As a child growing up in Japan, artist Hideyuki Katsumata loved reading The Beano and was thrilled to be in the comic’s hometown when he first came to Dundee.
No surprise then that he is one of six artists taking part in DCA Thomson, a unique free exhibition in partnership with The Courier’s publisher DC Thomson to celebrate the 80th anniversary of The Broons and Oor Wullie.
Beth Bate, director of DCA, is delighted to be working with DC Thomson on this exhibition, which celebrates Dundee’s fantastic comics and design heritage through the lens of contemporary art. “We’re going to see six very different responses to the riches of the DC Thomson archive from the artists taking part, and can’t wait to share them with audiences.”
Each artist has visited the DC Thomson archives and will be exhibiting their own individual take on the rich cultural history of Dundee publishing.
The six exhibiting artists are: Rob Churm, Rabiya Choudhry, Craig Coulthard, Malcy Duff, Hideyuki Katsumata and Sofia Sita.
Rob has chosen to work with the Jonah strips that appeared in The Beano in the late 1950s and early 1960s while Malcy Duff has taken inspiration from Oor Wullie and produced a brand new comic for the exhibition that can be read within a new sculptural installation inspired by Wullie’s famous bucket.
Rabiya Choudhry’s work for the exhibition is loosely based on her family and inspired by DC Thomson’s comic strip The Numskulls, about a team of tiny human-like technicians who live inside people’s heads.
Craig Coulthard was an avid reader of DC Thomson’s Commando comics and has created a series of drawings inspired by these for the exhibition.
Hideyuki Katsumata is using characters from his imagination to converse with the DC Thomson universe, and Sofia Sita is inspired by The Broons, creating a mural celebrating The Dundonians – a happy family of DCA visitors.
“Dundonian32s and people across Scotland and the UK hold DC Thomson’s titles in such high regard and have a huge affection for them,” says Beth.
“All the comic characters still appeal to all the generations. This exhibition demonstrates the richness of DC Thomson’s archives and we are so grateful to them for their generosity.”
There will also be a host of creative workshops for younger visitors inspired by the works in the galleries, starting from tomorrow when families can join Hideyuki Katsumata for Comic Inspirations – a fun-filled workshop where children can create artworks inspired by comics and annuals.