Morag Keil, 'Rob Churm' (The Skinny, 19, 04/2007)

Rob Churm is famed on the Glasgow scene for his involvement with the band Park Attack. His drawings, exhibited here in his first Glasgow solo show, are often seen dotted around the bars, clubs and venues of the city, advertising local gigs. It is impossible to separate Churm’s poster works from the works in the gallery; after all, the style is the same despite the different context. When displayed in the bars and clubs, Churm’s surreal and awkward designs have a purpose: to advertise an event. This immediately stops you from looking deeper for any further revelations. However, when the works are stripped of this and curated in a clean environment, you are forced to consider the imagery and search its seemingly specific narrative references. The unconscious, continuous lines of pen and ink fill the pages, as they would fill time. Churm’s work is influenced by the environment of the pub and clubs he plays in. the hectic lines combined with the jutting together of imagery and his use of coloured acetate alludes to city night life. However, a more pronounced aspect of the work is the refining of the ability to access the unconscious mind – similar to the way a musician may improvise by allowing each previous action to dictate the next. This makes the work difficult to access and there is a temptation to scan each piece, hunting for explanations or conceptual links that might shed some light on Churm’s aesthetic choices.

Morag Keil