A form of solace in the gracious hands of Out of the Blue Drill Hall, Walk Don’t Walk turned out to be an exhibition unlike any other I’d seen before. A collection of artwork, illustrations, and comics from 19 different creatives – each with their own unique perspective and use of RISO printing – brought forth an almost out of body experience.
Moving through the open space in the hall, I was at first surprised to discover the range of creativity as each little crevice dedicated to its own artist felt as if I was being sucked into a different rabbit hole each time. What I was seeing in front of me wasn’t just works of art, but an introduction to the thoughts, feelings, and mind-space of a different human being.
I was fortunate enough to have such an experience only a couple of weeks before the Scottish Government announced that we were going into another lockdown. And now that I find myself once again stuffed into the confines of my student accommodation; I am haunted by the lingering images of the RISO artwork I was introduced to that day.
From Lauren Morsley’s eccentric use of vivid colour and space to Aki Hassan’s raw, honest and thought-provoking depiction of a non-binary person living in a cis world, Walk Don’t Walk did not merely invite introspection but demanded it.
All the anxieties and worry, the doubt and the fear that had cumulated over the past year was reflected back at me. And for the first time in a year, I could feel it seeping away as if the weight on my shoulders had finally lifted.
Perhaps it was Maria Stoian’s work that struck me the hardest. Her depiction of the pandemic as a ‘laborious and slow’ wade through water and feeling of homesickness portrayed in her artwork reminding me of my own struggles as I find myself alone in this pandemic once more.
With the people I love on the other side of the world and me, struggling to lift my legs wading in an endless ocean – knowing that even though I hate it – there isn’t any other way to get across.
Although seeing this exhibition isn’t possible any longer for a myriad of reasons, these amazing pieces will be available in book format by Out of the Blueprint, a social enterprise that supports local young artists and it is completely worth the purchase.
Image: Courtesy of Ece Kucuk