(selected by Claudia Zeiske)
More Than Us (detail), 2008
Dalziel + Scullion's visual language promotes a coexisticism between human and other life forms, forever investigating possibilities of how the arts can shift public sensibility towards embracing biodiversity within contemporary lifestyles. The canon of their work takes us on a wide circuit through evolution, exploring a geography of senses and of time, which in turn assist a different type of understanding of the urgent matters surrounding how we might continue to live on the earth.
Their photographic, sound, video and sculptural work is strongly influenced through living and roaming Scotland, whose terrain they have explored through cloud formations, marginal species, trees, bird song, farm and other rural industries.
Many of it makes us contemplate the great 19th century botanists whose seminal voyages amassed thousands of plants as they journeyed through the continents of the new and old worlds. The artists depict plant and animal life – often endangered from extinction – but also human features, like the geography of human faces - their works recall the catalogues of our natural world and with it a new visual knowledge of our earth based on the notion of coexisticism.
We all know that there is more than us, that plant and animal life makes the world liveable for us humans, but by looking at Dalziel + Scullion's works, a clear, but rarely considered thought-of-fact emerges: that lives of flora and fauna even at their most basic levels, is not only the basis of a vast extent of human activity but also the foundation of every culture that has or will exist. And that since the beginning of time, humankind has drawn not only its vital provisions but its deepest aesthetic feelings from the natural order of the plant and animal world.
Claudia Zeiske 2008
Matthew Dalziel and Louise Scullion are Scottish based artists who have worked in collaboration since 1993; during that time they have produced a significant body of work that has been widely shown nationally and internationally.
Interested in the complex relationship that contemporary mankind has with the 'natural' world, Dalziel + Scullion's art looks at our shifting environment and the increasing urbanisation of the population. Their work in photography, video, sound and sculpture encourages us to look anew at our habitat, questioning what significance our estrangement from Nature will have on our future survival.
They completed their two-year Fellowship at the National Museum of Photography Film and Television, Bradford in 2003 and currently run an Environmental Art Practice from the University of Dundee.
Dalziel + Scullion have had solo exhibitions at The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, The Arnolfini, Bristol, The Ikon Gallery Birmingham, Manchester Art Gallery, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh, the Centre of Contemporary Art in Glasgow, the Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow, the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television in Bradford, The Kelvingrove Art gallery and Museum Glasgow. They were also included in the 3rd British Art Show and have shown internationally at the Venice Biennale, Young British Artists in Rome, the Australian Centre For Contemporary Art, Melbourne, Am Polylog Project in Worgl, Austria, Madison Square Park in New York, Sean Kelly Gallery, New York, the Meguro Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo, Artconnexion in Lille, France and IBID Projects in Vilnius, Lithuania.
Video works have been included in the Edinburgh Film Festival, Cinema Texas 7, Austin, Texas, 1st International Biennial of Video Art, Tel Aviv, Israel, Classic Independent Films, Naples, Italy, and The Pressure of Spring for Channel 4 Television.
Recent exhibitions include More Than Us, large scale permanent photographic art work for Great Glen House the new headquarters of Scottish Natural Heritage, Inverness Scotland (2007); Some Distance From the Sun, video installation, Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museum, Scotland (2007); The Earth Turned To Bring Us Closer, video installation commissioned for the permanent collection of the Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum, Glasgow (2006); Breath taking, photographic project for UK billboards, Deveronarts UK (2005) and Earthdom, Peterborough Digital Arts in association with Film & Video Umbrella (2005).
Dalziel + Scullion are based in Dundee.