David Lemm: Debris and Phenomena, Edinburgh Printmakers (3 stars)

Semi-abstract screenprinted sea charts are more noise than signal

David Lemm: Debris and Phenomena

Credit: David Lemm

David Lemm has translated his linear language into a series of screenprints which were initially conceived of during a residency on the Isle of Eigg. Lemm has printed over a series of found pages featuring outdated sea charts, whose age is revealed in small stains and damaged areas. Crisp, map-based interventions conflict with these aged surfaces, but Lemm’s imagery is also deliberately out of date, with his old-fashioned map contours treated more as abstract geometric lines, shapes and patterns resembling the language of early 20th century abstraction, than as instructive tools.

Lemm invites viewers to consider the narrative potential in his semi-abstract language, but with 40 prints lined up so close together, it’s difficult to absorb the images individually, particularly when they are so similar. That said, certain images do make their voices heard above the visual noise, such as 'Box of Tricks' and ‘Progress’, both of which use elements of darker tone to suggest the craggy and water-stained rock forms of Eigg.

Lemm’s animation, ‘Unborn Function’, brings more energy to the display: forms related to the genetic structure of Huntington’s disease move back and forth across the screen, resembling the graphic simplicity of a rudimentary computer game.

Edinburgh Printmakers until Sat 7 Mar.

David Lemm: Debris and Phenomena

Semi-abstract printed works produced in the venue and also during a residency on the isle of Eigg.


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