Dalziel + Scullion exhibition Tumadh: Immersion at
Dovecot explores relations between mankind and the
Tumadh: Immersion is an exciting and extraordinary new commission from Dovecot which will
transform the North and South Galleries at Infirmary Street into an immersive and experiential space
with sound and tactile qualities, created by Dundee based artists Dalziel + Scullion.
The two parts of the exhibition, at Dovecot Studios in Edinburgh and at An Lanntair in Stornoway on
Lewis, are a coherent and related whole which also work when viewed as separate exhibitions.
Tumadh: Immersion exhibition is open at Dovecot from 1 August to 13 September 2014 and entry is
free. The An Lanntair show runs from 6 July to 31 August.
Dalziel + Scullion’s practice explores the complex, and at times strained relationship, between
mankind and the natural world. Tumadh: Immersion continues to investigate the artists
understanding of different responses and engagements with landscape. This ambitious, multi-part,
and dual site work pays particular attention to the geographic locations of both exhibition spaces
and their wider locality. The work encourages us to examine ideas of belief, pilgrimage, cleansing
and transformation through immersion in the substance of the earth.
The themes and interests that underpin this exhibition stem from our bodily relationship with the
natural environment and how the tactile and physical qualities of textile can mimic and enhance the
feeling of immersion in the natural world. An on-going theme throughout Dalziel + Scullion’s practice
relates to our increasing dislocation from the natural world and that real immersion in nature
requires active concentration and involvement. This is something that the artists’ practice aims to
guide us towards, with this show in particular concentrating on how textile and clothing can both
reflect natural spaces and dictate our experience of it. They explore the relationship Tweed has to
the landscape of Lewis and Harris as part of this overarching study.
To this end a further element of the exhibition is the creation and design of four garments. These
garments are made from Harris Tweed and are a gently subversive take on the outdoor clothing
normally worn when preparing to go out into wild landscapes - such as weather resistant Gore-Tex,
technical hiking gear and similar clothing designs. These garments instead encourage immersive
natural experiences, for example a rain jacket that has a rubber collar which is open to the elements
and only allows you to look up so that you can focus on the rain falling on your face, and another
with a padded back that allows you to lie down in rocky landscapes. Films of one of the garments,
titled Gatherer being worn on location outdoors in Scotland are shown in the gallery spaces as well
as the garments themselves.
The show also features a large Victorian sculptural ‘walking dress’, the pockets of which are filled
with boulders. Other elements of the show include photographs of the Hebridean skies and
sculptural pieces made from rock and hair. Each of these being a manifestation of the artists’
reflections on landscapes which have driven the whole Immersion project. These elements, and the
soundtrack to the films by composer and member of folk trio Lau (winner of BBC Radio 2 Folk
Award) Aidan O’Rourke, will be reflected in the simultaneous second half of the show at An Lanntair
The exhibitions in both sites share a work in which a steel drawing of a fractal, cliff-like form displays
a series of ‘adapted’ boulders: in Edinburgh, examples of three billion year old ‘Lewisian gneiss’ are
presented, where as in Stornoway, comparatively youthful examples of 345 million years old ‘Old
Red Sandstone’ from the mainland have been relocated to the gallery space.
Dalziel + Scullion have said of the two shows: “These contrasting yet comparative spaces offer a
unique opportunity for us to look at differing ideas of an immersive Scottish landscape and its
influence and hold on us. In cities our relationship to nature is strained under the dominance of our
constant human constructed surroundings - and can be all the poorer for it - seasons slip by
unnoticed, rivers and geology are built over, it takes a keen eye and clear mind to keep the other-
than-human world we live amongst still on our radar. Our interest in this is routed in the firm belief
that we need an awareness and understanding of our place in the wider, non-human world to feed
our soul, to keep us sane and to inspire us with new methods and scales of inventive ways of living.”
This exhibition forms part of GENERATION, a national programme taking place in the summer of
2014 that will celebrate the wealth of contemporary art that has developed in Scotland over the last
25 years. Over 60 venues across the country are participating in this unique programme. The
commission was supported by Creative Scotland, and the exhibition also forms part of the
Edinburgh Art Festival programme.
