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Timepiece: Ian Kane

Free, Open Daily: 12 - 4pm and Thursday 12 - 6pm


Preview on Thursday 24 June, 6 - 8pm. 

Closing event featuring a Q & A session with Ian Kane on Sunday 4 July, 2 - 3pm.


Download a PDF of the

exhibition handout with 

accompany essays here: 

P5040221 copy.jpg

We are back with our first ‘in real life’ exhibition of 2021 and first solo show. Ian Kane's installationTimepiece views Highland life through village and community, past and present, but also looks forward to the future with global concerns.

Timepiece brings together sculptural works, developed over a long period, with objects retrieved from a local historic midden. The objects have all been selected at a certain point of decay, arrested. Some have already been consumed by nature. They are signifiers of time allowing the viewer to experience time through the senses. The experience is not only emotional but physical and by becoming part of the work the viewer partakes in a stream of consciousness that engages not only with the past but the present and the future. The piece can be viewed as a sculptural installation with elements that invite deeper contemplation, the stand alone sculptures.

The work is not only anthropological in intent but also poetic. Whilst engaging with the sublime the work leaves the viewer with questions about our imminent future, addressing as it does environmental, social and community issues whilst embracing a more enlightened use of knowledge in the future.

The exhibition incorporates collaborative work, with photography from June Bryson and textiles from June Hyndman as well as accompanying essays in response to the work from artists Jamie Kane and Dr Norman Shaw.

Ian Kane said; “Timepiece is a sculptural project that I have been involved with over many years. Some elements have already been shown as stand-alone works in London and Glasgow. However, this is the first time that I have had an opportunity to complete and show the work in its entirety, in the way it was initially conceived and on home ground.”

Ian Kane has a long history of teaching art in Inverness at the UHI's Midmills campus and, more recently, he retired from teaching the BA (hons) at Moray School of Art, Elgin. He has been highly significant and influential in the learning of many UHI graduates. Based near Inverness, he has exhibited nationally and internationally since studying Sculpture at Edinburgh College of Art and completing a post-graduate degree in the 1970s. His works have been shown in the UK, Belgium, Netherlands, France, Norway, Canada and Japan but never in the Highlands.

Timepiece - for Angus Johnstone who as a child was a connoisseur of middens.  Angus passed away at the age of 94. His memory and knowledge of the midden in the hamlet that inspired Timepiece proved crucial to the works completion. His fond tales of Highland life were very entertaining.

Young Angus in the Midden

Annie the Queens cottage provided the best midden in the village by far. Young Angus a connoisseur of such things was busy searching for prized Cardinal polish tins. Meanwhile Annie was peeling her tatties blissfully unaware of the fervent excavation below. Finishing her task there was a quick expulsion of peelings and dirty water from the scullery window. Apparently from nowhere the innocent Angus found himself drenched and covered in tattie peelings, awakening to a radically altered worldview Angus ran home in a tearful state of confusion. Explaining his predicament to his mother brought no solace as she questioned why he had been in the midden in the first place.


Exhibition supported by Wasps Studios.


We are deeply sadden at losing Highland artist, lecturer and friend Ian Kane. Since retiring from teaching at Moray School of Art UHI, Ian experienced a surge of creativity in his practice and had been prolifically making new work.

From 2019 the Circus Artspace team had the pleasure of visiting Ian in his studio at Dalcross to discuss his solo exhibition ‘Timepiece’ which was delayed by the covid-19 pandemic from 2020 to 2021. We feel very fortunate to have had this extended time with Ian and the exhibition was a celebration of his contribution to shaping the contemporary visual arts scene in the Highlands and Moray. Throughout his career as a tutor, Ian touched so many people and we have been witness to how highly significant he was in the stories received from many UHI graduates during the exhibition.

Ian had a long history of teaching art from setting up an early Inverness College art campus in the former Highland Craftpoint building in Beauly at the end of the 90s. He was instrumental, as part of a small team, transforming the department as it quickly expanded and developed a sense of a mini art school. After Beauly Ian and the art department moved into the Midmills campus and the ‘Timepiece’ exhibition was a small homecoming; taking place within this building and the space where he used to teach.

'Curiosity and the spirit of enquiry into what exists is always the starting point for the work. This preoccupation with reflecting the truth of the world and our place in it is the work of the artist. The work changes as we ourselves change. The artist strives to find ways to produce the works that become signifiers of our time.' - Ian Kane

Ian was a thoughtful, enthusiastic, generous and insightful artist who openly shared his truth of the world; we will miss his great stories and sense of humour, and his passion and support for contemporary art in our region. 

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