Rosie Lesso, 'Rob Churm' (The List, 03/2007)
Crying roses, knitted clouds, bare lightbulbs, Japanese symbols and hand drawn texts are among the fantastical images found in Glasgow-based artist Rob Churm’s surreal, layered monochromatic drawings. At the root of Churm’s works is a fascination with, and an attempt to recreate on paper, the dark atmospheres of the Glasgow bars and clubs he frequents at night with his band Park Attack, playing a three-stringed guitar while singing in a curious, shrill style. Churm’s drawings play out like the fin de siecle of the Glasgow underground music scene, nostalgic and memorable abstracted moments from posters, and experiences of heady, hedonistic nights flipping up as if from nowhere on the page before melting into abstraction.
The images float through open space across the page, part raw energy and expression, demonstrating his virtuoso skills in both freedom and control, dexterities that one could also say are required for playing music. Of course, linking music and art is nothing new, ‘floating’ forms in white space representing music adrift through the wide open space of a room, but Churm’s imagery is too weird and dirty, too black and white, and too closely tied to an edgy and eclectic music scene within the city of Glasgow to be clichéd. As one of this young artist’s first solo shows this looks to be a compelling event – if we’re lucky, he might even sing.