Edward Clydesdale Thomson Bio
spellbound CBK Zeeland, Middelburg, The Netherlands 2022
spellbound
spellbound Facade 2022 - freedom from fear computer controlled kinetic sculpture 2022
spellbound
spellbound Facade 2022 - freedom from fear computer controlled kinetic sculpture 2022
spellbound
spellbound Facade 2022 - freedom from fear computer controlled kinetic sculpture 2022
spellbound
spellbound Facade 2022 - freedom from fear computer controlled kinetic sculpture 2022
spellbound
spellbound Facade 2022 - freedom from fear computer controlled kinetic sculpture 2022
spellbound
spellbound Facade 2022 - freedom from fear computer controlled kinetic sculpture 2022
spellbound
spellbound Facade 2022 - freedom from fear computer controlled kinetic sculpture 2022
spellbound
spellbound Facade 2022 - freedom from fear computer controlled kinetic sculpture 2022
spellbound
spellbound Facade 2022 - freedom from fear computer controlled kinetic sculpture 2022

Spellbound

A boat hangs on a heavy chain. It is a ‘pirogue’, a simple flat-bottomed fishing boat, suitable for one or two people. You can see this type of boat sailing the Volta Delta in Ghana. It is a design that can be traced back centuries and has spread across the Atlantic. Peoples who were transported to America to be forced into slavery took their knowledge of boatbuilding with them, and therefore, this type of boat can still be seen in North America today. The boat, bound in heavy chains descends, sinks below the water surface, and is raises from the water up into the air. A repetitive movement of going under water and being pulled up over the water surface again.

The artist has had a thing for boats in the past couple of years. This is the third in a trilogy. In Dordrecht, the first one will be realised: a large wooden barge that is going to be dragged through the city streets next fall. Since the streets are too narrow -or the vessel is too wide-, pieces will break off on the way. The project refers to the important social role of inland shipping, but it has caused quite some commotion in Dordrecht.

The trilogy’s second part is virtual. In this project, the romance of a lone sailor at sea serves as a frame story in which questions about climate, weather, pollution, data, history and perseverance are being explored. It tells the story of Bas Jan Ader, a Dutch conceptual artist who wanted to sail from America’s Cape Cod to Groningen in a small sailing boat in 1975. His boat was found, yet he was not. By using live weather data and simulation technology, an online oceanic world is created in which the viewer can follow the small boat live in actual circumstances.

And then there is number three ‘Spellbound’. Edward Thomson: “The installation is related to a dark side of Dutch history: the transatlantic slave trade. I wanted to create a work with fishing boats that are rarely displayed in this context. Watching the water in the Dutch docks, I was struck by how muddy they are. At the time I was mediating on the feeling of fear and what would be ‘Freedom from Fear’. The muddy dock, together with the charged history of slavery; I consider a trauma. And trauma like fear as something that can be hidden but is rarely gone.”

The boat and crane in ‘spellbound’ were built in Dordrecht by people from his artist studio and local volunteers. This collaboration, this collective activity is part of the art project to the artist.

Thomson: “The boat is made from local ash. I didn’t want to import wood. We work from photos and illustrations. During our research, we found hundreds of different types of sailing boats, but they didn’t include construction drawings of the small local Ghanaian fishing boats we were searching for. But this search lead us to academic research papers which linked the design of pirogues in the north American swamplands to technology brought to the Americas buy peoples forced into slavery in West Africa. There were many technical drawings of North American pirogues, so the boat we built is a hybrid, taking the proportions from these drawings and its detailing from photos we could find of Volta delta pirogues. The boat is then entangled in a large chain tied tightly with shibari inspired knots, the weight of this entanglement is what sinks the boat. When it is being hoisted, the water runs and splashes out of it, like a fountain. The sound of the installation is important. We keep the motor that lowers and lifts the boat as quiet as possible. You can hear the chain, you can hear the water gurgling when the boat sinks, you can hear the water running from the boat when it is slowly hoisted. My work is about time and space. I try to transfer certain histories into the present. That’s what is happening here.”

