Reviews & features: David Pollock

101 reviews

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Expanding Horizons: Giovanni Battista Lusieri and the Panoramic Landscape

7 Sep 20124 stars

Watercolour landscapes with photorealist sensibilities

Most remembered as the man who arranged the shipping of the Elgin Marbles in his position as artistic retainer to Thomas Bruce, Lord Elgin, this retrospective of Giovanni Battista Lusieri’s relatively little-remembered 18th and 19th century landscape…

The Lost Fingers - Lost in the 80s

22 Aug 20124 stars

Skillful gypsy jazz paired up with an inspired choice of cover versions

‘We’re kinda known for taking cheese and making it better,’ declares one of Québécoise gypsy-folk interpretation trio The Lost Fingers (they’re named after Django Reinhardt’s disappeared digits), although not everyone might go along with their…

Jock Mcfadyen: the Ability to Cling

17 Aug 20124 stars

Small but revealing exhibition of paintings and sculptures

Small but revealing exhibition of paintings and sculptures ‘The ability to cling fastidiously to an image is a pointer to the mark of a true artist,’ runs the slogan which gives this exhibition its title on one of the Paisley-born McFadyen’s earlier…

Temper Temper: The Pain of Desire

12 Aug 20125 stars

Weimar rock ‘n’ roll from an unforgettable performer

The edges between live concert and theatrical performance bleed together in this full band show instigated by creative director Wendy Bevan. It begins as we await outside, the sound of piano flourishes being prepared echoing through the…

Chris Difford and Norman Lovett: It's All About Me!

12 Aug 20123 stars

Squeeze singer and Red Dwarf comedian in inexplicable team-up

Quite why Chris Difford of highly-successful 70s and 80s pop group Squeeze has chosen to embellish his partial spoken word life story with the presence of miserablist comedian and former Red Dwarf actor Norman Lovett is never explained here, so we can…

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Art & Language

10 Aug 20123 stars

Intriguing but ultimately impenetrable overview of conceptual movement

Intriguing but ultimately impenetrable overview of conceptual movement Doing little to counteract the idea that conceptual art is a tough sell at the best of times, this sample display of pieces from the collective body behind the Art & Language…

We Are All Ufo-nauts

10 Aug 20123 stars

Subtly curated exploration of the uncanny

The uncanny possibilities of everyday life thread through this group show at compact warehouse gallery Rhubaba, the manipulation of the real through artistic technique and judicious editing creating a sense of the playfully otherworldly. As the title…

Highlands-based writer Melanie Challenger to talk about last year's book at Edinburgh Book Festival

9 Aug 2012

Reconnecting with the natural world

Highlands-based writer and poet Melanie Challenger acknowledges that last year’s On Extinction, a weighty book which muses on humanity’s often fraught relationship with the environment, isn’t a work based in specialist knowledge. ‘It’s a personal…

Rachel Mayeri: Primate Cinema - Apes as Family

6 Aug 20123 stars

Dual screen video installation fails to create monkey magic

Los Angeles-based visual artist Rachel Mayeri’s anthropomorphic study of entertainment created for simians, a series entitled Primate Cinema, is perhaps best appreciated for its conceptual design, one of those off the wall ‘somebody had to do it’ ideas…

Amanda Palmer & Neil Gaiman bring joint live show to Edinburgh Fringe

6 Aug 2012

Singing and reading from musical and literary couple

‘Amanda taught Neil to love the festival,’ speaks the Palmer/Gaiman marital unimind (in fact hallowed fantasy author Gaiman emailing on behalf of himself and his ex-Dresden Doll and Fringe mainstay spouse). ‘He used to come to Edinburgh and do the book…

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Frank Cottrell Boyce discusses his winged Fleming sequel at Edinburgh Book Festival

2 Aug 2012

The author talks of new novel Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again

Liverpudlian writer Frank Cottrell Boyce has a career which can only be described as enviable. When we spoke he was in the midst of working on the Olympic Games opening ceremony, as one of director Danny Boyle’s hand-picked creative advisors. He’s…

Canadian pianist Chilly Gonzales prepares for first Fringe shows

29 Jul 2012

The multi-talented musician is set to blend comedy, music and spoken word

‘The world that the Fringe represents is a world I’ve always been conscious of,’ says omnitalented raconteur, pianist and friend to Canada’s finest alternative musicians, Chilly Gonzales. ‘But to be honest, I’ve always chosen consciously not to go…

