sites, their ability to resonate such feeling interests me intensely. Along side contemporary iconography from this age, through the media and such like, allow comparisons and juxtapositions to be made with relevant context. The idea of communication conceived within my work comes through this origin and also my strong interest in music. The play between them all brings about points of where we are today, looking at identity, higher forces, belief, positions of power, the everyday and the everyday man. -


Transmission Missionary (Diptych), Mixed Media, 2008


STATEMENT The Dancing Plague of 1518 was a case of dancing mania that occurred in Strasbourg, France, then part of the Holy Roman Empire. Numerous people took to dancing for days without rest, and over the period of about one month, most of the people died from heart attack, stroke, or exhaustion. No real consensus exists as to what caused the mania. -


Lollipop, Ceramic, 2010


STATEMENT I lost my virginity against a wall, outside a pub, to a friend’s girlfriend... The next day I went straight to my actual girlfriends house to tell her what I had done. Before I could tell her, it got steamy, we had sex, I told her it was so special... she said, “now you’re a man”… I smiled yes I am… Yes I am. -


The Optician 2, Wood & Resin, 2009 (Dundee)


STATEMENT My work is greatly inspired by my upbringing in Livingston. This peripheral position in between town and country is an ideal place to contemplate how places are shaped and formed. From there I can extract fragments of environments that are useless but not meaningless endowed with a global presence that creates a suspension between industry, leisure and everyday life. -


Ziggurat, Screen Print, 2010


STATEMENT Please accept my resignation. I do not want to belong to any club that will accept me as a member. -


Logos 1-12, Screen Prints, 2010


Square Beard Catalogue  

Catalogue from the 2010 group show at the Old Ambulance Depot.