16 January – 26 February 2017
The Pah Homestead
TSB Bank Wallace Arts Centre
72 Hillsborough Rd,
Simon Devitt’s photographs of Rannoch, the home of Sir James Wallace, allow an intimate access while simultaneously retaining a cool aesthetic reserve. Rannoch serves as exhibition-space hosting regular cultural events while co-existing as the residence of a businessman and philanthropist. It is both a theatre and a private dwelling. Devitt reveals and contextualises these borders from a privileged position, demonstrating the boundaries precisely as he breaks them.
Rannoch’s collection of art and the role of the house in both cultural and personal spheres also allow Devitt to explore more philosophic subjects. He touches upon the function and place of art-works in daily life, examines the relationship between personal taste and a public collection, and he records the juxtapositions created by these contexts and their tensions. Devitt’s compositional technique encourages a contemplative assessment, even when it discovers a rich and unexpected surrealism in the ordinary.
The interconnections between architectural spaces, the artworks they contain, and the lives lived within them have historically provided fertile artistic subjects. Devitt has previously documented Wellington’s well-known Athfield residence in his book, Portrait of a House. It focused on the sprawling home/studio of the late Sir Ian Athfield, on Khandallah Hill and the insight it provided into the architect’s life and work. Devitt’s images of Rannoch continue and advance this project.