Beggars Teeth

About the Project

Beggars teeth is a collective art project involving the artists Fiona Robertson, Steven Anderson and Carrie Skinner. The project culminates in a series of events including Painting, Performance and Discussion held at the in Glasgow Project Room 29.04.17 – 06.05.17.

The title – Beggars Teeth – is taken from a quote by the playwright, actor, essayist, and theorist, Antonin Artaud:

All true language is incomprehensible, like the chatter of a beggar’s teeth.’

Expressionistic, neo-expressionist and surrealist themes and figures have been consistently influential in Glasgow art over the past 40 years; this influence has, however, been overshadowed by the emergence of a post-modern critique of Expressionism and related movements.

In the 1980s and 1990s there was a significant, international trend away from expressive and romantic art and towards neo conceptualism, relational aesthetics, abstraction, decoration and process based painting. In recent years, with metaphysical questions about originality, subjectivity and spiritual transcendence reemerging in an increasingly digital culture, a number of artists have begun to re-engage with the expressionistic and neo-expressionistic lexicon.

It is within this renewed debate and engagement with expressionism and related movements, in Glasgow and internationally, that ‘Beggar’s Teeth’ aims to situate itself. This project is intended to begin a long-term research project examining the different dimensions and questions raised by that same context.For the Project space events we have created a blog ( the site documents the conversations of the three Artists involved in the 3 month period leading up to the Exhibition, Performance and Discussion. The blog will be continued after the event, with documentation of proceedings and hopefully feedback from our audience.

Exhibition of Paintings

In Addition to curating the events, my contribution to the project space events was in creating and  exhibiting a series of oil paintings, reflecting the ways in which my ongoing practice has responded, and been responded to by, the project.

The blurring of ‘traditional’ boundaries between flesh and artifact, corporeality and expression, is a guide to my theoretical and practical work across mediums. The series of paintings for the project room is centered around the recapitulation and subversion of the ‘classic’ and highly formal template of the portrait.

Like my experimental films the paintings are collated from various sources. Approaches to constructing the paintings include working directly from drawings, collages or from staged photographs of small-scale models constructed from studio detritus. Other source materials include reproductions of early Renaissance paintings, archive footage of iconic expressionist figures and film stills.The status of the body and the image, and their mutual disintegration(s) both are key factors in the works. The ‘performance’ of making is evidenced in the work; the original source material that includes degraded or lo-fi images is further mutated though the paintings.

Go to for further documentation of events and blog.

Artaud, Antonin  “Ci-Gît”. 1947. Selected Writings, ed. Susan Sontag, Berkley: University of California Press, 1988. p. 36. Print

This Project is supported by the Glasgow School of Art