TWENTY years on from his seminal ‘Acts of Faith’ exhibition, Harris-based sculptor Steve Dilworth returns to An Lanntair with a major show: ‘Mortal Remains’.
Fitting it will form part of the ‘Faclan’ Book Festival, which this year is themed on Belief.
Dilworth’s dark, intense works can be hard to categorise, wrought as they often are from the once-living and the never-living. A dead bird will form the kernel of a bronze sarcophagus: An amalgam of core and husk, an extinct seed reborn as the ghost offspring of its former self.
Whether hosting a vial of still water, storm water, the North Wind, seal’s teeth or “designed to be thrown in an internal landscape”, his totemic objects are vehicles, caskets, containers, crucibles for personal mythologies and purposes.
They each seem to exert a compelling gravitational force from their hidden centre.
As the artist says: “I want to retrieve that moment of understanding, not by describing, but by making.
“Of course I’ll fail, but the chemistry of making another moment will appear. These objects are drawn from an internal landscape, of shifting sands. Connections are constantly being discovered.”
Dilworth’s studio – the theatre in which they are created – has as much in common with a mediaeval apothecary or an alchemist’s laboratory as it does an artist’s, and his upcoming An Lanntair exhibition therefore will provide a treat for island art lovers.
Gallery Director Roddy Murray comments: “We have assembled an important range of Steve’s work from the past couple of decades and I am confident that this exhibition will further cement and enhance his reputation and show us – if we didn’t know it already – what a unique creative force we have in our midst.”
‘Mortal Remains’ opens at An Lanntair arts centre, Stornoway, on Monday, October 8th, and will run until November 17th.