Show floods Talbot Rice with coloured light

Multi-coloured light and sound fills the University’s Talbot Rice Gallery as part of its new exhibition exploring the lines between music and politics, poetry and place, composition and colour.

Glasgow-based artists Ross Birrell and David Harding’s show, where language ends, brings together stories of exile and conflict with the words of poets such as John Keats and Wojtek the Bear, one of Edinburgh Zoo's most famous former inhabitants.

Image from the "where language ends" exhibition showing a model of Wojtek the bear

Photograph copyright: Chris Park, Talbot Rice Gallery

Music as colour and light

The variations of blue, red and gold light in the Gallery refer to composers - often living in exile - who used modern techniques of transposition.

These techniques reflect the Birrell and Harding’s own method of composition, in which letters from lines of text are rearranged into musical notational.

Sonata, which is playing in the Georgian Gallery, is based upon a composition developed by Birrell over three years and is taken from lines by poets John Keats, Percy Bysshe Shelley and Gregory Corso.

Unspoken commentaries

Music links the exhibition’s different elements of the exhibition. Video installations of international musicians performing in single takes form unspoken commentaries on subjects such as violence against women and the ongoing political troubles between Israel and Palestine.

where language ends

The exhibition is free.The Gallery is open Saturday 12pm-5pm and closed Sundays.

Saturday 14 March 2015, 11.00am

Saturday 2 May 2015, 5.00pm

Talbot Rice Gallery, The University of Edinburgh, Old College, South Bridge, Edinburgh, EH8 9YL

Wojtek the Bear

The exhibition also features two sculptures of Wojtek the bear. In 1942 Stalin released members of the Polish Army from captivity in Siberia.

En route to the Middle East to join the Allied forces, the soldiers acquired a bear cub. They christened it Wojtek, which means ‘he who loves battles’ or ‘the smiling warrior’.

To enable Wojtek to join them in the Allied invasion of Italy he was formally enlisted and 'fought' with his companions at the Battle of Monte Cassino. After the war he moved to Edinburgh Zoo where he died in 1963.