Notes to editors
1. GENERATION is produced through a core partnership between National Galleries of
Scotland, Glasgow Life and Creative Scotland, with the assistance and expertise of partners
including VisitScotland and EventScotland, British Council Scotland, Museums Galleries
Scotland, Education Scotland, Young Scot, Children in Scotland and
the BBC. GENERATION is part of the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme, which is a
partnership between the Glasgow 2014 Organising Committee, Glasgow Life and Creative
Scotland. Further details at www.generationartscotland.org
2. Founded in 2004, Edinburgh Art Festival is the UK's largest annual celebration of visual art.
Uniquely, the festival offers the chance to experience the best contemporary Scottish artists
in the context of exhibitions of the most important international artists and movements of
the 20th Century and historical periods. Attracting over 250,000 visitors each year, Edinburgh
Art Festival brings together the capital’s leading galleries, museums and artist-run spaces,
alongside new public art commissions by establised and emerging artists and an innovative
programme of special events. The vast majority of the festival is free to attend. Further
details at www.edinburghartfestival.com
Press release image:
Immersion garment, 2014
Photographed on location in Scotland
Image courtesy of Dalziel + Scullion for Dovecot Studios
Dovecot is a specialist tapestry studios at the heart of a landmark centre for contemporary art,
craft and design based in the centre of Edinburgh.
In August 2008 Dovecot moved to new workshops in a renovated Victorian Swimming Baths
on Infirmary Street in Edinburgh’s Old Town. As well as providing a permanent home for
Dovecot’s tapestry studio, the building also houses two stunning gallery spaces which deliver
an international programme of exhibitions exploring contemporary art, craft and design.
Events, gallery and meeting space rental, café and shop all contribute to making Dovecot a
dynamic creative centre in the city.
Dovecot Studios was originally established in 1912 by the Marquess of Bute; the two founding
weavers from William Morris’ renowned tapestry workshops at Merton Abbey passing on
their skills to successive generations of weavers through a formal apprenticeship scheme that
Dovecot’s tapestry studios continue to work to commission, producing tapestries and tufted
rugs for private and public collectors working in collaboration with leading international
artists, designers, curators, architects and specialist interior designers. Recent commissions
and projects include work with Peter Blake, Peter Saville, Victoria Crowe, Than Clarke,
Nicholas Party and Alison Watt.
Although Dovecot has evolved through the decades, the studios remain true to William
Morris’ ethos of the artist craftsman and unique in its highly creative collaboration between
artist, weaver and commissioner: a potent dialogue that is special to each project, where
human interaction and the hand-made combine to create outstanding tapestry. The list of
artists with whom and for whom the studios worked and continue to work is extraordinarily
rich: the British Library, Scottish Opera, National Museums of Scotland, Kings College
Cambridge, PepsiCo’s HQ in New York, are amongst some of the many collections in which
Dovecot tapestry now hangs. The Dovecot Foundation, a not for profit organisation, has been
established to continue to support and develop the skills of the studios through
apprenticeship and an evolving programme of collaborations with both established and
emerging artists and designers.
About Dalziel + Scullion
Matthew Dalziel and Louise Scullion have collaborated together since 1993. Dalziel (born 1957
in Irvine) studied sculpture at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, Dundee (1981–
5), Documentary Photography at Newport College, Gwent (1985–7) and Sculpture and Fine Art
Photography at The Glasgow School of Art (1987–8). Scullion (born 1966 in Helensburgh)
studied Environmental Art at The Glasgow School of Art (1984–8). They have exhibited widely
in the UK and internationally, including General Release: Young British Artists at the 46th
Venice Biennale in 1995. Much of their work involves site-specific commissions. They live and
work in Dundee.
For exhibition enquiries: KateGrenyer@dovecotstudios.com
For press information and further images:
Lizzie Cowan, Marketing Coordinator
Tel: 0131 550 3660
Please see Dropbox link here and image credits:
10 Infirmary Street
Tel: 0131 550 3660