Stow artist David Cass’s latest exhibition, entitled Rising Horizon, can be seen at The Scottish Gallery in Edinburgh from January 30.
Every artwork David Cass has created since leaving art school is united by a relentless illustration of water: in its presence, abundance, absence.
In this new body of work David explores the abstract notion of a rising horizon, using beautifully painted seascapes as vehicles to explore themes of global warming and sea rise.
Paintings appear on diverse surfaces, such as old metal motor-oil and motorway signs; an antique copper water boiler; various vintage tins and cans; and, re-formed plastic waste panels (commissioned by the artist, containing thousands of items of plastic waste).
As David’s practice has developed, so too has the imagery through which he has presented this ongoing study. As his painted bodies of water have filled and risen, thicker marks and more permanent paints have become flooding and over-spilling.
Observations on the effects of Venice’s rising waterline prompted this new series which zooms out to explore the topic of sea-rise, without focusing on one specific location.
It is a progression, a yard-stick measuring environmental change using the metaphor of a rising horizon-line. Cass’s unique choice of substrates further enforce the topic of these works.
But these new artworks also celebrate the sea, the magnificence of open ocean and travel, each one painted in a different style. They speak of a need to capture the illusory: each one a single second of sea and sky, never to be seen again. They express regret that the ocean is forever changed.
The exhibition promises to be both beautiful and poignant. The catalogue features contributions from Professor David Reay of Edinburgh University (Carbon Management Chair) and one of the world’s leading experts on sea rise, oceanographer John Englander. On February 9, Professor Reay will give a talk in the Gallery on sea level rise.
A set of works from this series were awarded the Royal Scottish Academy Benno Schotz prize, naming Cass the most promising practicing artist working and resident in Scotland under 35.
Rising Horizon is on show at The Scottish Gallery until February 23. For more information visit www.scottish-gallery.co.uk.