David Cass

Cass’s work explores ideas of climate change, using exquisitely painted seascapes to develop themes of global warming and sea level rise. He paints on diverse surfaces such as wood, metal signs, antique tins, a copper boiler and even humble match boxes. The uniqueness of his art lies as much in the found materials as the delicately painted web of lines they hold, referring to gently flowing waves.

Cass selects objects often dating as far back as the 18th Century, creating a tension between old and new, underpinned by environmental dialogue. A recent exhibition at the Scottish Gallery – ‘Rising Horizon’, 2019 – made reference to sea rise; as did his 2022 Venice Biennale exhibition ‘Where Once the Waters’.

The 50 paintings in the exhibition are a selection from 365 works representing 365 days in the Venice exhibition. 'All organically interact with each other, coming together to tell this bigger story of a year at sea. Horizon lines are adjusted to reveal or cover the tin’s typography; colours respond to the pigments noticeable on each surface. The painting process reacts and enhances the objects, working with them to create a new life.' Kate Reeves-Edwards.

Cass was born in Edinburgh in 1988. He graduated with First Class Honours from Edinburgh College of Art in 2010, receiving the Royal Scottish Academy’s John Kinross Scholarship to Florence. In 2018, The RSA’s Benno Schotz Prize named Cass as the most promising Scottish artist under 35. The RSA now holds six of his artworks in their permanent collection. The artist has exhibited internationally, at venues including the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art, MAXXI Museum in Rome, The Royal Academy (London), The Scottish Gallery and Royal Scottish Academy (Edinburgh). He has held nine solo exhibitions since 2010, and his work can be found in collections worldwide. He is currently dividing his time between the UK and Greece.