Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh

Talbot Rice Gallery, The University of Edinburgh, Old College, South Bridge
GB-EH8 9YL Edinburgh

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Perhaps best known for his light installations and his work on colour theory, artist and author David Batchelor will show a new site specific installation made for Talbot Rice Gallery's vast atrium space.

Concerned with ideas of urbanism and consumption, Batchelor has scoured the pound shops of East London and the major cities of Scotland to create a multi-coloured forest of plastic and steel. Each component part an object of little value, the colour and material alludes to low status culture and lives lived by economy and thrift. What could be seen as vulgar detritus to some becomes in Batchelor's hands, jewel like and magical. Ranging from small, improvised, table-top sculptures, to pillars nearly four metres high, each work consists of a simple found metal support onto which up to five hundred small plastic objects, toys or utensils are attached.

Unlike much of Batchelor's work of recent years, these are not illuminated. The colour of the work derives from the accumulation of hundreds of cheap, often tiny, plastic or metal elements – pegs, clips, combs, brushes, mirrors, cutlery and children's toys. Some works are organised around a single colour, some are arranged according to the type of object, some relate to a particular use or part of the body.

Unplugged, Batchelor's equivalent of an acoustic album, continues the artist's research into the characteristic forms of colour in the city, into the social and cultural spaces where that colour is located.

Batchelor will display, for the first time in a public exhibition, a selection of prints and drawings that inform his ideas. He has also created a new limited edition print commissioned by Talbot Rice Gallery.

David Batchelor was born in Dundee in 1955 and lives and works in London, where he is currently Senior Tutor in Critical Theory in the department of Curating Contemporary Art, at the Royal College of Art.

ARTISTS TALK: Saturday 11 August 3pm David Batchelor in conversation with Principal Curator Pat Fisher. A chance to hear more about the themes and ideas behind Batchelor's new work created for Talbot Rice Gallery.

David Batchelor: Unplugged