Two-Step: Playing Up

A solo exhibition at Glasgow Print Studio of new work by artist duo Two-Step (Beth Shapeero and Fraser Taylor).

April/May 2023

Works available at Glasgow Print Studio

Microsoft Word – Media Release_Two Step_ Beth Shapeero and Fraser Taylor_ April 2023.docx

Beth Shapeero and Fraser Taylor began their collaboration Two-Step after meeting and discovering one another’s practice in 2017 while on residency at the Studio Pavilion at House for an Art Lover, Glasgow. They took their first steps working together at Glasgow Print Studio in 2018, where they developed their individual aesthetics into a new language of rhythm and mark. Together they have established an improvised, somewhat unconventional, and fast-paced screenprinting practice.

Playing Up presents a new scale of print, the artists working at a size that is slightly too large, a little too uncomfortable, resulting in a variety of “errors” and strange marks. They characteristically lean into these unanticipated directions, exploring the work that emerges, which can be chaotic, or murky. They play from within the mess with intent. The back and forth of their interaction is fast paced, harmonious and in sync, like a dance.

The international dance artist, choreographer and researcher Sara Wookey observes that:

“Perhaps, what Two-Step teach us is that in making there is a practice of togetherness, a sociality, that has been lost to our contemporary moment of division and blame across politics, media and journalism and other areas of our society where we try and work together for the greater good.

Two-Step describe their temporal processes as a kind of ‘rhythm of working’, ‘not overthinking ways of working’, ‘speedy, repetitive, and responsive through time to the moment’. In a somewhat gently urgent way, not lingering on decision making, going on instinct and as their title suggests – evolve a succinct process of ‘one step, two step, done’ – Shapeero and Taylor manifest a dance of thought processes moving between them to animate their work forward. In a field of promoting artists as autonomous and mastered the work of Two-Step feels refreshing in that refuses to be overwrought in thought and more interested in the dance between two people that can occur when co-creating over any individual personal gain.

Microsoft Word – Media Release_Two Step_ Beth Shapeero and Fraser Taylor_ April 2023.docx

There is value not only in what is made by Two-Step but in the way they make. If we take a moment to stand back and observe their practice what we see are two distinctly different artists and people working together and in equal relation. Relational artistic practice is often reserved for the performing arts in which dancers, actors and musicians rehearse together in a studio and perform in ensembles and companies to produce a co-created piece of music, choreography or play. Within the visual arts the value of relationality as an aspect of making is lesser known and discussed. This is where Two- Step comes to the foreground to shed light on what working in relation might mean when co-creating material objects – in their case graphic images on paper and other two-dimensional materials.”

Beth and Fraser said: Our screenprinting process is invigorating, our collaboration pushes us to try new things, test our boundaries and consistently surprises us. We have great trust and respect in one another which allows us to take risks and go against our normal systems of making. This disruption, aligned with a rigorous process, results in work which we find truly exciting. Our ability to work with one another and find so much joy in both the process of making and what we produce, feels vigorous and distinct.

Beth Shapeero (b.1985) is an emerging artist from Nottingham who has lived and worked in Glasgow since 2011. She graduated her BA in Fine Art (Hons) at Nottingham Trent University in 2008 before relocating to Glasgow for the MLitt in Fine Art Practice in 2011. Fraser, originally from Glasgow, is an established artist and has spent a significant part of his career working in Chicago where he was a faculty member at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He graduated from GSA in 1981 with a BA in Printed Textiles and an MA in 1983 from the RCA in London. Alongside fellow RCA students David Band, Brian Bolger and Helen Manning, Taylor co-founded The Cloth, a highly influential 80’s creative studio focused on contemporary textile design and production. The Cloth worked with high profile clients such as Calvin Klein and Yves Saint Lauren, Spandau Ballet and Aztec Camera. Since 1983 Taylor has exhibited extensively in the UK, Europe, Asia and US. He returned to live and work in Glasgow in 2017.

Two Step: Playing up launches on Thursday 06 April from 6pm-8pm, and runs until Saturday 20 May 2023. It is free to view and can be visited during GPS opening hours, five days a week; Tuesday – Saturday, 10am – 5.30pm.