12th September 2008 at 01:00
You tell yourself not to prejudge things, but then a catalogue comes in for On Edge, the 30th anniversary exhibition of the Travelling Gallery which takes contemporary art to schools and communities in Scotland.

Eight artists have explored the themes of sea and coastline. One of the images shows a piece of work by Greek artist Michael Mersinis. It's of several pieces of old wood with string wrapped around them, propped against a wall. And you find yourself thinking: "That's not art."

Then you go to the exhibition and the pieces of wood look interesting and you discover they are bits of driftwood the artist found on Greek beaches; that he then measured the length of each beach with string and wrapped the resulting length of string around the bit of wood that corresponded to it. So - not fine art in a frame, but interesting none the less. Forget prejudging.

Most of what is on show in this exhibition, aimed at P6s and up, is about making art out of the ordinary. Who would have thought, for instance, that film footage of fish being processed in an Aberdeenshire factory could be beautiful? The famous Scottish duo Dalziel and Scullion have achieved that on a fascinating DVD (with a great music soundtrack) about the working lives of young adults.

Photographs from the 1930s to the present day, collected by French artist Celine Duval, of French people at the beach, are projected onto a gallery wall to a soothing soundtrack of waves and seagulls. So evocative you can almost feel the sun.

Be warned: American artist Tara Beall's film of the short ferry crossing from Mull to Iona has induced feelings of mild sea sickness in a number of visitors.

Excellent free resource pack for teachers.



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