Glasgow School of Art Student Makes Work from Fire’s Ashes

Curator Theresa Moerman Ib with Melissa Maloco's Negotiation of Space (A Door Closing and Opening). Photo: Glasgow School of Art

An exhibition featuring work from graduates of the Glasgow School of Art whose work was destroyed in the fire earlier this year opens tomorrow in Dunoon, in the Burgh Hall, Art Daily reports. Among the works on view, fine art photography graduate Melissa Maloco’s stands out. Having lost her entire portfolio in the fire, Maloco used ash from her works and the Mackintosh Building itself to recreate the piece she intended to show at Burgh Hall.

The original work, Negotiation of Space (A Door Opening and Closing), took the movement of a door and transformed it into a seemingly abstract image using carbon dust and paper. The carbon dust was from the ashes of a doorway in the charred Mackintosh Building.

Maloco told Art Daily, “The fire was such a huge, pivotal moment in all of our lives making the pieces felt necessary as a means of processing the event. The fact that the carbon used in these drawings came directly from the Mackintosh Building after the fire added another layer to the already loaded material. I felt that there was something very fitting and beautiful in the use of a material born out of destruction and tragedy “giving life” to new artwork. Also, being granted access to the Mack post-fire to create the work really helped me to deal with and process the incident.”

Entitled “Part Seen, Imagined Part: GSA,” the show features work by the jeweler Ellis Mhairi Cameron, communication design graduate Zheng Li, and six fine art graduates other than Maloco: Lin Chau, Romy Galloway, Joe Hancock, Nicola Massie, Frank McElhinney, and Norman Sutton-Hibbert. The exhibition is curated by GSA alumna Theresa Moerman Ib and Colm Docherty, and runs through July 26.

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