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I'm an arts journalist & PR consultant living and working in Scotland. I've been a journalist for more than 25 years. I write a regular column for Scottish quality newspaper, The Herald. I deliver a PR service with an arty bent and work on a consultancy basis with arts organisations, including Scotland's leading creative industries festival, XpoNorth & broadcast support body, ScreenHI. I am currently co-writing a book about the celebrated Scots artist, George Wyllie, with his daughter Louise. Instrumental in making a celebration of his life's work happen in 2012. For more information, see www.georgewyllie.com When I'm not being a mum/working, I talk to my dog. He laps it up. Contact me on janpatience@me.com (All work © Jan Patience)

Sunday, 19 July 2009

The Herald's Gallery page, Sat 18 July 09: The Discovery of Spain, Munch, John Burningham and Jilli Blackwood

By Jan Patience



National Gallery Complex
The Mound, Edinburgh
0131 624 6200
Open daily. 10am-5pm. Late opening until 7pm on Thursdays
Tickets £8 (concessions, £6)
From today until October 11 2009


Dovecot Studios
10 Infirmary Street, Edinburgh
0131 550 3660
Tue-Sat, 10am-5pm (7pm on Wednesdays)
Until September 5

There’s a treat in store for art-lovers who venture into Dovecot Studios this summer, in the shape of two exhibitions which celebrate the work of two very different artists still creating for all they are worth after many decades.
Dovecot’s well-trumpeted Alan Davie exhibition starts next month, but Mr Grumpy and Other Outings brings together work from five decades by illustrator extraordinaire, John Burningham, whose original artwork for Ian Fleming’s book, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang dating from 1964 will be familiar to millions of people the world over. This exhibition in the Balcony Gallery of Dovecot has original illustrations from his perennial favourite Mr Grumpy’s Outing and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Fans of the magical ‘fine four fendered friend’ will be delighted by the sight of Burningham’s original model of the car itself.
Burningham has been writing and illustrating books for both adults and children for 50 years and the exhibition brings together some of his best-loved works for the first time in Europe.
Burningham began drawing at a young age and some of his early collages and sketches of Glaswegian life are also on display alongside information about his childhood. One of his earliest commissions was to design a series of posters for Transport for London to encourage people to take advantage of the many leisure activities London had to offer. All eight of the posters are on display and Burningham’s unique use of collage, photography and drawing can clearly be seen in all of them.
Dovecot Studios has produced a hand-tufted rug featuring a scene from his classic tale, Borka, The Adventures of a Goose With No Feathers, which will hang alongside original artwork from the book.
During the exhibition, a second rug will be produced enabling visitors to the exhibition to see one of
Burningham’s designs develop as Dovecot’s Master Weavers work on it.

Musa Art & Music Café
33 Exchange Street
01224 326009
Until September 9
Monday, 7.30pm-11.30pm, Tue-Sat, 9.30am-11pm
www.jilliblackwood.com and www.musaartcafe.com

Aberdeen’s arts scene has always benefited from relaxed café-style venues which double up as both music space and art gallery. Perhaps because it’s a small city with a vibrant heart, these places have a lot of creative energy poured into making them a success and the latest on the block, is Musa.
With a revolving programme of exhibitions, the latest is piggybacked onto the ubiquitous Homecoming theme and features work by internationally recognised textile artists Jilli Blackwood and Malcolm Cruikshank.
Glasgow-based Blackwood, whose textiles are a beguiling blend of elegance, playfulness and vibrant touch ability, is represented in many prestigious museum, corporate, and private collections worldwide. Be it one of her funky kilts, striking wall hangings or the way in which she gambols off into the equivalent of textile doodling with her gorgeous handmade sporrans or bags, she is a quivering bundle of creative energy who is never anything other than completely original.
Renowned for her embroidery techniques and for combining different fabrics such as silk, leather, and linen to create a sensual, three-dimensional surface, all her fabrics are hand dyed before transformed into delicate textile sculptures which spark with an innate love of form and colour.
In this latest show, she has wall hangings and textile pieces on show, including the silk embroidered wall hangings Earth Song and the thoroughly joyous Big Pink.
Edinburgh-based Malcolm Cruikshank is also exhibiting his quirky alternative kilts and sporrans while Debby Forsyth has come up with an intriguing papier mache portrait of Burns. The exhibition also features Beverly Moore’s silver kilt belt buckles, humorous ceramic figures by Ludmilla Kosmina and work by French artist; Caty Leveque.

Hunterian Art Gallery
82 Hillhead Street, University of Glasgow, Glasgow
0141 330 5431
Mon-Sat, 9.30am - 5.00pm. Closed Sundays and from today (July 18) until Monday July 20
Until September 5

This small yet perfectly-formed exhibition of 40 of Munch’s greatest prints has been on show at Glasgow University’s Hunterian Art Gallery for the last month and if you haven’t seen it yet, I urge you to set aside some time to see it before it closes at the beginning of September. (Don’t go this weekend, as The Hunterian is closed for the Glasgow Fair holiday)
Among the masterpieces on show, is the world-famous black and white lithograph of The Scream, which alongside Michelangelo’s David and Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa has become a brand in itself, albeit the most angst-ridden of the three.
This will be the last chance for visitors in the UK to see the print, which is on loan from The Munch Museum in Oslo, Norway, for the last time. In future, visitors will have to travel to Norway to see it.
One of Norway’s greatest artists and one of the most influential figures in 20th century European art,, Munch was one of the founders of the Expressionist movement. His images sear straight to the heart of what it is to be human and in the process depict the neuroses that developed during Munch’s own childhood, which was blighted by the early death of his mother and sister.
As well as The Scream, some of his finest work is on display here, including fin de siecle lithograph Madonna which although no longer considered shocking, has lost none of its erotic energy despite the passage of time.
Munch and his friend, the poet Emanuel Goldstein were much concerned with designing work designed to create ‘vibrations of feeling’ in the reader or viewer. Munch could never have envisaged the sound of a mechanical drill accompanying his nerve-jangling work, but this is what happened on the day I visited the Hunterian as workman busied themselves with repairs in the background.
As a piece of conceptual art, it grated, but by the same token, strange to say, it added to the experience.
If you want to get on the act of printmaking, the Hunterian is offering a five-day intensive printmaking course led by Elspeth Lamb and Charmian Pollok from August 3-7. The cost is £250 and no experience is necessary.

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