rivier, boot, stad Dordrecht’s Museum, Dordrecht, The Netherlands ongoing
bound to the miraculous online ongoing
Grazer Kunstverein is moving Grazer Kunstverein, Graz, Austria ongoing
Microplastics Rain Down from the Sky Division of Labour, Art Rotterdam, The Netherlands 2020
Buffer zones Paradise Works, Manchester, UK 2019
landfall O&O funding, CBK, Rotterdam 2019
An exhibition of posters Witte de With, Rotterdam, The Netherlands 2018
wild care tame neglect - exhibition Frankendael Foundation, Amsterdam, The Netherlands 2018
below the soil, between the branches, above the clouds Into Nature, biennial, Drenthe 2018
how to kill a tree Frankendael Foundation, Amsterdam 2018
Tuin van Toorop Jan Tooropstraat, Amsterdam 2018
noon Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland 2017
the necessity of art Grazer Kunstverein, Graz, Austria 2017
wilder beings command Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland 2017
wild care tame neglect Frankendael Foundation, Amsterdam, The Netherlands 2016
poster club Het Wilde Weten, Rotterdam, The Netherlands 2017
The Society Machine Malmo Konstmuseum, Malmo 2016
Static Gravity Het Wilde Weten, Rotterdam 2016
Crossing Borders Expanding Frontiers ramfoundation, Rotterdam, The Netherlands 2016
As the lake said to the boat Kunsthuis SYB, Beetsterzwaag, The Netherlands 2015
Nothin Shakin but the Leaves on the Trees Marabouparken konsthall, Sunsbyberg, Sweden 2015
Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain CCA Derry~Londonderry, Lismore Castle Arts St Carthage Hall 2015
Belief and Productivity O&O funding, CBK, Rotterdam 2014
The Non Urban Garden: tuinen van de 21e eeuw Afdh & Kunstvereniging Diepenheim 2014
iaspis Open House, spring 2014 iaspis, Stockholm 2014
The Distracted Gardener & The Plumbing Subverter Yeo Workshop, Singapore 2013
Late Nights & Early Mornings Kunstraum, London 2013
25 Years Rotterdam City Collection Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam 2013
here is always somewhere else Forum Triangulare, Oud-Rekem, Belgium 2013
Abilities Jeanine Hofland Contemporary Art, Amsterdam 2013
Lost & Found at the Flügelbus Lost & Found, Amsterdam 2013
causa finalis Galerie Fons Welters, Amsterdam 2012
As if an entrance is over there- Lecturis, Eindhoven 2012
Rijksakademie Open 2012 Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, Amsterdamm 2012
The research and destroy department of the Black Mountain College W139, Amsterdam 2012
We are rolling galerie-j, Geneva 2012
There was a Country where They were all Thieves Jeanine Hofland Contemporary Art, Amsterdam 2012
Secret Gardens TENT, Rotterda, 2012
FlowerCASTLE Kasteel Keukenhof Art Foundation, Lisse 2011
Rijksakademie Open 2011 Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, Amsterdam 2011
a green thought, in a green shade Art Amsterdam MK Gallery 2011
Prix de Rome 2011 Smart project space, Amsterdam 2011
Borderline Picturesque & the Recounting Prospect Tromsø Kunstforening, Tromsø, Norway 2010
New Graffiti, Old Revolutions MK gallery, Rotterdam 2010
A group show Croxhapox, Ghent 2010
Done to a dead end & the dead or alive sale SD&G, Rotterdam 2010
Edward Clydesdale Thomson SECONDroom, Brussels 2009
A Leopard, Some Monkeys, Numerous Butterflies, Dozens of Peacocks and a Sublime Vista 4th Issue NOWISWERE, Contemporary Art Magazine, London 2009
Open Office for Words ADA, Rotterdam 2009
Imaginary Cinema - Discussion WDW 653, Rotterdam 2009
Residency at Het Wilde Weten, Rotterdam WDW 653, Rotterdam 2009
Impromptu Affairs DEK 22, Rotterdam 2009
Selbstzweck Private Collection 2008
Residency at Kysten Tromsø Kysten Tromsø 2008
Small Talk with the Janitor Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam 2008
My Travels with Barry, MA Graduation Show Tent, Rotterdamt 2008
Just what is it that makes that thing so different, so appealing? Expodium, Utrecht 2008
Observing Construction NEST, Netherlands Architectuurinstituut (NAi) Rotterdam 2007
This is how it must feel to be there Pakhuismeesteren, Rotterdam 2007