RSA New Contemporaries, Royal Scottish Academy, 2017

Video interviews and confessionals from bird characters create a sense of distorted reality as they share about their daily lives and struggles hoping for us the audience to sympathise. The birds appear at the opening evening, flocked and pranced amongst the audience before a monologue was delivered. Cigarette filters were then thrown to the birds as a empty gesture of that which is similar to artists being offered opportunities, exposure without remuneration.

Video on monitors and performance
Performers:                     Francesca Hawker, James Findlay, Heidi Chiu 
Music:                              James Findlay
Blackbird Recording:    Paul Nesbitt

Empty Words, Rich Songs was created at a time of abrupt closure of Inverleith House that prompted more than 10,000 people to sign a petition against the move (see article). The work had invited Paul Nesbitt the Director of Exhibitions and curator of The Inverleith House for 30 years to record his voice as a blackbird to memoralise his time at the gallery.

The sign ‘Can’t Afford a Miracle’ in mirroring Nathan Coley’s illuminated text, ‘There Will Be No Miracles Here’ at The National Galleries of Scotland is  a response to the peculiar dilemma of the arts with regard to the economy and the art spaces and programmes that are cut as a result. The road sign was placed in front of the closed Inverleith House at the end of the exhibition run at the RSA.