Telfer Gallery, Glasgow
The missile testing range on South Uist built by the RAF in 1957 may
have been privatised in 2001, but the fascination of what is regarded
as the largest air and sea range in the UK goes on. Nick Thomas' filmic
portrait of Uist that makes up his show at the Telfer looks at the
impact of the range on those who live, work and have grown up in its
shadow that dominates a landscape where the ancient and modern rub up
against each other.
“There's also a consideration of the Catholic iconography of the area
and its historical role,” the Glasgow-based artist explains, “as public
art, in the initial ideological conflict around the site.”
Thomas' fascination with the site has seen him make other Uist-based
work since graduating from Glasgow School of Art in 2012, though this
is the most substantial piece to date, with much of its research
techniques learnt while Thomas worked on the moving image archive of
pioneering Sauchiehall Street arts lab, the Third Eye Centre. Thomas'
Uist project moves his processes up a notch.
“It's an attempt,” he says to look at how technological change,
religion, landscape and politics might interact with each other in a
particular historical moment, or moments.”
The List, September 2014