Dalziel + Scullion are two collaborating artists based in Dundee, who have become well-known for their environmental work. They are particularly interested in our changing landscape, and how those changes, whether natural or man-made, affect our relationship with the landscape.
- How we see the landscape
- The Wind Farm debate
- Art outside the galleries
In early 2005, Dalziel + Scullion were invited by Deveronarts, who commission work that responds to the location and identity of Northeast Scotland, to make an artwork in response to the proposed planning permits to create 200 new Wind Farm turbine sites throughout designated areas of rural Scotland:
"We responded positively seeing this as an opportunity to make a new work that fitted within our area of interest - that of contemporary mankind's response and relationship to nature and the environments we inhabit."
While working on the project, they encountered many interesting areas of research, meeting with supporters and opponents of the wind farms, as well as landowners, renewable energy companies and energy consultants. They also visited wind farm sites, as well as sites where forests had been cleared in preparation for the wind farm.
"It was never our intention to make a work that was either pro or anti Wind Farms, but rather that we would work towards creating a piece that would consider the following points:
- The semi permanent changes (both physical and visual) that would take place over extensive areas of rural Scotland
- The global need to reduce carbon emissions
- Our collective over consumption of energy
- The constant pattern of change that landscape encounters - geographic, geological and man-made etc."
Although wind farms are placed in rural areas, Dalziel + Scullion were always aware that this is also an urban issue - it is our cities who consume the most energy. They saw this as an opportunity to bring the debate beyond the immediate area of impact, and so decided to use photographic images made for billboards.
The image would then be seen on billboards in Britain's major cities, and they would be posted on May 21st 2005, coinciding with the World Conference on Renewable Energy in Aberdeen.
"The approach to image making that we are now taking, is to look at the rural landscape that is thought to be endangered by these installations, as one that is in a continual state of change - the advance of the turbine installations being one of a series of events that will radically alter the area, they represent another wave of change that come after earlier events triggered by, for example, climate changes, glacier movement, tree felling, agriculture, commercial forestry, mineral exploration and quarrying etc."
"It is our intention to bring elements of these colliding time zones together in fictional landscapes that are digitally created using components photographed in Scotland. The images themselves will borrow from the romantic period of the 'sublime', a time when mankind was both frantically exploiting natural resources, but also coming to marvel at Nature's grandeur, in much the same way that elements in these painting have been edited and composed, so too will our images, bringing together the installation of the turbines in a landscape that still alludes to wilderness, but that acknowledges the ever closer impact of urbanisation."
Dalziel + Scullion took the decision to use an image of a wind-turbine mid-construction:
"In this state of transition a viewer seem more aware of the actual engineering, the physicality, scale, ingenuity and sheer will to deliver something so ambitious."
More about how the final image was created
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click images to enlarge
Dalziel + Scullion, Steps, 2005
Dalziel + Scullion, Nose Cone, 2005
Dalziel + Scullion, Hill, 2005
Dalziel + Scullion, Billboard installation, 2005