We checked over the gear one last time (the ship’s compass, the one-woman tent, our snow-beer-goggles), roped together our impedimenta and loaded it to the sled. We hit the road at four, heroic, girdled with bright boxes. We made the crossroads at dawn; we passed the fly lad, bound for somewhere or other, shouldering his log-case as he headed into the dark again, blowing up something suitably lonesome on his harp. We skirted the town, admired the handiwork of the new council departments: Cromlech and Dolmen Emplacement; Bad Roads; the Circumscription of Movement and Rest. We were advised by those local and ancient guilds, the master berry-pickers, the skinners, those stunted cobblers who can be relied upon to know that exactly twa pun o segs are sufficient to cover a walrus; we made Finland by the third nightfall. The birds had gone, but we painted them anyway. (After the Americans – those thirty-a-day guys – word had got round everywhere, and they’d quit sitting for anyone. More than the fly boy knew, though; we heard on the radio that they’d taken him in. At ten we saw the lights dim.) The song of the devil-bird, played backwards, resembles one of our own garden species; we would pass the evenings holding them up to the mirror as the light died. We lit seven fires to warn the whole island; we sent postcards from around the hemisphere, all showing exactly the same place; we saw the impossible heights, where the birds already sing in their coffins, and the hare knows its double. The Council had been out in force, though, and the roads were now so dreadful not a single wolf or prince had survived them; all they left us was their little transylvan way-book. But it was enough, and on the thirteenth night we saw the trees roughing it outside the clinics and hostels, and knew the end was near. We pushed on, still bearing the hibernal fasces, the branch-box, the unique weapons of our parish (mainly a variety of potato that grows only in these parts – here mister, catch! our children shout to strangers) till we reached the line where the bus route stops and the walk home starts; and there, in the last orange disc, we saw the fly boy again, the fly wee bastard, on his log under the lamppost, taking potshots at the dark. He was blasting into nothing, we thought; but one shot in ten we’d hear that old frontierpoing as he hit the roadsign for the village, and we let the sound guide us in. That, and the spirit from the compass we’d drank that day – as we’d joked: just a little something to keep the cold in.

Don Paterson October 2002

The Strict Nature Reserve highlights work from the last two years that has been exhibited nationally and internationally in the form of paintings, objects, artists publications, editions of postcards, video screenings, installations and sound, establishing Summerton as one of the most inventive and original artists of his generation.

For further information, to order a CD format of this website with higher resolution images, to view transparencies or to enquire about the availability of work contact: fax.0044(0)1382200983
Edward Summerton

Born Scotland 1962

One Person Exhibitions include:
Clermont Ferrand Art School France
Aberdeen Art Space
Seagate Gallery Dundee
Macrobert Art Centre Stirling
An Lanntair Lewis Scotland
CentreSpace VRC Dundee Contemporary Arts
Gallery Artlife Seoul South Korea
Gallery Loop Seoul South Korea

Group Exhibitions include:
“New Contemporaries” ICA London
“Lion Rampant” Artspace San Francisco
“Metropolis” RAAB Gallery London & Berlin
“International Showcase” Limner Gallery NewYork
“Footsteps” Panzerhalle Berlin
“Magnetic Landscape” Atelier International NewYork
“Books by Artists” University of West England Bristol
“Psychic Geography” CentreSpace VRC Dundee Contemporary Arts
“Intime Nature” Parc Saint Leger, Nevers, France

Artists publications:
“North of Normal” Published by Caledonian MacBrain 
Catalogue of paintings and photographs, text by Alan Woods and Will Maclean
“Line Controller” Published by Caledonian MacBrain 
Artists Book of photographs and text

Visiting Artist at:
Aberdeen Artspace
Berkeley University California
Sunderland Polytechnic
Dundee Museums and Art Gallery
Clermont Ferrand Art School France
Edinburgh College of Art
Kaywon Art School Seoul South Korea

Teaching experience:
1990 – 93 Drawing and Painting Lecturer Edinburgh College of Art
1994 – present Fine Art Lecturer University of Dundee

Work in public collections:
BBC Scotland
Aberdeen Artspace
Dundee Museums and Art Gallery
Royal Scottish Academy
Museum of Modern Art New York
University of West England Bristol

Elected associate member of The Royal Scottish Academy

Edward Summerton would like to thank the following for their assistance and collaboration 
during the making of The Strict Nature Reserve.
Simon Bogle – website. Bebe Geen – American Cover, Hollow Log. 
Kirsty Duncan – Camper. Alison Ramm – Bird Box. Sandy Guy – Fly Bastard. 
Norman Shaw – text for Bad Camber. Moira Scott – text for The Strict Nature Reserve in Dundee. 
Don Paterson – words. Rosalie Summerton – everything else.