Harvey Dimond: so many keen and subtle masters


so many keen and subtle masters was made in response a new version of theatre company Magnetic North’s seminal adaptation of Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, staged in Fruitmarket Warehouse as part of Magnetic North’s theatre residency in March 2023.

The installation created by Harvey Dimond took its title from Thoreau’s description of slavery, and explored the subject of Black Ecologies in relation to Walden. The audio work for the exhibition was produced in collaboration with the Johannesburg-based artist and writer Lisa Asivile Mpoposhe, who provided voice and translation in isiXhosa. It follows a river from its mountain source to its final destination in the ocean, both South Africa and Massachussets. Photographic textile works were produced in the Outeniqua Mountains in the Western Cape region of South Africa. Printed large-scale on taffeta, they reference the ways in which Thoreau writes about water in Walden, as well as how water was used as a method of colonisation and control by the British and Dutch settlers.

Harvey Dimond (b.1997) is a British-Barbadian writer and artist living and working between Scotland and South Africa. Their practice considers the entangled histories and trajectories of (neo)colonialism and the climate crisis. They have a BA (Hons) in Fine Art from the Glasgow School of Art and an MA in African Literature from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.


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Images: Chris Scott


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