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David McDiarmid





Dimensions (cm)

Height: 244
Length: 60
Depth: 90


Watercolour and varnish on cement cast tiles mounted on gold leaf and pine dowel model, with custom built pillar.

Suitable Locations for the Work

  • Indoors

Background, history, commissioner of the work

Made originally during my final year at Gray's School of Art for an interim show in 2013 at St Margaret's House in Edinburgh. The model and paintings are designed to hang between two pillars: the pillar within St Margaret's House gallery space and a custom built 'fake' pillar. It has since been exhibited in a couple different iterations since, having been installed against a wall with the fake pillar.

Thematic/contextual information

At this time, my work sought to examine the concept of megalomania in architecture; the means by which the built environment is often purposefully designed, constructed and used as a tool for power and propaganda. My paintings and models played with ideas of scale and form, taking inspiration from historical examples of power architecture in order to depict ambitious plans and proposals for structures which will never exist in reality. Scaffolding is a recurring motif, its significance derived from its paradoxical position as both a fundamentally temporary structure and its irrevocable status throughout the history of construction, where conceptually it time and again outlasts the permanent structures derived from it. In producing this work, I incorporated materials and processes typically associated with architecture and construction. In this case, the paintings have been made on surfaces cast in cement, juxtaposed with the precious materials of the scaffold model they sit on using gold leaf to further explore the artifice of grandeur. Integral to the development of this work was the consideration of how the installation and presentation of these paintings and models in an exhibition, can influence the viewer behaviourally and emotionally, like the architecture of power is designed to do. In this case, the pillar hides the scaffold model and paintings out of view, imploring the viewer to move around the piece with the model blocking a path through to the other side.

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