Contact Rushes

Travelling with Richard Demarco, who has been a profound influence on my artistic identity, Contact Rushes is a homage to the artist as an explorer.

In travelling with Richard Demarco in 2007, I passed through two of his favourite European Countries – Poland and Romania, visiting seven cities in seven days, accompanied by a number of fellow artists, including my close collaborator on this project, Alexander Hamilton.

Runtime: between 5m and 57m, depending on installation format.

See it on Vimeo: Contact Rushes (14m 42s, single screen, portrait orientated version).

We were travelling to celebrate Richard’s 40 year connection to the cultural life of these countries. This work celebrates this sense of encounter – an at times disorientating cacophony of images, people and ideas, giving rise to a profoundly creative sense of engagement between people as they meet. These images provide a snapshot of our encounters. In each city Richard Demarco gave a talk on his personal vision of the arts based on friendship and the cross-cultural exchange of ideas.

The work comprises 70 individual silent video portraits. The small unspeaking moments chosen are completely un-staged – they reflect a sense of connection or inward reflection, yet always within the creative, inspired conversation that Richard Demarco seems to give such power to.

Contact Rushes was originally shown at The Scottish National Portrait Gallery, on four portrait orientated screens placed upon wooden plinths. It was later shown at Fabryka Sztuki in Lodz, Poland in a 57m single channel version, accompanied by a publication.

Produced during a period of collaborative practice with the artist Alexander Hamilton.

Available screening formats:
Single or multi-channel HD digital video in portrait or landscape orientation, on a projector or multiple screens. Source format: 1280×720, HD versions available.

Concept: Alexander Hamilton & Richard Ashrowan, Camera, sound & editing: Richard Ashrowan.

Richard Demarco:
Richard Demarco and The Demarco European Art Foundation
Wikipedia page for Richard Demarco

Deepest thanks to Krzysztof Noworyta and Ajka Mroczkowska for facilitating the Poland trip.

Supported by The Demarco European Art Foundation, the National Centre for Culture of Poland, The Adam Mickiewicz Institute, the Russell Trust and the National Galleries of Scotland.