Following a Creative Scotland Award in 2006 Toby Paterson undertook a series of trips to Central and Eastern European countries such as Poland, Serbia, Russia, Bulgaria and Estonia, experiencing the empirical reality of cities marked by the residue of historical events. The work included in this exhibition, Various States, resulted both directly and indirectly from the journey.

Largely inspired by the physical reality of a city or place, Paterson’s work emerged as the result of experience, documentation and interpretation. Focused on the significance of architecture that has been marginalised in the social landscape, used to the extremes of the social and polgiciatl vista, Paterson’s work emerged from these margins as an aesthetic and formal discovery embedded in this process.

Whilst central works such as A Miniature (Red and White Pavilion) depicted a politically and aesthetically charged semi derelict Coca-Cola kiosk, accompanied by a relief painting on Perspex of the structure, other works, such as two large painted wood reliefs and one in aluminium, became less representational and focused instead on the experiential potential of the cities witnessed at first hand. Sculptural landscapes in their own right they established a visual interpretation of the physical reality of each place, evoking the tangible abstraction of their architectural forms.

The result of this journey found form in social and political flux- both from previously revolutionary and now often unchanging landscapes. In each work there was the evidence of a vision that inspires, whether through architectural form, colour or experience. In mining each discovery for form, there results a series of works which exposed and represent that inspiration, ultimately reminding us of the sheer pleasure in looking.

Toby Paterson Biography

Born and still based in Glasgow, Toby Paterson studied at Glasgow School of Art from 1991-5. In 2002 he won the Beck’s Futures Prize and in 2007 was commissioned by BBC Scotland to install an artwork outside their new headquarters at Pacific Quay, Glasgow. Mainly concerned with cities and modernist architecture, Paterson is influenced by both his physical experience of a place (often on skateboarding journeys) and his interest in its history, asking ‘what cultural, political and economic situation had made that place exist?’ His work comprises of wall drawings, paintings and sculptural installations, which encourage the viewer to consider their perception of the built environment, architecture and the city. Selected exhibitions and projects include Devils in the Making, GOMA, Glasgow (2015); Thresholds, Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop, Edinburgh (2014); Ludic Motif, Trongate, Glasgow (2014) and Resetting, a public commission in the south-west area of The Hague, with Stroom Den Haag, The Netherlands (2013)

Toby Paterson is represented by The Modern Institute. For more information please visit their website.


Void Gallery is supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Derry City Council.