Darren Jones, artist
WHAT does it mean to be Scottish? It's a question that has preoccupied Darren Jones ever since he left Dunfermline ten years ago, to study art at Central St Martin's in London. "I became much more aware of being Scottish after moving away," he says. "When you're not surrounded by your own accent, you start to rethink your identity."
It's a notion the artist explores in a series of paintings and constructions that are heading to Edinburgh next month, called Fabric of the Nation. Using tartan silks, Jones has burnt, pulled apart and rebuilt fabrics, and created banners and flags by layering two or three tartans.
"People hang their identity on tartan - it has become a shorthand for all things Scottish," he says. "I wanted to get behind that image and deconstruct it. Is it a fashion motif or does it have a more serious agenda? It has definitely been marketed beyond its original idea."
Jones will be moving to New York next year to take up a master's degree in fine art and combined media, where he hopes to take the concept of national identity further. "Long term, I'd like to put together a show of artists from the UK and the US and compare the differences."
But what of his own heritage? "I can claim to be a Campbell or a McNeil, but the Campbells are historically a bit treacherous. They're the ones behind the massacre at Glencoe, so I'm keeping that side quiet..."
Fabric of the Nation will be at the David Young Gallery, Marie Curie House, 29 Albany Street, Edinburgh (0131 456 3700), from August 6 to 26. For more information, see www.darrenjones-art.com