Royal Academy Summer Show – 13th of June to the 21st of August 2016

THE SUMMER SHOW… It’s come round again and a busy time for me.

I’m on the Summer Exhibition Committee this year….that’s 2-3 weeks out of my regular schedule right there beginning with the selection of works, sifting through something like 12,000 different items with the other RA’s.

Richard Wilson is the main curator this year, Stephen Partridge is hanging prints, David Remfry, Jock McFadyen and Bill Jackson are hanging paintings, Ian Ritchie and Louisa Hutton are taking care of architecture and Cathie Pilkington, Bill Woodrow and me, are main partners in crime for sculpture with Bill looking after photography as well. It involves dozens of experienced art handlers too and many coordinating crews, all so professional and cool. It’s a hell of a show and quite a job!

There’s very little not to like About the Summer Show.

This year Richard Wilson’s theme of duos means that we can appraise the work of Gilbert and George, of The Wilson twins of Pierre et Gilles, of Jake and Dinos Chapman and we can see it sitting next to work from artists up and down the country who don’t have those illustrious names but who are no less serious, industrious, mad about or just plain driven to make their art.

This year I am exhibiting 6 of my works all brand new and all very different.

NEWS2---DARK-MATTER--117Hx224Wx92D-cmFor a start, I wanted to introduce “Dark Matter” … This is a large chunk of tree I’ve been walking past on a Fife beach for the last 5 years. I’ve hauled it away and worked on it in my London studio. 3 months and 112,000 black drywall screws later “Dark Matter ” sits in with Jock McFadyens hang in room 4 of the Royal Academy and I’m wondering why, after all that effort, why it doesn’t
feel to me like I’m screwing screws into wood.
It feels more like I’ve got an engine block up on a bench and I’m tinkering with it…. it feels like technology It feels like I’m below a plane tightening screws into the underside of the wing…carefully measuring each twist.

I feel like a NASA technician dressed in clean gear fixing ceramic tiles to the underside of the space shuttle… precision… that seems to be the overall feeling as I describe my way around this object. An object I’ve found. An object shaped by the weather, by the sand, by the sea, by the rain and the wind and finally by me…a joint effort, all the elements…even fire.

All those natural elements and me have crafted this piece and yet it looks to me like it has just landed from space, like an asteroid.

I have never worked on anything that wanted to describe itself to you so much 3- dimensionally and so successfully…it stands still while you look at it but it’s as if it is slowly spinning, letting you see every corner, nook, cranny, shape, and form

I’m also exhibiting new collage and not just on paper. I’ve been working on a new series using Commando comics as a source material. Great comics, action packed mini epics. I’m making my own visual narratives from them, creating new landscapes, on land, in the desert, in the sea and using the speech bubbles from the comics too….massing them together, creating explosions and so on. In this year Summer Show, I’m exhibiting “Killing Time” a limited edition of his and hers watches. They’ve grown directly out of this new series and use the speech bubbles instead of numbers and weapons as arms.

watch01   NEWS-2---Killing-Time-OOOH   NEWS-2---Killing-Time-in-Situ

“All The Fish In The Sea” is a wall piece… a bespoke cabinet containing 28 individual vases, each one celebrating colour, texture, shape and pattern. I’m finding inspiration in natural markings in National Geographics looking at animal skins, snakeskin, insects, etc. In this case fish have provided the main design.

NEWS-2---SILVER-HART--160Hx143Wx110D-cm“Silver Hart” is a new coathangers piece… a Stag head mounted on the wall like a trophy, it swings to one side, it’s antlers at an angle as if still alive and struggling. I hope if you come to the show these are pieces you will enjoy

This year Cathie Pilkington and I made decisions about our hang of sculpture before we even had that sculpture delivered in. We took a risk, designing and having shelves made that would take a lot of that sculpture onto the walls as much as we could bear. We wanted our floors clear, we wanted everything to have a space for itself and to present that work lovingly to you.

We think we’ve done that, we think we’ve provided an elegant, happy hang that you can walk through, that you can take your time with and that you can enjoy…sometimes even against all your better judgements.

Welcome to our hang and welcome to the Summer Show. Come and see us, bring your friends. Take your time and make an effort to look. All the people in this show, in this year’s Summer Exhibition took that time to make and show you their work. Enjoy it…and if you can afford it or even if you can’t but you can’t do without the work you’ve just seen hanging on the walls or sitting on the floor waiting for you, treat yourself, go on buy it….you’ll never regret it, you’ll go home richer in experience and have something to hang on your own walls and to share with the people you like… can bring them with you next year to the Summer Exhibition 2017 and do the whole thing all over again.

© David Mach – 2016

pic 1 – Dark Matter, (H)117cm x (W)224cm x (D)92cm – © David Mach – 2016
pic 2 – Killing Time … ARGH!, (H)9cm x (W)12cm x (D)12cm – © David Mach – 2016
pic 3 – Killing Time … OOOH! (H)9cm x (W)12cm x (D)12cm – © David Mach – 2016
Pic 4 – Blow Out with Killing Time in situ at the RA Summer Show, (h)30cm x (W)30cm x (D)4.5cm – © David Mach – 2016
pic 5 – All The Fish In The Sea in situ at the RA Summer Show, (H)160cm x (W)160cm x (D) 18cm – © David Mach – 2016
pic 6 – Silver Hart, (H)160cm x (W)143cm x (D)110cm – © David Mach – 2016

For more info about the RA Summer show 2016, please follow this link: