Mary And Elizabeth, 2014

Installation with live event:
Powder-coated aluminium, steel, satin cord, red powdered chalk, cyclist
Edinburgh Art Festival

Mary and Elizabeth reflects on the relationship between two sites, two cousins, two countries, a new king and an old alliance. I see a timely link between these sites, a connection fuelled by knowledge, lore and literature that loops from popular novels of scandal and sentiment (‘Waverley’, by Sir Walter Scott was first published 200 years ago this summer, in July 1814) to historic conspiracy and bloodshed, all connecting through a national debate around democracy, identity and governance.

Waverley joins Edinburgh to London, literature to romance, London Society to Scots rebellion, Victorian society tartan to Jacobean velvet ... James was a young King who connected two countries, after a childhood which saw his beautiful mother imprisoned then executed by his fearsome, pock marked aunt. New St Andrews House was where government decision was implemented in Scotland from the 1960s till the 1990s, an outpost in the north to a parliament far away, that now sits gloomily empty awaiting demolition.

Connecting all of this is a red, red line in my mind. All that anger, blood and turmoil – racing up the stairs of Waverley and out onto Princes Street, over the road and into a brutal grey world, hidden from Edinburgh society by chicken wire and smoked glass.

Mary and Elizabeth leaflet