Old Alloway, Ayr. Sun 28 Apr-Sun 5 May

‘May not suit people of a delicate disposition or an over sensitivity to the literal interpretation of Burns,’ are the words that accompany nva’s latest project, Fall From Light. Sounds intriguing. But then with nva, we wouldn’t expect anything less.

The Glasgow-based organisation that brought us Grand Central - a midnight tour of the abandoned Glasgow hotel - and The Path - an environmental animation which transformed the landscape of Glen Lyon - is back with a specially commissioned sound and light installation for the Burns and a’ that festival.

Bringing to life the Auld Kirk and the Brig o’ Doon (the bridge which runs across the River Doon) made famous in Robert Burns’ Tam o’ Shanter, nva will be working with the landscape to recreate the atmosphere that inspired Burns’ masterpiece.

‘At the time when Burns wrote Tam o’ Shanter, the Auld Kirk and the Brig o’ Doon were really the only things that were there,’ says Angus Farquhar, creative director of nva. ‘Burns was obviously very taken by the atmosphere around Auld Kirk itself and it’s that which we have picked up on. We’re not really dealing with the poem to any extent at all, we’re using the landscape in exactly the same way as Burns did, as a starting point for a completely different exploration.’

In a series of interconnecting installations over a ten- acre site, visitors will go chronologically from late medieval times to present day. The required atmosphere of the piece is provided by previous collaborators fashion art director Simon Costin and David Bryant who did the lighting for The Path, with sound composer Jony Easterby in charge of its audible content.

‘Thematically, it’s fairly pessimistic about human nature, I have to say,’ says Farquhar. ‘Five hundred years is a snip in human evolution and it is really clear that from the 16th century to today, we haven’t evolved


D.O.HILL AND THE ART OF PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh, until

Sat 18 May .0. anniversary.

There are. of course. compensations such as the

David Octavius Hill to the uninitiated

sepia intensity is often hard to pick out. You cannot help feeling that Hill deserved more than this on his 200th

nva’s Fall From Light

at all in terms of human’s capability to do bad to each other whether through murder or legally sanctioned killing on a large scale through war. We felt that the site was a really good setting to explore the darker side of human nature.’

Sounds ominous but do we need to take note of the warnings? ‘lt totally depends on the person,’ says Farquhar. ‘It’s certainly going to be, how can I put it, a fairly intense experience, but it just depends on what you bring.’ (Helen Monaghan)

I Fall From Light takes place at Old Alloway, Sun 28 Apr—Sun :3 May. continuous from 9.30pm (last treket

7 7.30pm). Tickets cost £8 which includes a shuttle bus from Ayr train station. Bookings can he made on the fol/owrng numbers: Burns National Heritage Park. 01292 «143 7 ()0; Ticket Scot/and, Virgin Megastore. ()8 70 220 l l 76; Ticket Web 087 O 060 0100. For more information about the Burns and a' that festival call the information hot/rite on 01292

(5 7 8 l()() or www. hurl islest/vt'il. com.

is the man often credited with bringing photography to Scotland. Spurred on by the Disruption in the Scottish Kirk of 1843. this talented illustrator thought it a good idea to dOCument the members of the Free Assembly Church for posterity's sake. So he took Fox Talbot's then revolutionary new calotype photography methods and along with a young chemist called Robert Adamson set up a studio in Rock House on Calton Hill. The seceders queued up to have their photos taken and here they all are, in all their big sideburned gloiy.

This is an interesting exhibition for local. religious and photographic scholars alike. Unfortunately the upper floor of the gallery does the prints no favours. Badly overlit. their

wonderfully animated picture of James Ballantyne. Dr George Bell and DO. Hill getting pissed in a bar that has come to be called Edinburgh A/e. The print of Bell in his youth. then founder of the Ragged Scholars in Edinburgh. gives some sense of what a libertine and interesting place the capital must have been to study in between the years 18/13 and 1847.

Hill produced over 3000 photographs the large majority of them portraitures and the exhibition puts things into context with the work of lesser known photographers of the period who recorded the growth of the inner city of Edinburgh and the poverty of the (lock areas. particularly the Newhaveii area. Central glass cases show some of

Three unknown boys and James Linton c. 1918

Hill's illustrations for children's books and newspapers which combine his powerful draughtsinan's skills with a certain Victorian reserve endemic of his time. (Paul Dale)


News from the world of art

AFTER A FEW SETBACKS. BALTIC. the new centre for contemporary art in Gateshead. has finally announced its opening date. The €46m art factory converted from a disused 50s grain warehouse Will be opening its door to the public on Saturday 13 April. Its inaugural exhibition programme features the work of American artist Chris Burden who will be reconstructing the Tyne Bridge out of Meccano. new work by Julian Opie. a light installation from Carsten Heller and Edll’ibtlfgli-baSed Chad McCall shows work in the new studios. Other artists include Turner Prize nominees Jane and L0uise Wilson, Jaume Plensa. Les Carpiriteros and Eva Gruoinger.

Art factory BALTIC

GLASGOW’S MUSEUMS’ collections are expected to receive a windfall of 23m from the Scottish Executive in recognition of Glasgow City Council’s task of running its thirteen museums and galleries. The council receives no direct contribution from government towards its annual £17m running costs whereas Edinburgh’s museums, galleries and libraries which enjoy ‘national’ status receive more than £30m. Seems about time then that the Exec put their hands in their pockets. SUBMISSIONS ARE REQUIRED for a two—part exhibition .i'i/i’a/er/tt/ Rules which is due to take place in June at Glasgow's Free Gallery. Artists are ieduired to submit one slide only '.'.’Il|(:ll will be projected Ii"- the galzert on a continual i()()l). \"isitors Will mm for their favourite p.eces VVliIC" WI“ also appear on the website and the most popular works \.'.i.l be shown in a second show ater on in the year. Send your slides to Free Gallery. Attn: Magoiity Rules. 31 Chisholm Street. Glasgow OI ol IA on, \Ai'txlllt-ESUH‘, I May. I'm more infoi‘iiiation log onto ‘.'.".‘.".'.’.fI'OCQJLIHCI‘,tlléif%{}()‘.'..tTO,il'\ o'

call UNI as? [100.

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