Art review: John Wallace: The Same Hillside

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YOU will probably have bombed through the remote area between Moffat and Abington more times than you realise, be it on the M74 motorway or the west coast mainline. Most likely you’ll have never paused to consider what an important and productive pocket of Scotland it is: a land of reservoirs, wind farms, sheep farms and commercial forestry, sustaining – albeit increasingly tenuously – a variety of jobs in agriculture, energy, fishing and tourism.

CCA, Glasgow ****

That’s the starting point for filmmaker and video artist John Wallace and Professor Pete Smith’s immersive video installation, The Same Hillside. Projected on to three large screens, a multi-perspective documentary portrait is painted through shots of hill and glen set to audio of interviews with local stakeholders, all of it raising questions about what future this and other similar landscapes and economies face in light of climate change.

Linking aspects of the work to live and historic data sources – for example, floor projections that change in response to water levels on the River Annan – feels superfluous in a piece that draws its emotional heft from synergy of tranquil countryside and soulful human stories. A peaceful yet discomforting rumination on people and landscape, it flows with passion and wisdom.

MALCOLM JACK

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