Alistair McClymont

Alistair McClymont
Everything we are capable of seeing

February 1 – April 28, 2013

McClymont’s practice incorporates a range of materials and practices that include sculpture, photography and video. His most recent works reproduce natural phenomena as a means of exploring scientific and philosophical ideas. The means of production and installation of the work often reveals the science behind it. At the same time, it acknowledges that there is something inherently unknowable and uncontrollable about the way in which naturally or artificially induced phenomena behave that is capable of inducing awe and wonder.

Information on individual artworks can be found here:

The Limitations of Logic and the Absence of Absolute Certainty (the tornado)
Everything we are capable of seeing (the rainbow)
Unix Time
Oak Tree
15,450 Milligrams of the Evian Mountain
Inflated Steel Forms

Download the Exhibition Gallery Guide

Watch an interview with Alistair McClymont here:

Works in the exhibition include several large inflated steel forms that demonstrate the effect of changing air pressure upon a sealed form, and a tornado produced using a humidifier and fans strapped to a simple scaffolding structure. The title of the exhibition is borrowed from the eponymous artwork Everything we are capable of seeing, McClymont’s nighttime rainbow. The colors produced by this installation represent every hue that a human being is capable of seeing. McClymont made this work in riposte to the poem Lamia by Keats, to demonstrate that knowledge of optics and of the relationships between visible light and color does not “unweave a rainbow” or undermine the sense of wonder and awe it can affect. Other works pick up on this epistemological theme and seek to demonstrate a connection with knowledge, process and beauty.

To McClymont, the processes used to create the works are often more important than the actual finished artwork:

“My artwork is a continuing process of discovery and experimentation. Each piece follows the last in a continual journey of investigation into cultural and physical phenomena. The work is underlined by a search for what it is to be human. This might be our position in time and space on a grand scale, or singular observations on subjects that fascinate me. Each piece takes a small subject area and breaks it down into something understandable and perhaps beautiful.”

Image: Alistair McClymont, untitled photograph and inflated steel form, 2012

At times, artworks take the form of direct demonstration, or experimentation: phenomena are removed from the world and reduced to their essence. At other times, the artworks are formed by phenomena: a process that is out of the artist’s control, where the final work points to the process that created the sculpture or image.

McClymont lets the concept dictate the materials and method, producing artworks ranging from large-scale installations to iPhone applications; yet underlying all the work is a deep concern for beauty and reason.

Alistair McClymont. Man&Eve Gallery. Retrieved December 2012. From

Alistair McClymont graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2005 with an MA in Sculpture. Recent solo exhibitions include noshowspace, London (2012), The Art House Foundation, London (2012), ‘The Limitations of Logic’ at the Wyer Gallery, London (2009) and at Hull Art Lab (2005). Recent group exhibitions include ‘Brittle Crazie Glasse’ at Islington Mill, Salford (2012), ‘Blue Skies’, Dundee Contemporary Arts (2012), ‘V22 Summer Club’, London, (2012), ‘Title to be decided*’, Mexico, Leeds, (2012), Construction Gallery, London (2012), ‘LABoral – Experimental Station’, Los Prados, Spain (2011-12), ‘Experimental Station, Research and Artist Phenomena’, CA2M Madrid (2011). His work can be found in permanent collections at the Gibberd Sculpture Garden in Essex and at Credit Agricole.

Image: Alistair McClymont, Everything we are capable of seeing, water mist, daylight film light, 2012.


The Herald Sun – February 14
Blue Greenberg: Science, art collide at CAM

News & Observer – February 3
Raindrops – British conceptual artist Alistair McClymont manipulates the elements with his display at Raleigh’s Contemporary Art Museum
Download printable N&O article here

NC State University Technician – February 13
Exhibit Merges Art and Science – February 4
CAM Raleigh presents a major exhibition of artworks by British artist Alistair McClymont

WUNC North Carolina Public Radio – January 30
Artist Makes Indoor Tornado

North Raleigh News – January 29
First Friday artist reveals the beauty in science

Download the Press Release pdf

Opening Preview Celebrations and Exhibition Related Public Programs

Founders and Leadership Circle Preview Reception
Thursday, January 31, 2013
6:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m.
Join CAM Raleigh’s Leadership Circle to attend this special exhibition preview. Middle school docents in the exhibition from 6:00 p.m.–7:30 p.m.

Member Preview Reception
Thursday, January 31, 2013
7:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m.
Become a CAM Raleigh member to attend this special exhibition preview.

Teacher Lounge
Thursday, January 31, 2013
4:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.
Triangle area K-12 educators are invited to a special preview of Alistair McClymont—Everything we are capable of seeing, and learn about upcoming programs at CAM Raleigh.

Meet the Artist
Friday, February 1, 2013
6:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m.
Meet exhibiting artist Alistair McClymont at February First Friday
Regular museum admission. Free for Members.

High School Workshop with Alistair McClymont
Saturday, February 2, 2013
10:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
In this workshop, students will meet and work with exhibiting artist Alistair McClymont and learn about his unique artistic process. Students will use unconventional materials to create their own artwork based on processes and ideas explored in McClymont’s exhibition at CAM Raleigh. Registration will open in December 2012. Contact Julia Rice for more information,

Artist In-Gallery Talk
Saturday, February 2, 2013
2:00 p.m.
Meet Alistair McClymont as he gives an informal tour of his current exhibition.
Tour is free with museum admission. Free for Members.


The exhibition Alistair McClymont—Everything we are capable of seeing, is organized by CAM Raleigh. It is curated by Elysia Borowy-Reeder, former executive director of CAM Raleigh and coordinated at CAM Raleigh by Kate Shafer, gallery and exhibitions manager with special thanks to exhibitions intern, Chloe Woodson. CAM Raleigh is collaboration between the Contemporary Art Foundation, the community and North Carolina State University’s (NC State) College of Design.

CAM Raleigh is funded in part by the City of Raleigh based on recommendations of the Raleigh Arts Commission.

Visit the artist’s website