Mach charms Mareel audience with his arty tales

A decent crowd turned up on Thursday night at the Mareel auditorium for a thoroughly entertaining talk by artist David Mach, who currently has an exhibition of collages at the Bonhoga Gallery.

The artist David Mach with some examples of his work at Bonhoga Gallery. Photo: Dave Donaldson
The artist David Mach with some examples of his work at Bonhoga Gallery. Photo: Dave Donaldson

Not for the faint-hearted, the “feisty Fifer” charmed the audience with an unscripted, long talk backed up with screened images.

He covered his career, often in an endearing but confrontational manner, in installation sculpturing and collages (sometimes as big as 12 feet by 10 feet), approached with much passion.

Mach’s career has seen him gradually transform from an angry young man to an establishment figure – he is currently installed as a Professor of Sculpture at the Royal Academy of Arts in London.

This did not hinder him throwing in a few expletives now and again, no doubt leaving some of those present slightly flustered, illustrating he is still at odds to some degree with the modern art establishment and its often inherent snobbery, seriousness, preciousness and the “white wall explanation”.

After growing up in a very industrial environment at Methil in Fife he attended Duncan of Jordanstone Art College in Dundee.

Early in his career, when making an installation involving leaves and wire in a park, he was asked what it was by a passing punter.

Always a sensitive point, it would seem with the artist, his explanation brought on the reply: “Oh I thought you were making a bridge for the squirrels.”

The whole talk was interspersed with these kinds of anecdotes. He could certainly talk and you got the impression he could have gone on much longer.

He seems to apply incredible energy to his work, describing himself as a “protestant work-ethic pin-up boy”.

Shetland Arts has certainly done well to attract such a well-renowned artist and his lyrical waxings – these talks attract genuine interest.

• For full review see next Friday’s Shetland Times.


Add Your Comment

Add Your Comment

Please note, it is the policy of The Shetland Times to publish comments and letters from named individuals only. Both forename and surname are required.

Comments are moderated. Contributors must observe normal standards of decency and tolerance for the opinions of others.

The views expressed are those of contributors and not of The Shetland Times.

The Shetland Times reserves the right to decline or remove any contribution without notice or stating reason.

Comments are limited to 200 words but please email longer articles or letters to for consideration and include a daytime telephone number and your address. If emailing information in confidence please put "Not for publication" in both the subject line and at the top of the main message.

200 words left

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Get Latest News in Your Inbox

Join the The Shetland Times mailing list to get one daily email update at midday on what's happening in Shetland.