11 – 27 June 2021
South Block and Briggait Project Spaces, Glasgow, UK
Curated by Mother Tongue for Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art 2021
FREE Open daily, 10am to 5pm
Images: susan pui san lok, seven x seven (2021), installation views of various works across South Block and Briggait Project Spaces, Glasgow International Festival. Photos: Eoin Carey.
seven x seven brings together new commissions and existing work across installation, sound, film and text. seven x seven follows susan pui san lok’s 2019 solo exhibition, A COVEN A GROVE A STAND, commissioned by Firstsite as part of New Geographies, a project initiated by the East Contemporary Visual Arts Network, co-ordinated by Wysing Arts Centre. seven x seven is located across physical sites and online, drawing together strands of enquiry into the histories and folklore around witchcraft. The exhibition takes multiple forms across multiple sites, evoking and connecting narratives of gender and persecution between the East of England and Scotland, through acts of voicing and remembrance as individual and collective acts of resistance.
Supported by Glasgow International, Glasgow School of Art, University of the Arts London, Arts Council England, Association for Art History and wasps.
susan pui san lok, seven x seven 2021, unlimited digital edition, various dimensions (GI online).
susan pui san lok, seven x seven 2021, single-channel HD video, stereo sound, 26’ 26”
seven x seven is both a single channel video and a limited edition multiple containing several elements of various dimensions, also available as an unlimited digital download. The video animates the elements of the multiple, inviting connections between histories and geographies of witchcraft and persecution in the East of England and Scotland.
susan pui san lok, 99 2021, two-channel HD video, silent, 13’13”, looped (South Block). Production stills.
susan pui san lok, 99 2021, single-channel HD video, silent, 13’49” (GI online)
99 is both a two-channel video for gallery installation and a single-channel video for online. Scanning and looping the hoops embroidered as part of the installation, One/Hundreds (2019), for the artist’s exhibition, A COVEN A GROVE A STAND, each hoop presents the name of a person persecuted for witchcraft in the East of England between 1560 and 1751, made by members of the Colne and Colchester Embroiderers’ Guild, Stitch ‘n’ Bitch, and the Young Art Kommunity (YAK) in Colchester.
susan pui san lok, Ascendants Descendant / Descendants Ascendant 2021, site-specific wallpaper, 11.75m x 2.7m (South Block)
susan pui san lok, Descendants Ascendant / Ascendants Descendant 2021, site-specific vinyl, 4m x 4.5m (Briggait Project Spaces)
A temporary memorial across two sites, bearing some 1200 last names and 160 first names of the nearly 4,000 people known to have been accused of witchcraft between 1563 and 1736, as recorded by Julian Goodare, Lauren Martin, Joyce Miller and Louise Yeoman for The Scottish Survey of Witchcraft (2003).
susan pui san lok, Witches Rise 2021, installation with c.4,000 horseshoes (South Block and Briggait Project Spaces)
The horseshoe refers to the history and folklore around the Paisley witches (also known as the Bargarran or Renfrewshire witches), where seven people were found guilty of bewitching the 11-year-old Christian Shaw, daughter of the Laird of Bargarran. All were condemned to death and five were hanged and burned on the Gallow Green in Paisley on 10 June 1697 – the last mass execution for witchcraft in western Europe. Their names were: Margaret Lang, John Lindsay, James Lindsay, John Reid, Catherine Campbell, Margaret Fulton, and Agnes Naismith. At her trial, Agnes Naismith cursed everyone and their descendants, and local tragedies were blamed on her curse for many years after. Their collective remains were buried at a crossroad and a horseshoe set in the road to prevent their spirits from returning. Horseshoes are said to catch or proffer luck and protect against evil, depending on whether they are pointing up or down. Here, they lie ambiguously entangled, one for every person persecuted for witchcraft over a period of nearly two centuries in early modern Scotland.
susan pui san lok, Cruel Mothers / Fine Flowers 2021, sound installation, 17′ 17″ loop (South Block)
A transhistorical round of folk songs evoking enduring tropes and themes of sexual power, transgression, errant femininity and punishment. Featuring recordings by Shirley Collins (b.1935, Hastings), Jean Redpath (b.1937, Edinburgh, Scotland – d. 2014, Tucson, Arizona), Archie Fisher (b.1939, Glasgow), Frankie Armstrong (b.1941, Workington, Cumberland), Barbara Dickson, (b.1947, Fife) and Rebecca Pidgeon (b.1965, Cambridge, Massachusetts).
Images: susan pui san lok, seven x seven (2021), installation views of various works across South Block and Briggait Project Spaces, Glasgow International Festival. Photos: Matthew Arthur Williams.
GI 2021 x GSA x Courtauld 17 June 2021 5 – 6.30pm: Please join us for an online artist talk and the launch of the artist multiple seven x seven (2021), in collaboration with the Courtauld and The Glasgow School of Art, online booking here
GI 2021 x Clyde Built Radio 20 June 2021, 10pm – 12midnight: As part of GI Radio, tune in to hear the artist’s related soundwork, Seven Sisters (2019), audio essays by Mother Tongue and Alexandra Kokoli, and some of the folk songs featured in the artist’s sound installations, Cruel Mothers/Gross Lovers (2019) and Cruel Mothers/Fine Flowers (2021)
Exhibition technician: Colin MacFarlane. Sound technician: Pär Carlsson. Exhibition photography: Eoin Carey, Matthew Arthur Williams. Graphic design: Land of Plenty. Production assistance: Kirsty White. Thanks also to the farriers: Stephen Newman (Paisley), David Owens (Drymen, Stirling), Alastair Smith (Braco, Perth and Kinross) and Elijah David Wilson (Balmullo, Fife). Special thanks to: Tiffany Boyle, Jessica Carden and Marc Atkinson.