Exhibition: A different view of the world ...

One of Diane Arbus's most famous images, identical twin girls taken in 1967.
One of Diane Arbus's most famous images, identical twin girls taken in 1967.

Next year is set to be a big year for Kirkcaldy Galleries as it prepares to welcome some first class and high profile exhibitions.

One of them, and the first to take place, is a showcase of the work of leading American photographer Diane Arbus.

Famous for photographing individuals marginalised by society, Diane refused to take pictures of her subjects in ways that people wanted to see them, challenging concepts of identity, beauty and normality.

Her unapologetic approach to photography revealed the complexities of human nature and relationships, making the ordinary, extraordinary and the misunderstood familiar.

Fife Cultural Trust is thrilled to present her work in the first ever ARTIST ROOMS exhibition, which comes to Kirkcaldy Galleries from Saturday, February 14 until Sunday, May 31.

The exhibition will explore how her work reflected the social, political and economic changes taking place throughout the United States between the 1950s and 1970s.

Featuring 20 of her seminal pieces, this exhibition highlights how Arbus challenged the viewer to see beyond the shocking to the complexities of each individual subject.

The works on display are taken from ARTIST ROOMS, an inspirational collection of modern and contemporary art acquired for the nation by Tate and National Galleries of Scotland through the generosity of Anthony d’Offay with additional support from funders including the Art Fund.

The ARTIST ROOMS tour programme, now in its seventh year, is showing at 15 museums and galleries across the UK next year.

And the tour has been made possible thanks to the support of Arts Council England, the Art Fund and Creative Scotland.

Bespoke programmes, workshops and tours offered during the duration of the exhibition will explore the wider influence of the artist and the power of her work.

After hours events will give the public a more intimate opportunity to interact with the works, while complementary exhibition material and new interactive multimedia features at Kirkcaldy Galleries will provide an opportunity for visitors to share their thoughts about the artist and her work,

Stuart Cross, chairman of the Fife Cultural Trust board, said: “I am delighted that Fife Cultural Trust has secured an exhibition of such prestige for our wonderful refurbished facility at Kirkcaldy Galleries.

“The display of work by a revered, world class artist like Diane Arbus is a marvellous honour, and collaborating with such illustrious, well-known national institutions as Tate and National Galleries of Scotland shows both the standing and potential of the Galleries.”

The ARTIST ROOMS On Tour has been devised to enable the collection to reach and inspire new audiences across the country, particularly young people.

And by the end of 2015, ARTIST ROOMS will have been shown in 78 museums and galleries nationwide and 149 displays and exhibitions will have opened since 2009.

Since it began the number of artists that are part of the collection has increased and there are now 39.

This year an important group of works by Dan Flavin was added, joining recent acquisitions of the work of Alex Katz, Douglas Gordon and Louise Bourgeois.

As well as Arbus’ work being on display in Kirkcaldy, the 2015 tour will see work by Damien Hirst in Orkney, Don McCullin in Shetland, Robert Mapplethorpe in Clydebank, CountyDurham and Aberystwyth and Francesca Woodman in Powys.

At Kirkcaldy Galleries, Fife Contemporary Art and Craft will curate a complementary exhibition alongside ARTIST ROOMS, entitled Portraits+.

The issue of identity has been explored by artists using many different materials, and this exhibition will bring together a range of unusual contemporary approaches, some using photography as a start or end point, as science and art come together to surprise us and reveal new viewpoints.

And although the ARTIST ROOMS exhibition is coming to the Lang Toun towards the start of the year, there are other plans afoot for the town’s galleries and museums later in 2015.

Among them will be the entire Great Tapestry of Scotland from June to September.

Consisting of over 160 panels, running more than 140 metres in length, the Tapestry brings to life the history of Scotland in vibrant colour and detail for visitors of all ages.

One of the biggest community arts projects in the world, the tapestry was created by Scottish writer AlexanderMcCall Smith, artist Andrew Crummy and historical writer Alistair Moffat.

Taking 1000 talented volunteers more than 50,000 hours to complete, the project used a range of embroidery skills and over 300 miles of woollen yarn to translate Andrew Crummy’s descriptive artwork into a colourful, skillful and textural depiction of the history of Scotland.

ARTIST ROOMS runs from February 14-May 31 at Kirkcaldy Galleries.

The Great Tapestry of Scotland comes to Kirkcaldy from June 20 -September 20.