#GreenFests highlights: Tumadh | Immersion Dalziel+Scullion at Dovecot Studios

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

As the title may suggest, Tumadh | Immersion (“tumadh” is the Gaelic word for “immersion”) explores themes and perspectives of bodily experiences within the natural landscape. Dalziel+Scullion’s most recent exhibition is located partially at Dovecot Studios in Edinburgh and partially at An Lanntair Gallery in Stornoway; the works presented in the exhibition embrace relational complexities within and amongst themselves.

At the Dovecot Studio portion of Tumadh | Immersion, the artists show a series of five garments alongside video, sculptural and digital image works. A video guide illustrates the functionalities of the garments; viewers can imagine the possibilities created by wearing the works within the landscape. Posing a juxtaposition of the tailored traditional forms constructed with Harris Tweed and the outdoor apparel often worn in the landscape from which the fabric receives its inspiration, the garment series described by artist Louise Scullion as a “family” effectively embody the common urges we feel when leaving the structure of urban dwelling for a more wild existence.

Outdoor apparel is traditionally meant to keep the wearer as dry, warm and generally isolated from the conditions of their surroundings as possible; this convention is challenged through some of the counter-intuitive features of the garments’ designs. The Rain outfit, with a sort of anti-hood, exposes the wearer’s head while keeping neck and shoulders dry with a rubber outer shell. Artist Matthew Dalziel mentioned the difference in our relationship with the weather in rural and urban areas. He pointed out that in cities we’re used to abiding to certain habits and usually attempt to avoid the rain. In rural locations these social rules seem to dissipate.

The artists mentioned that a major catalyst for the project was a statistic released last year; globally, more people now live in cities than in rural areas. The garments respond to this by prompting their users to re-engage with particular aspects of the natural environment that are often cast aside or limited in tangible experience by conventions of being “equipped” for outdoor recreation.

North Gallery at Dovecot Studios. Image by Michael Wolchover.North Gallery at Dovecot Studios. Image by Michael Wolchover.

A profound point made by Louise was that the artists are interested in asking how we can design our lives to embrace climate change more positively. This resonates with the previous Dalziel+Scullion work, Rain (Wales), that saw the creation of a temporary pavilion in the rainiest part of Wales, which was built with a tin roof to encourage participants to revel in the sound of the rain falling above their heads. The artists emphasized their interest in how they can extend this ethos to other objects and architecture; could bus shelters be built in a similar way?

Another work in the exhibition is Recumbent, which is a tweed jacket with a padded hood and back. The padding invites the wearer to lie down in forests or next to rivers to watch and listen to the world around them. Louise described this as a continuation of their previous work Rosnes Benches (“rosnes” spells senses backwards). These benches are installed in various woodlands within the Dumfries and Galloway region. The artists described these benches as “sockets” which allow their user to “tune into the frequencies of their surroundings” and encourage a slowing down of pace. Matthew emphasized that a common strand through all of these works is the permission given to people to do certain things that they otherwise might not.

The North Gallery of Dovecot Studios contains work of nearly an entirely different experience, recreating atmospheric notions of a natural landscape. The choreographic interchange between the two gallery spaces enhances the tension between comfortably experiencing the natural world and finding yourself overcome by its forces. Tumadh | Immersion challenges our gravitation towards the comfortable experience, offering the promise that a different method of immersion may be more authentic.

Tumadh|Immersion runs at Dovecot Studios from  1 August-13 September 2014 and at An Lanntair from 5 July-30 August 2014.

Photo by Michael Wolchover, courtesy Dovecot Studios.

The post #GreenFests highlights: Tumadh | Immersion Dalziel+Scullion at Dovecot Studios appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.


Creative Carbon Scotland is a partnership of arts organisations working to put culture at the heart of a sustainable Scotland. We believe cultural and creative organisations have a significant influencing power to help shape a sustainable Scotland for the 21st century.

In 2011 we worked with partners Festivals Edinburgh, the Federation of Scottish Threatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network to support over thirty arts organisations to operate more sustainably.

We are now building on these achievements and working with over 70 cultural organisations across Scotland in various key areas including carbon management, behavioural change and advocacy for sustainable practice in the arts.

Our work with cultural organisations is the first step towards a wider change. Cultural organisations can influence public behaviour and attitudes about climate change through:

Changing their own behaviour;
Communicating with their audiences;
Engaging the public’s emotions, values and ideas.

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