The title of the exhibition is taken from a chapter in Allan Massie’s ‘The Ragged Lion’: a partly fictional, partly factual account of the Scottish historical novelist, playwright and poet, Sir Walter Scott’s life. Like the book, McKenzie’s work weaves together fact and fiction, melding objective history with subjective narrative.
“Being ‘home’ in Edinburgh last summer, I realised that having neglected it for so long, a number of things were prompting me to address a directly autobiographical sort of history; some of it personal, some of it more lightly connected. Walking around the city, re-reading Walter Scott’s ‘The Heart of Mid-Lothian’, reflecting on the Porteous Riots that took place on the High Street in 1736, and visiting St. Margaret’s Loch with my father, who recalled it as a boating pond. Remembering also that he had been part of student riots at Edinburgh University’s Quad (which, I had noticed, was a location for parts of the James Mason film ‘Journey to the Centre of the Earth’). I captured an image of my young son running around the same Quad and imagined that he too was moving through history. These narratives and reflections coalesced and consolidated very firmly as subjects for paintings.” Dougal McKenzie
For McKenzie, the title of the exhibition aptly describes his personal understanding of painting and also the way in which memory seems to act as we reflect on things: A Dream and an Argument.
There is a limited edition lithograph print by Dougal McKenzie available to purchase from our MAC shop. Visit this page for more information.
Get more out of your visit to the MAC by purchasing an exhibition audio guide, specially produced by our Curators. Priced at just £3, the guide takes you on a tour of our three current exhibitions, giving unique insight into the artists and works on display. The guide can be purchased from our Box Office on arrival and downloaded directly onto your phone.
The artist wishes to acknowledge the support of the Research Institute for Art and Design at Ulster University.
Image credit: Eremite, oil on linen, 2016/17 185.5cm x 151.5cm