Catalyst Launch

Here’s a few photographs from yesterday’s unveiling of Catalyst, a new permanent art work at Greenmarket, by Dalziel and Scullion. I had the pleasure of introducing award winning journalist and broadcaster Lesley Riddoch, who officially launched Catalyst, and – as you can see below – assisted with the unveiling.   A great turnout to the launch too.   You can read the Council’s news release on the launch beneath the photos and if go to, you can access the article in the Scotsman about it.
Above :  Lesley addressing the crowd, just before the unveiling
Above :  Assisting Lesley with the unveiling
Above : Catalyst
Dundee City Council News Release :
A groundbreaking new public artwork entitled ‘CATALYST’ is to be unveiled outside the Greenmarket Car Park in Dundee on Thursday (18) by broadcaster Lesley Riddoch.
The sculpture, designed by local based artists Matthew Dalziel and Louise Scullion, was commissioned by Dundee City Council and Dundee Contemporary Arts as part of the construction of the multi storey car park. It has taken two years to make and is the first of its kind in the UK and is also the first major public art piece for the cultural quarter in Dundee.
Also at the unveiling will be planning and transport convener Fraser Macpherson, Mike Galloway DCC director of planning, planning staff and the artists. Councillor Macpherson said “Public art has been an important part of the positive changes Dundee has undergone in the last 20 years.  Many forget that Dundee was one of the very first cities in the UK to take public art seriously, and since 1982, has installed well over a hundred works throughout the city, creating interest and excitement in the environment.  It is great to this continuing with a new exciting work by local artists Dalziel and Scullion.”
Scottish artists Dalziel and Scullion explore the subject of ecology in many of their artworks and came across a type of concrete material that reacts with light to trigger the molecules of air borne pollutants, such as nitric oxides, carbon monoxide and sulphur monoxide to break apart and release oxygen back into the air.
Matthew said “This is the first time the material has been used in the UK. Not only does it perform this interesting transformation of the air, but used in this context, it also questions the greater influence that human behaviour is having on the Earth’s climate and its ecosystems. It was originally formulated to be used as paving in congested urban areas to improve air quality, and while on one hand we were excited by this material as an imaginative solution to repair a social dilemma, we also recognised that it was typical of human invention to focus on the effect rather than the cause”
Catalyst takes the form of a life-sized car that is draped in a cloth, presented on an angled plinth inscribed with a scientific formula of the catalytic chemistry which is silently at work as the air around the car is in a continual state of change and transformation.
Louise Scullion said “It’s an interesting time to be working as artists as it feels like there is a change in the air. In the wake of the current financial crisis, consumerism has never been more examined, and at a time ecological issues have taken a much more central position in our consciousness, environmental sustainability is no longer the topic of specialists and most people now recognise that our generation will play a critical role in shaping and adapting to an uncertain future.”