About

Christine Bruce

Artist

Born in 1959 in Scotland, Christine now lives in the Netherlands, having spent most of her life working in international educational settings.

Christine developed her art practice as a part-time student with the Open College of the Arts in UK, gaining a BA (1st class Hons) in Creative Arts.

She is developing her practice as a printmaker, exploring the possibilities of expanded print media and 3-dimensional objects in response to the phenomena of loss and remembrance.

21 thoughts on “About

  1. It’s a powerful piece, anyone who has loved someone with dementia would relate to the folding, packing and sometimes unfolding of memories. It’s really moving and more so because of recent losses. So creative

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  2. Congratulations Christine – what an incredible project. I really enjoyed all the different media you used in your exhibition as well as the participation / interaction with your artworks. I feel privileged to have been able to experience this in person.

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  3. For example, grief and happiness are intelligible things, but when you wish to express these spiritual conditions you say, “My heart became heavy”, or “My heart was uplifted”, although one’s heart is not literally made heavy or lifted up.
    Prachtig, thank you Christine my heart was uplifted.

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  4. love this exhibition – I need to come back and look at it slowly. I like the colour – blue; I know it is the cyanotype process, but “blue”, this kind of “blue” seems to invoke “sadness” to me. Memories seem to be sad where once they were happy. I like how you use “folding things up and putting them away” = stored memories to perhaps being taken out at certain times – when the present doesn’t suit perhaps? I liked the fishbone and the list beside it? (I couldn’t quite read it, is it just a list of words or a stream of consciousness?) I liked the thick, padded, cloth book – children’s books are like this – was this the inspiration? Padded memories, pressed down by hand – I want to create a book like this! Memories here are not distinct…we need our minds to make sense of them. I would have liked to see you record the process of making this material book, then reading it, then dismantling it – to exit, should you get rid of memories? I love this kind of art work – installation, mixed media and sequential. I want to do more creation…

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    1. Thanks for your lovely comment Jennifer!
      Just in answer to your query about the list: this comes from an 18th century (Alexander Hepburn, 1721) document describing the Buchan region of NE Scotland, where Christian Watt lived, and lists the material wealth of the seas on that coast: “killing, lering, codfish small and great; turbet, scake, mackrell, haddocks, whittings, flooks, seadogs and seacatts, herrings, seaths, podlers, gandues, lobsters, partens, and several others.” I liked the rhythm and poetry of the list. While Christian’s Watt’s dispossession was due mainly to cultural norms of the time relating to mental health, industrialisation during the Victorian age also put an end to this class of independent workers. And now of course, the fish are not so abundant…

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  5. The virtual exhibition created by Christine, for me as a viewer creates so evocatively a place within my mind’s eye, a space we all know. Some distant memory we might have of something familiar and yet intangible, that we cannot quite grasp.

    This page has a discernible photograph showing a physical image of a space and the objects contained within. I interpret this being the catalyst to the project thus contained here; and yet for me as a viewer, there are immediately strong associations which invoke my own memories. The significant object is the mirror which reveals to us the space occupied by the onlooker but also looks back to the opposite wall. Here is a cupboard, alcoves and receptacles where all manner of items can be placed away, conveniently hidden, or otherwise. We can only imagine what may be there and waiting to be discovered, or re-discovered.

    At the side of this is the image of The Garret. The Garret that had been created for the virtual exhibition. I read this as a space we all know and it has been effectively formed here by flimsy fabric and it becomes a virtual architectural space. It is otherworldly, with ghostly devised architectural metaphor and motif appearing like apparitions rather than the physical reality of three-dimensional form. Within each of these canvasses (cyanotypes) there are vehicles to summon our own memories by the associations we create. The wardrobe, the most powerful, has cupboards and a drawer, all substantially apportioned with heavy looking locks. The mirror which is now transformed to a two-dimensional representation once had the ability to reveal something to us but now we have only our own thoughts. It is quite poignant then the way it is all packed away. The physicality of the once definers of space become small, folded pieces to be neatly placed away inside a box along with the contained and uncontained memories for which had been a part of this exhibition.

