David McDiarmid’s studio practice seeks to examine the concept of megalomania in architecture; the means by which the built environment is often purposefully designed, constructed and used as a tool for power and propaganda.
Many of McDiarmid's paintings and models play with ideas of scale and form, taking inspiration from historical examples of power architecture in order to depict ambitious plans and proposals for structures which will never exist in reality.
Scaffolding is a recurring motif in McDiarmid's work, its significance derived from its paradoxical position as both a fundamentally temporary structure, and its irrevocable status throughout the history of construction, where conceptually it time and again outlasts the permanent structures derived from it.
In producing his work McDiarmid incorporates materials and processes typically associated with architecture and construction. He often paints on surfaces cast with cement, plaster or concrete, juxtaposing them with precious materials such as gold leaf and faux marble to further explore the artifice of grandeur.
Integral to the development of McDiarmid’s work is the consideration of how the installation and presentation of his paintings and models in an exhibition, can influence the viewer behaviourally or emotionally, like the architecture of power is designed to do.