Roger Ackling - Black Sun
18 October - 30 November 1998Roger Ackling is an artist who uses only sunlight - which has travelled 93 million miles to reach the outdoor places where he works. Using a magnifying glass, he painstakingly burns powerful systems of dark, charcoal brown parallel lines onto wind and sun-bleached driftwood and found wood fragments. He has worked in almost every situation possible, from the remote beaches of Norfolk where he lives, to the tops of skyscrapers in Manhattan, and mountains in Japan.
The works in this exhibition ranged in scale from irregular blocks the size of a small finger, to elegant narrow rods several metres long, and thin panels which sometimes betray their origins as discarded furniture or building materials. Sharply geometric areas of blackened lines alternated with the varied natural bleached tones of the original material, and produced works of astonishing, quiet beauty.
Roger Ackling is renowned within a generation of artists which include Hamish Fulton and Richard Long, and although he has staged almost one hundred major exhibitions worldwide, this was his first museum exhibition in Scotland.
Roger Ackling made his first works outside England in the Outer Hebrides, near Rodel on the southern tip of Harris over twenty years ago, and he has been returning to Scotland regularly ever since. His work is owned by major museum collections in Europe, America and Japan.