    For curation purposes I wonder if The Garret would have benefited form being in a darkened space and thus enhance the ethereal qualities which have been made here. To my mind the Garret is effectively described as a space which has a flimsiness and will leak out into the unknown. It is dark out there. We had a clue there were other objects to see beyond this space and with a darker environment these may have been given an even greater detachment. There is the potential for this installation to travel and be re-formed elsewhere at anytime in the future. The memories could of course be very different then and that is the power of what has been made here.

    Stephen Powell

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    1. Thank you Stephen for your very thoughtful response- I really like your suggestion of a darkened space and think it would have changed the atmosphere – added sombreness perhaps. The available space just happened to be flooded with natural light, so this was not a considered decision. It would be interesting to try out different settings if the opportunity is there later.

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  6. Well done, Christine! Your work is truly beautiful but also complex and challenging. I really connected on a personal level with the theme of loss and its attendant memories of what has been lost. This exhibition is an exploration of ideas that should engage everyone in a critical thought process if their own on a deep level. I congratulate you on producing works that help everyone to see, to think, to contemplate on the nature of memory and loss.

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  7. Much of the print work had already been done when I first knew of the project. I was struck by the blues, which although it was an interior brought the colours of the seas and skies of Scotland into the room. The exhibition was very moving, and the printed room gave a dramatic focus to the ideas of memories and loss which we all experience. I loved the photos and the fabrics as well! Thankyou for allowing me to be a tiny part of it.

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  8. Hi Christine, having looked at your website I must say that I am really impressed – I thought that it was visually very attractive and I was taken by the many different approaches adopted – video and photo galleries embedded in the page, lots of images meant that exploring the site was a pleasure rather than a monotonous journey through a series of images. I also liked the way that the viewer was expected to be involved and think about the exhibition – for example I really liked the way that it was only once I had opened ‘exit’ that I discovered the background to a major part of the work and I, like many people, clicked on ‘exit’ last of all!! But this was good because it started to answer many of the questions I had built up in viewing the whole work rather than telling me before I had started to examine the images – it was a more active process for the viewer rather than a passive experience (this is where the variety of mediums used added to the experience also).

    As I said I was really impressed with the exhibition, the following comments are just a few minor points that you may, or may not, want to consider –
    On the ‘about’ page – the description is good, but would it be worth putting a short description of the website as a whole, how the gallery and digital exhibition relate to one another?
    On the ‘gallery’ 4 of the 6 sections have short introductions to the series but the ‘bindweed’ and ‘greying’ series have no opening introduction. Perhaps they are more self-explanatory, but it might be worth considering a very short introduction to them.
    On the ‘uncontained’ page – the final two images ‘compass’ and ‘poem’ have captions but none of the other images do – is this intentional?

    These are just very small points, the overall impression when visiting the site is extremely positive. As someone whose own mother has quite severe dementia, I found the whole exhibition very moving.

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  9. I’m sorry I missed the opportunity to hear you talk about your work in a recent OCA meeting. I find it fascinating, moving, creative and tender. I’ve had recent experience of being in a collaborative group that had the idea of a conceptual ‘house’ in which to stage an exhibition so it was wonderful to see how far you’ve developed this idea. Wishing you much success in the future Christine.

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    1. Thank you so much for your comment, Catherine. It’s always encouraging to hear that the work has had some impact even online. Your collaborative group work sounds really interesting- I shall take a look at your blog to find out more!

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  10. I found it so interesting to “wander” through the rooms digitally and explore all the different kinds of objects, really cool. “…which attempt to do what words do not”: mission accomplished. Really powerful, beautiful, witty and sad. I’ll be thinking about it for a while. Great work, Christine.

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  11. This is amazing – I looked through it but now need to go back and really look.
    Stunning – I don’t know what to say – I just feel the need to go back and ‘look properly’.
    I’m forwarding to my mum, who will appreciate and understand it more than me as art – I just feel like I’m ‘experiencing’ the work.
    I’m in awe that you conceived and created this.

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  12. This is amazing – I looked through it but now need to go back and really look.
    Stunning – I don’t know what to say – I just feel the need to go back and ‘look properly’.
    I’m forwarding to my mum, who will appreciate and understand it more than me as art – I just feel like I’m ‘experiencing’ the work.
    Beautiful.

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  13. As an OCA Painting degree student on level 2 I found your work very interesting. It evoked questions for me about legacy. Your background audio was very helpful and I always find this kind of artist talk helps me to appreciate the work in a richer way. Congratulations on your show and all the work that has gone into it.

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