Dark Arts?

David Mach: Commando comic inspired art.

David Mach: Commando comic inspired art.

A short review (just for a change).

The Lamb Gallery in the Tower Building at Dundee University is an odd wee place. It’s not so much a room as a thoroughfare caught between fire doors and a lift. Into this are crammed a hotchpotch of old display cases which look like they perhaps could neither be found storage space nor be safely converted to shower cabinets or fishtanks, and so were filed here.  Adding to the mix are some fiercely grim track lights primed with an array of distinctly low calibre econo-bulbs. (Keep going … this gets cheerier soon!)

To this unpromising space there often come unusual small exhibitions drawing heavily in the University’s and Art College’s own collections. And here’s the twist: more often than not in this odd duel between the forces of creativity and darkness, the art wins!  Whatever the reason for this (I could make some guesses)  I often find myself peering through the gloom at some very interesting things. I suspect that the Lamb ‘Gallery’ has probably given me more moments of wry joy over the years than its near-but-far rich cousin just down the Perth Road.

So it was with the current small exhibition ‘The Word is Art’ – a selection of pieces riffing around art with words. Some collages, some cartoons, some illustrations and some works with accompanying poetry.  More than a few pieces to lift the heart! I especially liked ‘High Speed Camera’ (a poem by Kona MacPhee from the ‘Human Race’ project), ‘Sardines’ (poem by Spike Milligan, illustration by an anonymous (!!) student), David Mach’s Commando inspired collages – I know there are much larger ones, but these are wee gems, and also “A Highland Woman” by Will Maclean made to accompany the poem by the Gaelic poet Sorley MacLean.  Some images below.

Show is on until 11th October and is free, if you’re passing through, it’s worth a look. Top tip – bring a small torch with you. I had one of the kind you get for finding keys. The lighting is truly dreadful, and it was a real help, but it also gives you that Indiana Jones thrill of rummaging around in an ancient aerty attic – you never know what might turn up..!  More here…


Poem: Spike Milligan
Illustration: Anon

High Speed Camera

‘High Speed Camera’ by Kona MacPhee – hopefully readable on enlargment – I had to use a torch!

Will MacLean: A Highland Woman made to accompany the poem, “A Highland Woman” by the Gaelic poet Sorley MacLean

‘A Highland Woman’ by Will MacLean

Exhibition Poster

Exhibition Poster

About stevedsmart

Steve Smart is an information designer, poet and artist. View all posts by stevedsmart

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