‘The Making Of Mankind’

An Exhibition of paintings by Biddy Scott
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Tues 18th February – Sunday 2nd March 2014

Signal Arts Centre is proud to present an exhibition by local artist Biddy Scott.

‘Mankind’ is based on a long poem, ‘The Making of Mankind’ written in 1965. This poem constituted the inaugural lecture, which the artist’s father gave on the occasion of his gaining a personal chair in Dental Anatomy at Queens University in Belfast.
The poem doesn’t say much about teeth. Instead he chose to address the dilemma’s faced by humanity as it strives through history and evolution towards a meaningful equilibrium.
These dilemmas were manifest at that time, in the north, in the world, and for him very personally in the recognition of his own approaching death.

In addressing this testimony, so long after it was written, the artist has ended up with images that are not immediately reflective of the text, but rather derive hesitantly from the atmosphere that it creates. Several are based upon a series of box-camera photographs, taken on a day trip to Glendalough, about 1930. Biddy found there again the rock upon which her father and grandfather took turns to pose for the camera. The rock, unchanging, defies their human frailty.

In contrast in the poem the benefits of transience, change and loss are redeemed. The author began to fade early in Biddy’s life, but his last years, she remembers as a gloriously defiant and creative disintegration. That defiance against the odds holds, she thinks the best of humanity. This is high and windy stuff which her struggling efforts so far, don’t seem to be adequately addressing, but she hopes that some readers will come to the exhibition, read some of the text and argue about the content!


Opening Reception: Sunday 23rd February, 3-5 pm