AN exhibition which celebrates Scotland’s industrial and cultural past in the run up to the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games has opened.
The Dick Institute in Kilmarnock is the first venue of over 60 to host Generation SXSW25 which showcases the work of three of Scotland’s major contributors to the development of contemporary art in the last 25 years.
In partnership with Gracefield Arts Centre in Dumfries and the Maclaurin Galleries in Ayr, the Dick has brought together selected works of Christine Borland, Graham Fagen and artist partnership Matthew Dalziel and Louise Scullion.
All artists have strong connections to the south west of Scotland, and some of the work on display has been made in response to the characteristics and attributes of these regions.
Themes relating to a sense of place, such as landscape and the environment, the fragility of life, our understanding of cultural identity, and the rich social and industrial history of Ayrshire emerge, and resonate both locally and within the wider context of the Commonwealth Games.
Borland, a Turner Prize nominee, makes work which often speaks of the regional heritage of her own lifetime and of the industries of her forefathers in Ayrshire. She visited The Dick Institute to personally oversee the installation
of large scale piece ‘Daughters of Decayed Tradesmen’. This work is created from oral histories, which have been translated into binary code in the form if the punch cards as used on a Jacquard loom. If the cloth were to be woven
the story would form the pattern within the cloth. Long chains of the cards are suspended in loops from the ceiling of the gallery creating a spectacular centre piece for the show.
Christine Borland said: “It is a very happy home coming for my work, installed in the Dick Institute’s stunning gallery space, surrounded by a much loved and cared for library, collection and the art of very good friends”
Also on show will be Fagen’s work around cultural formers and how we understand each other’s cultures. Recurring themes in his work include journeys, slavery, war, urban planning and regeneration, as evidenced in ‘From The Falklands on, I Murder Hate’, which was commissioned by the Future Museum Partnership in 2008.
Dalziel and Scullion’s work around landscape and environmentalism considers the effect of mankind on nature, and the apparent brevity of human lifespan in contrast to the vastness of the world. The works highlight the uneasy relationship we have with wild animals and raises questions about access to and control of different types of environments.
The exhibition runs from Saturday 3 May until Saturday 16 August and is open Tues - Sat 11am – 5pm.