Parallel Paths: Doug Cocker RSA & Ronnie Forbes RSA

RSA Gallery 9


A new exhibition in the RSA Finlay Room by Academicians Doug Cocker RSA and Ronald Forbes RSA whose works are very different in nature but remarkably similar in approach. This show will examine the process of drawing and studio practice through to the realisation of finished works. The works on display will be supported by drawings, working models, constructions, collages and documentary photography.


The exhibition looks at the similarities in ‘process’ of two artists whose work is vastly different. However, as the title suggests, the paths to realisation of completed works are remarkably similar. From ‘collection’ of source material, through doodles, sketches and fully worked drawings, the ideas distil and develop towards more fully realised works in larger scale and in paint or wood.


Some drawings are revisited and take many varied forms, reappearing in differing guises over a number of years – visual thinking that has twisted its way into the artists’ memory, niggling to be revisited and re-explored. Others are the finished works – fully fledged from the outset. Some drawings appear in great volumes. Paper volumes and digital volumes. A library of a lifetimes work revealing their multitude of secrets when opened. Sketchbooks releasing colours, splashes and lines and the thick aromas of linseed oil and turpentine. Digital archives, home to photographs and scans, reworked ideas and new beginnings with ever-developing technology.


Some drawings are formed without traditional mark-making media. In digital media we see that collage can be replicated and developed as a tool for exploration on screen. Images revisited again and again. Scanning, tearing, layering, enlarging and changing colour. In sculpture, three-dimensional ‘drawings’ bypass the paper and are worked directly as objects. Early thoughts visualised and ‘made real’, testing the form and feel, utilising pieces of other 3D drawings left aside to gestate.

The RSA are delighted to present this new exhibition by two of its members. An exploratory exercise in thought, process and method, the exhibition gives us a glimpse into the studios and minds of the artists enabling us to see ideas develop from germination to fruition.


Colin R Greenslade
Exhibitions Coordinator, Royal Scottish Academy


This show comes as part of our Projects + Progress series, which explores contemporary Scottish art in the vein of collaborative and project practice.