Philip Guston (1913-1980): Late Paintings

29 Jul 20123 stars

Late work by renowned US artist in Scotland for the first time

Continuing its growing tradition of presenting some of the greats of 20th century art in striking surroundings, this festival Inverleith House plays host to Canadian painter Philip Guston, a contemporary of Pollock and De Kooning in 1950s New York. The…

Theatre productions The Prize, Endure and Born to Run bring sport to the Fringe

28 Jul 2012

Sport-themed shows at 2012 Edinburgh Fringe

Any Fringe show which takes a sporting theme in the same month as the Olympic Games arrive in London might be seen as belonging to the roster of gimmickry which inevitably assails Edinburgh in August. Yet speaking to the writers of three of the most…

Simon Stephens explores pains of adolescence in Fringe show Morning

24 Jul 2012

2012 Edinburgh Fringe Show explores those on the cusp of their lives

‘I realised recently that I’ve written an unusual amount of characters who are 17,’ says playwright Simon Stephens, whose new play Morning follows his previous works Punk Rock, Sea Wall and Herons in visiting the lives of teenagers. ‘It’s an age where…

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World Press Photo 2012 exhibition visits Edinburgh

23 Jul 20124 stars

A photo essay of the world, richly deserving of the term ‘definitive’

Once again returning to Edinburgh for its annual summer visit to coincide with the Festival of Politics, the World Press Photo exhibition is a source of marvel and inspiration, even those of us who keep in touch with the news. As well as collating most…

Madrid vintage funk act The Sweet Vandals to play Four Corners

17 Jul 2012

The soul night is joining forces with the Edinburgh Intl Jazz & Blues Fest

‘There’s been an explosion in the number of bands playing the same music we do over the last few years,’ says Simon Hodge, one of the promoters of the Bongo Club’s long-running funk and soul night Four Corners. ‘There are two reasons for that: one is…

Susan Philipsz sounds the One O'Clock Gun at 2012 Edinburgh Art Festival

11 Jul 2012

2010 Turner Prize winner on senses, songs and Sirens

2010 Turner Prize winner is using an Edinburgh institution for a specially commisioned piece of sound art. Here The List talks to the artist on senses, songs and Sirens

Edvard Munch: Graphic Works from the Gunderson Collection

23 May 20123 stars

Extended introduction to troubled Norwegian painter

Perhaps the greatest surprise for casual viewers of this high-profile new exhibition from the Scottish National Galleries is the discovery that Norwegian painter Edvard Munch had a whole catalogue of work besides ‘The Scream’. One of the most famous…


24 Aug 20114 stars

Picture House, Edinburgh, Mon 15 Aug 2011

As Mike Skinner’s sometime protégé it’s easy to pigeonhole London rapper Elliot Gleave as the new bearer of the crown soon to be abandoned by The Streets. Yet what he does is subtly different – where both men are outright crowd pleasers, Skinner’s…

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Washed Out

23 Aug 20114 stars

Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh, Sun 14 Aug 2011

Okay, we might be calling it ‘chillwave’ up above, but that’s not actually what we were hearing at this, a set which lovers of below-ground music had been hotly anticipating at this year’s Edge festival. Where Atlanta, Georgia’s Ernest Greene makes…

Darren Shan, Barry Hutchison and Alexander Gordon Smith talk horror

16 Aug 2011

Creating terrifying tales for teenage readers at the EIBF

As far as groundings in the horror business go, young adult writer Barry Hutchison knew exactly what fear was from an early age. ‘I lived in a perpetual state of terror when I was a kid,’ says the Fort William-based creator of the Invisible Fiends…

Horror Stories for Kids at 2011 Edinburgh Book Festival

16 Aug 2011

Darren Shan, Barry Hutchison & Alexander Gordon Smith talk horror

As far as groundings in the horror business go, young adult writer Barry Hutchison knew exactly what fear was from an early age. ‘I lived in a perpetual state of terror when I was a kid,’ says the Fort William-based creator of the Invisible Fiends…

The Cabinet of Dr Caligari, with live score by Minima

16 Aug 2011

Expressionist horror flick with live soundtrack performance

‘It’s a truly, truly amazing film,’ is the simple reason given by guitarist Alex Hogg as to why his band Minima chose to create a live score for Robert Wiene’s classic 1919 German expressionist silent horror film The Cabinet of Dr Caligari. ‘Even more…

Gordon Ferris - The Hanging Shed

16 Aug 2011

Evoking the dark side of 1950s Scotland

For an author whose subject matters might be referred to as solidly traditional – a compelling combination of post-war historical drama and ripping crime thriller – Gordon Ferris is at the leading edge of a publishing revolution. The first two novels in…