Myths and Legends: From the Ancient to the Modern (3 stars)

Myths and Legends: From the Ancient to the Modern

Printmakers all-you-can-eat group show overwhelms but maintains interest

Myths and Legends is an all-you-can-eat buffet of printmaking encompassing a vast range of techniques. Enticing images creep out into the stairwell, and the main rooms are filled to the brim with ever more imaginative takes on the theme, including a tenuously linked etched group portrait of rock legends Fleetwood Mac, whose title references their biggest-selling album, Rumours.

The walls are so busy that you could be forgiven for missing the impact of an individual artist. But then you look again and find yet another hidden gem such as the only mezzotint in the whole display, by Rona Maclean, or Robin Spark’s beautifully intricate lithograph ‘Apocalypse’. If this seems too dark a subject matter to take home (all pieces are for sale in this pre-Christmas showcase), you might give consideration to one of Douglas Gray’s humorous, yet meticulous, screenprints such as ‘Dog Fish’.

One of the attractions of such a collection is to explore how each artist approached the brief. While certain artists looked at well-known mythological creatures such as mermen (witness the beautiful etchings by Peter Standen), others invented their own monsters (for instance Rachel Everrit’s Nit Not and Durian). It is hard to say whether the cumulative effect is too much, or just enough to keep a visitor occupied – at times it leans more toward shop than gallery, but then this is the season for retail.

Edinburgh Printmakers, until Thu 23 Dec

Myths & Legends: from the Ancient to the Modern

  • 3 stars

Prints exploring the theme of myths in their various manifestations and how they help to both reflect and create the cultures in which they exist.

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