Thomas Houseago: The Beat of the Show (4 stars)

Thomas Houseago: The Beat of the Show

The relationship between the title of the first museum-based show by Leeds-born sculptor Houseago and the work itself may not be immediately apparent. It’s taken from Transmission, the urgent post-punk anthem released in 1979 by Joy Division, who implored listeners to ‘Dance, dance, dance to the radio’. Wander through the sepulchral marble-white hemp, iron and wood structures possessing Inverleith’s ground floor, however, and something monumental grabs hold. It’s as if the imposing dome at the centre of a room littered with sawn-off remnants of trees or the bulbous giant leg in the next are paying tribute to the aftermath of some Ballardian dystopia, marking time until whatever happens next.

The masks, the walk-through wooden gate and the giant fox-head in the basement further suggest a society getting back to basics. Either that or totems of some primitive cult warding off interlopers as they stand outside the house in preparation for Houseago’s forthcoming Edinburgh Art Festival show in an imposingly stately fashion.

Inverleith House, Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh until Sun 3 Jul

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