‘ALVA’ and ‘Altar per la Salvatrice’
In Gallery 4 of the Pathfoot Building, as part of our Space & Place theme this year, we have two exhibitions by David James Grinly.
On one wall are five prints from his 2013 ‘ALVA’ series of photographs, gifted to the Art Collection by the artist.
This series of photographs was made in the winters of 2011-13 when the artist returned to his family home.
He says: 'home is where the heart is/the camera never lies'. I think about Alva quite differently now than I did a few years ago when I finished making these photographs. I remember thinking a lot about how photography has been usurped by photography and about how the idea of home as a place and a genesis is now, at best, a degraded fiction. The photographs are at once a portrait of a specific Scottish town, but also a portrait of a 'home town'. This is the place we grew up, the place we wanted to escape, and the place we sometimes return to - here seen by the photographer precisely, straight and free from sentimentality, aware that things are always at once familiar and unfamiliar, important and everyday.
On the opposite wall, his new work ‘Altar per la Salvatrice’ (2022) responds, in the form of an altarpiece, to trips recently made by the artist to Italy.
‘If A is Alva where I took the colour photos, and B is the place(s) I took the black and white photos in Italy – and even if A is organisationally no longer in Europe, and B is no longer in Europe because Europe ≠ Europe – the act of arranging them in this way begs the possibility that A is still equal to B. It prays that, despite the odds, love is still possible. These works are probably about Europe, home, and love, and various economies and theologies of attention. Among other things’.