Dugald MacInnes and Joanna Kessel - BAMM Forum 2020

Joanna Kessel and Dugald MacInnes have known and admired each other’s work for many years. Both artists are interested in the expressive potential of the materials they work with, be it slate, marble, gold leaf mosaic or concrete. They both teach and exhibit their unique contemporary artworks nationally and internationally. Based in Scotland (Edinburgh and near Glasgow) they have enjoyed meeting and discussing their work over many years. Occasionally they have worked together to deliver inspiring workshop programmes or when organising the dynamic and hugely popular BAMM Forum Edinburgh in 2017. For BAMM Forum 2020 Kessel and MacInnes will each select a piece of their own work and a piece of each other’s as a focus for their discussion. They will explore common themes, one being the importance of place – geographically as well as in time, what interests and inspires them, their approach to creativity and how they develop ideas. To illustrate this they will show personal sketchbooks, drawings and materials and the audience will quickly become aware of the depth of passion they share for their expressive, contemporary artwork.


Dugald MacInnes was born and raised on the west coast of Scotland, a landscape that would imbue him with a passion for geology and archaeology. He was familiar with the slate quarries there, a familiarity that was to dramatically reemerge when he was introduced to its use, as an artistic medium, by his tutor George Garson at the Glasgow School of Art in 1972. Garson taught Dugald not as a mosaicist but as an artist and there was no involvement in Classical mosaic methodology and materials but, rather, great emphasis was placed upon the uses of visual elements in composing works of art per se. Following his graduation, Dugald obtained a degree in geology in 1985 with the Open University and, a few years later, a qualification in archaeology at the University of Glasgow; both disciplines providing him with a deeper understanding of the creation and formation of the landscape, the dynamic geological forces that underpin our very existence, and how people throughout the ages have modified their environment. It is slate that is Dugald’s principal medium; its variety of colour, texture, and form provides him with a range of approaches to his art; often minimalistic but on occasion he returns to his roots with small studies in which he explores the characteristics of the rock as a way of opening new pathways in his creative processes. His work has been shown in the USA, Europe and Japan and he teaches his unique approach to mosaic at the Chicago Mosaic School. www.dugaldmacinnesart.com


Joanna Kessel creates contemporary mosaics, ranging from architectural scale, wall based work to sculptural objects. She combines traditional hand-cutting techniques (marble, smalti and gold leaf mosaic) with cast and polished concrete - rooting her work in a place where craft meets art meets design meets architecture. Kessel trained in ceramics and tapestry - the legacy is a deep-rooted interest in material qualities, repetitive modular structures and making as a meditative and exacting process. She set up Edinburgh Mosaic Studio in 2009 from where she runs an inspiring mosaic workshop programme. Kessel’s work is highly regarded nationally and internationally. In 2019 her solo show REVEAL, within Collect Open 2019 at the Saatchi Gallery, was sponsored by Orsoni Veneziana. Her work has been shown at the mosaic biennale Ravenna Mosaico on several occasions. She won an award from, and has shown with, the Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh and has received research and development funding awards from Creative Scotland. Kessel frequently speaks about contemporary mosaic and her work features in the international magazine Mosaique in autumn 2021. Recent work takes inspiration from Italian contemporary architectural mosaics, the work of Venetian architect Carlo Scarpa and the novel Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino. The series (In)visible Cities takes its title from his novel, exploring hidden glimpses and the beauty in the ordinary – a personal response to place. www.joannakessel.co.uk