Split over the Bellfield Street venue’s spacious central hangar and a smaller alcove branching off near the entrance, this review commences as though one were walking into the latter space. Against the far wall, a projector loops Neil Scott’s self-explanatory series of short clips Nine Time-lapses from Hadrian’s Wall, each covering several hours in around five to ten seconds. The manner in which the clips overlap and intermingle against the wall is captivating. To the right, Parm/Shorm by Steven Peebles stands aloft; inspired by “natural forms, geometry and […] aesthetic ideals”, it rather resembles an odd birdhouse, adorned in crepe-paper and coloured lights.
Nearby, a bathroom mirror extends from another wall on a steel bracket, only the mirror has been replaced by a disc of pale marble. Paradise Lost, an installation by an artist known only as “Cully”, is a smart commentary on human self-value and, obviously, reflection. Another disc hangs alongside, albeit a tattered grey one made of pulped paper, and with fragments of star charts identifiable in its outer layers. James Lee’s explanation of Untitled Paper begins with the phrase “I disagree with 90% of what Milton Friedman has ever written”, before delving into free market economics, the “pulping” of our financial stability, and the competing ideologies surrounding space exploration.
The exhibit by Cameron Orr is titled Not as bad as before but still not good; an abstract acrylic and pencil creation on wood, and who are we to argue with his opinion on his own work? Before exiting the alcove, one passes a sculpture comprising Sandy Annan’s Four Faces, “constrained behind Perspex unable to break free, bound together” ‒ a piece that puts one in mind of an asphyxiated Mount Rushmore, even if all of the faces are identical. A silk print hangs by the exit door; the muted, neutral colours in Barnhill rock gardens derive from plant materials that Charlotte Lodge gathered from the eponymous gardens in Broughty Ferry. If one stands to one side of the fabric and blows gently into the space between it and the wall, it becomes a rippling “interactive” installation!
Back in the hangar, the art consists primarily of more traditional formats. Yasmin Davidson and Martin Hill both employ broad brushstrokes and earthy colours for their respective paintings, Twins in the Grass and Cemetery Steps, Winter. In Violet Fraser’s oil-based triptych, Timescapes, a white figure standing atop a hill, beneath which a black figure huddles in a cave, appears in the first frame; the second frame depicts the two figures meeting on flat ground, and the third a single grey figure against the deep blue skies – “two disparate elements of psyche […] finding balance and eventually working in harmony”.
Turning to photography, Adam Rapley exhibits two striking pictures taken during a trip to Tanzania – one an impromptu close-up of three local youths at a “turbulent” moment, the other an overnight exposure of the sun setting and rising against the majestic backdrop of Mount Kilimanjaro. Both display a solemn yet vivid image, thick with silhouettes but also tinged with flares of dazzling reds and blues. Stuart McAdam’s photo of a stretch of footpath, located only a few hundred yards from the Tin Roof itself, seems puzzlingly straightforward at first, but the title Desire lines gives one cause to reconsider: why, when there is a pavement mere metres away by the roadside, does a short footpath across this patch of grass even exist? Similarly, David Aitken captures a trio of photographs of Railway signs and messages, but the juxtaposition of the vibrant blue, yellow and red hues, combined with the subtitle “Seen, but not seen”, produces a work greater than the sum of its parts.
Yet more installations are on display – with tantalising names like The Gift Ungiven, The Ascent of Man and, er… FD/0873/TF, and more besides. All of the exhibits can, and should, be viewed any time 2-7pm at the Tin Roof, Bellfield St, until 25th June.