Du­gald’s in­spir­ing slate art show

The Oban Times - - Community News -

AN EX­HI­BI­TION of slate mo­saics by artist, Du­gald MacInnes, in the new At­lantic Is­lands Cen­tre on the Isle of Lu­ing in Ar­gyll is prov­ing highly pop­u­lar with visi­tors and lo­cals.

Du­gald, from Kil­syth, sources most of his slate from dis­used quar­ries in Scot­land, par­tic­u­larly on the is­lands of Seil and Lu­ing.

And this made the cen­tre the most ap­pro­pri­ate set­ting for the open­ing ex­hi­bi­tion.

Du­gald has ex­hib­ited in Scot­land, the USA, Eng­land, France and Italy, and has gained awards both do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional, but this is the first time his work has come home to a slate is­land.

He said: ‘ The ma­te­ri­als that I use are em­ployed to cre­ate tex­ture and colour within, what I hope, are com­po­si­tions that are in­ter­est­ing to the eye, led by the nat­u­ral warmth of the stone.’

In cre­at­ing his mo­saics, he also uses stone from Cornwall and the Loire Val­ley, and shales from Tus­cany in Italy and from near his home in Kil­syth.

Born in Glen­coe and raised in Dalavich on Loch Awe­side, Du­gald trained in mu­ral de­sign un­der Ge­orge Gar­son at Glas­gow School of Art. Sub­se­quently, he gained a de­gree in ge­ol­ogy at the Open Univer­sity as well as be­com­ing an ex­pe­ri­enced ar­chae­ol­o­gist, cur­rently di­rect­ing a ma­jor field sur­vey in Perthshire.

Du­gald added: ‘ I grew up in Dalavich and, on oc­ca­sion, my fam­ily would visit Seil and Eas­dale where I spent time ex­plor­ing the slate quar­ries. Years later, when at art school, my tu­tor, Ge­orge Gar­son, in­tro­duced me to his small slate mo­saics – Eas­dale slate no less - and the course of my life was changed.’

Im­ages of an ar­chae­o­log­i­cal na­ture have been used in the Lu­ing ex­hi­bi­tion, for ex­am­ple, the stand­ing stones at Duachy on Seil and at Kil­martin.

How­ever, in re­cent years his work has fo­cused on a ge­o­log­i­cal con­text in which he at­tempts to con­vey an emo­tional re­sponse to the vast ge­o­log­i­cal forces that con­tinue to shape our planet and the pre­car­i­ous na­ture of our ex­is­tence in the face of these titanic forces.

The land­scape, ge­ol­ogy and ar­chae­ol­ogy of Ar­gyll have, and re­main, the prin­ci­pal source of his artis­tic ex­pres­sion. Pre­his­toric stand­ing stones, rock art and the ev­i­dence of the earth’s ge­o­log­i­cal past found, for ex­am­ple, on the coast of the slate is­lands in the form of ig­neous dykes, lava flows, and the ev­i­dence for fault­ing and fold­ing in the slate, all con­trib­ute to Du­gald’s cre­ativ­ity.

The coast around the slate is­lands has been in­trin­sic to his art and he re­turns to this beau­ti­ful part of Scot­land as of­ten as he can.

A visit to this art ex­hi­bi­tion in the At­lantic Is­lands Cen­tre and to the slate shores of Lu­ing make for a great day out and are highly rec­om­mended.

The ex­hi­bi­tion is open over the sum­mer from 10am – 5pm, Mon­day to Thurs­day and from 10am – 9pm on Fri­days and Satur­days, and from 12 - 5pm on Sun­days.

An ex­am­ple of Du­gald’s work, ti­tled ‘Dis­in­te­gra­tion’ at the

Lu­ing cen­tre

Du­gald with one of his dis­tinc­tive slate mo­saics

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