Next Meetup

The Green Man, The Work of Lucy Skaer by James Clegg
Come along to the Talbot Rice Gallery (The University of Edinburgh, South Bridge, Edinburgh EH8 9YL) at 11am to 1pm for a talk by James on Lucy Skaer’s art and a leisurely lunch kindly provided by the Talbot Rice Gallery. The event is open to all and a chance to hear thoughts in relation to the art which he helps curate… Title of talk: The Green Man, the work of Lucy Skaer Lucy Skaer Lucy Skaer Bullet points of what you would like to talk about: Talbot Rice Gallery’s current exhibition The Green Man. The methods used by artists to develop creative ideas. Collections, museums and the politics of display. How translating objects from one material into another transforms their meaning. A few paragraphs on your subject: Lucy Skaer’s exhibition The Green Man is an exploration of irrationality in collections. In the traditional museum, time is linear and free from ageing, order is presented and the body is absent. Skaer asks what happens if desire, change, empathy and fallibility were instead to become the organising principles. Throughout her practice, Skaer mines and manipulates pre-existing imagery – from art and history, as well as from her own oeuvre and personal history – transforming and destabilising relationships between materials and meanings. For this exhibition, Skaer has selected items from the collections of the University of Edinburgh, inviting fellow artists to inhabit the galleries of Talbot Rice alongside her – Fiona Connor, H.D., Will Holder, Nashashibi/Skaer and Hanneline Visnes. To Skaer, the Green Man is a deeply irrational figure, spewing leaves and vines in place of language. Present in both pagan and Christian imagery, the Green Man made a resurgence after the plague, when wilderness and weeds took over much of the arable land. Skaer has selected items from the collection, bringing them into dialogue with her own constantly shifting works. Where before there was stability, she has opened windows into the Gallery, allowing light in that may cause them to sprout, grow and form a thicket of ideas. In calling the exhibition The Green Man, Lucy Skaer likens the spontaneous generation and evolution of form in artworks such as Sticks and Stones (2015–18) to the symbol of destruction and renewal found in carved stone faces made of leaves and vines. Amongst this scene are: Hanneline Visnes’ paintings which comment on the representation and control of nature using stylised motifs of animals and plants; Will Holder’s interpretive re-publishing of H.D.’s Palimpsest; Nashashibi/Skaer’s film that revisits the tableaus of Gauguin; and Fiona Connor’s exposure of the Gallery’s secret places. All contribute to the exhibition’s exploration of collections, forms, print and language. The Green Man includes a number of new works commissioned by Talbot Rice Gallery for the exhibition, carving playful new ways for the collections of the University to speak to our visitors, and representing Skaer’s most in-depth exhibition in the UK to date. A few paragraphs about you: James is an Assistant Curator for Talbot Rice Gallery. Passionate about contemporary art he has curated and helped to curate lots of exhibitions for the Gallery since 2010. He is specifically interested in artists that work across disciplinary boundaries and he works hard to create meeting points for different types of practitioner and different types of audience. This includes public events that see academics, performers and poets coming together to create new dialogues around specific ideas. It also includes talks and tours with a range of different groups, including ones connected to the Scottish Refugee Council, Crisis Scotland and various colleges and adult education groups. For more information please visit:

Talbot Rice Gallery

The University of Edinburgh, Old College, South Bridge, EH8 9YL · Edinburgh

What we're about

The Ragged University is where people come together to share their knowledge and skills in social spaces like pubs, cafes and libraries. Inspired by the Ragged Schools movement, we seek to communicate what we have invested our time in so to enrich each others lives.

Having run since 2010, collectively as a group of individuals, we have put on hundreds of events covering many different subject areas and art forms. Come along, try it out - it is free, it belongs to you, it is about learning something new and sharing what makes you tick.

Please check out the website for a deeper insight into the project. We are trying to grow as a collective and as people interested in other people. Behind the public events lies long range research into how we can develop free and open education possibilities, and research contributions to academic areas

Drop us an email or come along to a talk or event, write an article or be involved in research... Good things come of it :) (

Members (1,579)

Photos (26)

Find us also at