The Vodnjan Collective: Croatia Scotia (3 stars)

The Vodnjan Collective: Croatia Scotia

credit: Croatia Scotia, Hans K Clausen, Hole World, 2011, EAF

Exchange exploring identity, reminiscence and romanticism

Scotland and Croatia have a few things in common: new parliaments, similar-sized populations, and landscapes that draw people from all over the world. Both countries also look beyond their borders to the wider world, which is apt considering the artistic impressions Vodnjan – a small, sleepy town on Croatia’s Istrian peninsula – has made on the ten Scottish-based artists exhibiting here.

A mishmash of paintings, drawings, sculpture and everyday objects; at first glance, you’d be forgiven for thinking Istria had been substituted for Knoydart or the Black Isle: lush fields exploding with colour, tacky tea-towels, stacked timber, and ornate rakes that look more like elaborate lecterns. Only the head shawls of passers-by and the sun-drenched garage doors indicate another land.

The work explores identity, reminiscence and romanticism, symbolised by connotations attached to keepsakes, artefacts and transitional odds and ends. Overall, a worthwhile exchange with our new European Union cousins, perhaps best summed up by one of the exhibit’s captions: ‘Of little importance but great consequence’.

Doubtfire Gallery, 225 6540, until 31 Aug, free.

The Vodnjan Collective: Croatia Scotia

The Vodnjan Collective comprises ten artists based in Scotland: Annie Broadley, Hans K Clausen, Paul Clowney, Tessa Clowney, Amanda Egerton-King, Alexander Hamilton, Diana Hoare, Susie Johnston, Susanna Laing and Anna Welsh. To coincide with the admission of Croatia to the European Union in 2013, Croatia Scotia presents…

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