Murdo Macdonald
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Finding Scottish art

Nations are identifiable as meaningful cultural units as a result of their internal cultural diversity, not as a result of an internal homogeneity. An interesting example of the cultural diversity that characterises Scotland is the 'division' between Highland Gaelic culture and Lowland Scots culture. By applying this idea of diversity to a particular area of activity such as art, one can see that it is only by appreciating an interplay of different currents that one can appreciate the Scottishness of Scottish art. It is equally interesting to consider how a Scottish artist or architect is considered when no stereotypical interpretation can be put on his work. In 1996 the British Broadcasting Corporation showed a series of programmes entitled A History of British Art. This series provides an interesting example of the problematic use of the word 'British' with respect to Scottish culture.

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Across the margins

Cultural identity and change in the Atlantic archipelago


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