Art Review: David Mach - Precious Light

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The City Art Centre unveiled its latest exhibition at the end of July, the David Mach RA RSA presentation Precious Light: a celebration of the King James Bible 1611-2011, an exhibition in sculpture and collage. There is also an exhibition of historic Bibles, in particular the King James Bible which is celebrating its 400th anniversary this year, and a demonstration of how the English-language bible has so influenced how and what we say in every day speech.

David Mach RA, 55, hails from Fife and is one of the UK’s most successful and respected artists, known for his dynamic and imaginative large scale collages, sculptures and installations using diverse media, including coat hangers, match heads and magazines. Mach completed his MA at the Royal College of Art; he became a Royal Academician in 1998 and in 2000 was appointed Professor of Sculpture at the Royal Academy Schools.

What is so striking about the exhibition are the large collages of well known biblical events. The artist needed no bible; they come from biblical scenes he was taught about in his youth. He has taken photographs of famous cities round the world, at random, and sophisticatedly stuck on pictures of present day people. Don’t miss Noah’s Ark being built in Holyrood Park by hundreds of people with the Crags in the background and the animals, two by two, waiting on the grass. Daniel in the Lions’ Den is in Seattle, Jesus Walking on Water in Cape Town, The Nativity in Florence, for instance.

There is a dramatic depiction of the crucifixion at Calvary and sculptures made from match heads and coat hangers. Precious Light represents David Mach’s largest solo exhibition to date. Over three years in the making, the Turner-nominated artist’s entire working studio is installed in situ for the duration of the exhibition.

A programme of events, featuring leading academic, religious and artistic commentators, including Professor Campbell, Derek Wilson and Richard Holloway, complement the exhibition.

Well worth a visit!

Show runs til 16th October

David Mach will burn his match-head sculpture of the Devil in the courtyard of the Edinburgh College of Art at 10pm on Thursday the 4th of August.

Tickets are £5.00 for adults, £3.50 for concessions, £2.50 for children aged 5 to 16, and £11.00 for a family ticket for two adults and two children or one adult and three children.Season tickets: £8 for adults, £5.50 for concessions, £4.00 for children and £17.50 for families.