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© David Mach

Reference URL

Matchead 1986

Not on display

  • Scottish Art
David Mach made his first matchhead sculpture in 1982 after reading a review of his work in which the critic compared one of the artist's installations to hobbyist's matchstick models of the Eiffel Tower. Mach was intrigued that the reviewer wrote about matches with so much contempt and immediately decided to experiment with this 'underdog' of materials. His first head, using live matches, was set on fire by mistake. The blue and red matches burned down to shades of grey. Since then Mach has made dozens of these heads, which come in all colours but, once burned, change their character completely.

Glossary Open

Installation art

An art practice developed in the second half of the 20th century that broke away from the view of a sculpture as a singular object to be looked at. Instead, installation artists create an environment that may surround the viewer. Many are temporary or created for a particular location.

Installation art


  • Acc. No. GMA 3468
  • Medium Burnt matches, glue
  • Size 45.50 x 20.50 x 15.00 cm
  • Credit Presented by the Contemporary Art Society (Henry Moore Foundation Grant) 1989