Glasgow International 2020

Iain Sommerville

Iain Sommerville (b. 1986, Dundee, Scotland) lives and works in Edinburgh, Scotland. Sommerville’s work is largely informed by what might be described as ‘folk iconography.’ This term refers to the recognisable, yet enigmatic, motifs and allegories we often recall from antiquity. Such images and idioms can be found in medieval proverbs of folly, fables, carnival comedies and festive symbolism.

The arcane customs of past cultures, particularly those of Medieval/Renaissance Europe, permeate a number of the artist’s thematic leanings. These include: The dichotomy of curiosity and repulsion. Grotesque eroticism and innuendo. Zoomorphic symbology. The use of monstrosity as a narrative aid. Convergence of Christian and pagan iconography. Ritual folly/divine fools. Punishment in relation to gender and entertainment.

Solo exhibitions include: A Sermon for Saint Nobody, Safari Lounge, Edinburgh, Scotland, (2017); Dumb Marotte, The Number Shop, Edinburgh, Scotland, (2016).

Group exhibitions include: Melon: Slice Five – Edinburgh Art Festival, The Number Shop, Edinburgh, Scotland, (2017); Rotating Teeth Turn Into Dust, Sketchy Beats Cafe, Edinburgh, Scotland, (2017);  The Mask of Prōtoklētos – SYN Festival, Teviot Row House, Edinburgh, Scotland, (2017).

The Number Shop Studios and Gallery: Natasha Russell, Alessandro Di Massimo, Flo Gordon, Theo Cleary, Fiona Beveridge, Beck Tait, Iain Sommerville, Joe Coghill, Lewis Matheson, Natalie Doyle, Alistair Grant & Amalia Turkieltaub



The twelve artists of The Number Shop present REFRACTION: a sequence of screen-based works that mutate from the starting theme of Binge Watching. Taking the framework of the parlour game Telephone, REFRACTION brings together fields of stop-motion, digital animation, illustration and film in a 24-hour collaborative loop.

Tue 20 April – Tue 15 May
24 hours

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