Smith during ‘Road Trip USA 08’ project.
|Born||August 2, 1983
|Known for||Sculpture, Installation, Video, Painting, Book-works|
|Awards||Fulbright Scholarship, New Work Scotland Project, Dewar Arts Award|
Smith was born in the Scottish town of Dunbar, and later moved to Glasgow to study Art at the Glasgow School of Art from 2001 to 2005. His first solo exhibition in Glasgow was in 2006. Since this time Smith has exhibited widely in Scotland and Internationally, to some critical success in Denmark and the USA.
Major works and projects
“Pure Love”, the title of Smith’s first solo show in London in April 2009, marked the romantic influence of the road trip project undertaken the previous summer. A return to working individually, the exhibition showcased a new series of abstract sculptural works executed in shagpile wool.
The tactile nature of these works was highlighted by a large lightbox’s confession of “I want to hold you”, although the inclusion of a slowly revolving mirror in the centre of the space, precariously held at an angle, keeps the viewer aware of his/her own physicality in relation to the sculptures.
“Road Trip USA” During August 2008, Smith undertook an collaborative project with another Glasgow based artist, Alex Gross, which saw them create 3 solo exhibitions during a 9000 miles road trip around the western United States. A project was organized by Smith and Gross, and funded by the Scottish Arts Council and the British Council.
The trip was, in Sandy Smith’s words, to be a “fast, flowing journey into optimism, failure, modernism, landscape and tourism, as well as a jovial examination of the artist's role in relation to these grand ideals”. The eleven week trip resulted in three successful exhibitions in Seattle, Las Vegas and Utah, and lead to the pair being awarded a New Work Scotland award at Edinburgh’s Collective Gallery, where their final collaborative exhibition was held in December 2008. This exhibition was also documented in Art Review.
The four exhibitions, along with other works and tourist photographs from the journey, are shown in detail on Smith’s website.
"Junior: A monument in film making history" is the title of an essay commissioned by the artist from an academic essay writing company. In May 2007, the essay was to prove that Junior is the best film ever made, and reference various philosophers and thinkers such as Roland Barthes, Jean Baudrillard, Michel Foucault, Sigmund Freud and Marc Augé amongst others. The essay itself is available to download from a website Smith set up specifically to host this project, www.juniorbestfilmever.info.
The topic has also spurred a competition where the public is invited to submit their own take on why the film should be considered the greatest ever made, with cash prizes available for the winning entries. In February 2008, despite Sunday Herald covering the story, the competition received fewer entries than there were prizes available, and the competition has been ‘infinitely extended’ according to Smith’s website.
“All the time I was making this, I was thinking of you” was the title of Smith's solo exhibition, at Market Gallery, Glasgow. In July 2007, this exhibition followed on from a four-week residency in the gallery space, where Smith spent his time making a flowering forest from craft materials such as crepe paper, tissue paper, Papier-mâché and poster paint.
“Mauritian Sunset” was the final work in a series of installations using redundant or discarded computers as building blocks to create architectural features or follies. This series of works first brought Smith’s artwork to international attention, and was featured in magazine articles in the United Kingdom and Europe, and on German Television.
- Hackett, Regina. European Duo’s road trip produces an elegiac examination of the American West, Seattle P-I, August 15th, 2008. Retrieved on 2009-11-02.
- USA Road Trip 08 – Smith & Gross, Sandy Smith. Retrieved on 2009-11-02.
- Wichert, Geoff. The Object Moved by its own success, October 17th, 2008. Retrieved on 2009-11-02.
- Clegg, James. “Art Pilgrimage: Glasgow & Edinburgh”, Art Review, March, 2009.
- McCracken, Edd. Arnie’s ‘one-joke’ movie made into work of art, Sunday Herald, February 24th, 2008. Retrieved on 2009-11-02.
- Twenty/20: Sandy Smith, “MacUser”, May 13th, 2005.