Interview – David Cass on Rising Horizon

Interview – David Cass on Rising Horizon

Ian McKay and David Cass in conversation as the artist’s exhibition Rising Horizon comes to a close at the Scottish Gallery. For those who may have missed the exhibition, some of its core themes and the public and press responses to it are discussed here, as well as the curatorial decisions that gave rise to a fascinating array of works – over one hundred and fifty in all – from the very small and intimate to the large and, in some cases, imposing.

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Ten Points

Ten Points

Our planet’s systems are being pushed beyond their limits: the health of its water, air and soils under siege. From deforestation and soil erosion, to pollution of rivers, oceans and the air we breathe, our planetary health is waning badly. Climate change is the biggest threat-multiplier of them all. Consequently, sea rise is now a very real threat to millions. Today, there is increased awareness and concern about sea rise. There is also considerable myth and misinformation, however. In this extract from the catalogue accompanying David Cass’s exhibition Rising Horizon, the Oceanographer and Author John Englander offers a few points and perspectives.

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Like a Whisper in Your Ear…

Like a Whisper in Your Ear…

So many artists express their ‘environmentalist’ concerns by forcing their argument in bold gestures that could easily be mistaken for confusing bigness with greatness. Cass, instead seems to unassumingly (though no less importantly) offer us the antidote to that – by which I mean, an urgent request to come in close, quietly, personally, in our own time… Here is an art that is truly intimate. It asks big questions, yes, but it asks them of the individual, drawn in close by the work’s diminutive size.

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David Cass: Materiality and Focus

David Cass: Materiality and Focus

In the fourth of our seven-post series on the work of David Cass (ahead of his exhibition at The Scottish Gallery next week), I thought it would be a good point to widen the scope a little and consider the manner in which Cass works and the materials he works with. As with previous posts in this short series on a single artist, the underlying thinking has been to take just one work as a point of focus – that is, as a jumping off point from which to consider the wider body of work brought together and…

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Forest Fire Aftermath by David Cass

Forest Fire Aftermath by David Cass

Back in 2014, artist David Cass was heading out for what he describes as “a research stay in an arid zone.” He’d gone straight from the moist climate and wet ground of the Scottish Borders to an alpine-desert and, as he relates it, “The heat and dry atmosphere hit me hard, but seeing this patch of bright red forest was almost surreal. Eventually, with a friend, I managed to climb the mountainside and enter the aftermath zone, where we took photographs and shot film…”

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Horizonte, horizontes, horizonten

Horizonte, horizontes, horizonten

Perhaps now more than ever, we need artists such as David Cass who can at once present us with moments of pleasure when looking upon their work, and yet at the same time offer us reference points for understanding the environmental catastrophe that our own actions represent for the very environment that supports and currently sustains us. That the two can co-exist at one and the same time in any single work (or the body of work as a whole), is commendable, I believe.

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David Cass: Rising Horizon

David Cass: Rising Horizon

David Cass’s Horizon 42% (2017-2019), from his upcoming exhibition Rising Horizon, is here accompanied by a short text by Prof. David Reay: “On the land, vast swathes of natural forest have been felled and their soils ploughed up. The carbon released has joined that from fossil burning in a smothering heat blanket encircling the globe. This hotter atmosphere super-charges the water cycle, bringing devastating flash floods in one place just as it saps away moisture and bakes earth into dust in another. Across the oceans, sea levels are rising…

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