MIGRATE: 30 YEARS OF SCOTTISH GLASS
Inverness Museum & Art Gallery
Castle Wynd, Inverness
From today until August 1 2009
One of the joys of writing about the visual arts is the way in which the landscape of the art world criss-crosses at key points. One artist or art form, leads you on to another and inevitably, the little side-alleys down which you find yourself taking a wee dauner start to draw you in.
By way of illustration, a couple of weeks ago, I met Alec Galloway, one of four artists short-listed for this year’s prestigious Aspect Prize. Galloway is a well-known glass artist whose work is in public spaces all over the world. He is also head of architectural glass at Edinburgh College of Art, which boasts Scotland’s only college course dedicated to glass.
Recently, Galloway has turned his wandering creative eye to painting. His beautifully contemplative ‘Migration of Souls’ caught the Aspect judges’ attention for the confident way in which he fused various techniques and media to achieve a bold, yet sensitive piece of narrative.
It turns out Galloway had become fascinated by the notion of migration as a metaphor for separation as he prepared work for a major exhibition featuring 30 glass artists planned by The Scottish Glass Society to celebrate its 30th anniversary.
More delving revealed that the exhibition, Migrate: 30 Years of Scottish Glass, was due to open today in Inverness, before a planned tour takes it to Wick’s St Fergus Gallery, the Iona Gallery in Kingussie and finally, Broadfield House Glass Museum in the West Midlands, where it will have the bittersweet honour of being the last exhibition at Britain’s only dedicated glass museum, prior to its planned closure.
The exhibition’s title is particularly apposite, since Scotland has become a hotbed of talent and industry in this most fragile of art forms. The glass and architectural glass courses at Edinburgh attract students from all over the world, while North Lands Creative Glass in the Caithness village of Lybster has a worldwide reputation a centre for excellence in this field.
As a result, many glassmakers have made Scotland their home, and a good handful of that number – including Japan’s Keiko Mukaide and Junko Eager, New York-born Carrie Fertig and Tanwen Llewelyn from Wales – have been selected to exhibit in this inspiring exhibition.
Alongside their take on the theme of migration from the standpoint of having moved to Scotland, stands stained glass ‘totems’ by the likes of Greenock-born Galloway, who used his own family’s experience of migration to produce lyrically beautiful pieces, and engraved panels by Edinburgh-born Alison Kinnaird, who is also a leading exponent of traditional Scottish harp music.
Kinnaird’s engraved panels feature a series of eight heads, representing a journey through life, as well as changing worlds. The background to the heads features a star map and the background music is a recording of a piece of harp music, composed and played by the artist.
Tradition and modern mores are all covered by the theme of migration. Rachel Elliot has taken the traditional ‘message in a bottle’ idea and given it over to the age of cyberspace. Her premise is that specially designed glass bottles will be bought in pairs from the gallery shop, with the new owners keeping one and passing on another.
Working in tandem will be a website where people can upload photos and/or comments onto an interactive map, so that the bottles progress can be traced.
The range of work on show includes cast, etched, engraved, slumped fused, blown, leaded, stained and painted panels, forms and sculptural pieces.
Selected by contemporary glass expert, Dan Klein, every one of these 30 glass artists has taken the theme of migration and toyed with it ingeniously to examine their own sense of identity and place in the most fragile of mediums.
Cycling up the Hill with my Dad: Claire Heminsley – Textiles and David Heminsley – Ceramics
Collins Gallery, University of Strathclyde, 22 Richmond Street, Glasgow
0141 548 2558
From today until August 15 2009 (closed July 17 – 20)
Mon-Fri, 10am-5pm, Sat, 12pm-4pm
Fathers have a lot to answer for. Not only do they pass down DNA to their offspring, they also imbue these unsuspecting children with their passions, fears, tics and tricks. By osmosis, we learn to live with a father’s ever-watching eye. Even when they depart this life, their influence carries on regardless.
This exhibition at The Collins Gallery celebrates a love of drawing shared by a father and daughter, even though their areas of artistic excellence lie in ceramics and textiles, respectively.
Originally shown by Fife Contemporary Art and Craft in November 2007, ‘Cycling up the Hill with my Dad’ brings together work by David and Claire Heminsley. Sadly, David died at the beginning of that year while the exhibition was still a work-in-progress and it became a celebration of the way in which Claire’s way of working has been nourished by her father’s work and their relationship.
Trained in the tradition of Bernard Leach, widely regarded as the ‘Father of British studio pottery, David Heminsley’s aim was to meld function and form in a seamless fashion. His collection of tableware and hanging bowls, glazed in cobalt, tenmoku and matt creams are proof positive that he achieved this objective.
Almost two years on, this new show continues this theme with a new installation and body of work in which Claire incorporates her father’s words into ceramics cast from his originals. There are also three-dimensional textile pieces, which include subtle references to the man and his craft.
DCA Summer Exhibitions
Susanne Nielsen, Rob Hunter & John Louden plus artist collective, Ganghut
Dundee Contemporary Arts
152 Nethergate, Dundee
01382 909 900
Tue-Sat, 10.30am-5.30pm, Sun, 12pm-5.30pm (closed Mondays)
From today until August 30 2009
Continuing the series of exhibitions celebrating a decade of DCA, the zinging hub that is Dundee’s finest arts space launches its summer programme with three simultaneous exhibitions. All the participating artists are closely connected to the flourishing art scene in Dundee.
Originally from Denmark, now based near Dundee, Susanne Nielsen has a longstanding fascination with modernist art in the first decades of the twentieth century, which she combines here with a passion for botany. ‘Red, Yellow, Blue’ centres around a large glasshouse designed for DCA’s light filled first gallery. Expect the unexpected from this living, growing work of art.
Rob Hunter and John Louden have been partners in art since their student days at Edinburgh College of Art in the early 1990s. Both have been mainstays of the art scene in Dundee for the last ten years.
This new body of work is inspired by classical mythology and the social network of the artists. Expect 100 wall-mounted ‘frozen’ heads with mirrored eyes, echoing the myth of Medusa and the mirrored shield used by Perseus to defeat her.
The eleven-strong artist collective known as Ganghut is founded upon ‘utopian ideology, the psychology of social structures and friendship’. All the artists involved have a strong connection with Dundee and, through a series structures devised in collaboration between Ganghut, Edinburgh’s Draw Architects and the technical crew of DCA, they have created a platform for a series of events including talks, screenings and gigs. Pyrotechnics are predicted…
Sir MUIRHEAD BONE (1876-1953)
The Fleming Collection
13 Berkeley Street, London W1
020 7409 5730
Jul 7 until September 7
During his lifetime, Glasgow-born Sir Muirhead Bone was one of the most significant figures in the British art world, yet today he is a marginal figure in art history. A consummate draughtsman, the art historian Lord Clark described him as the only British artist who stood comparison with the great Italian draughtsman, Piranesi.
Bone was born in Glasgow, but spent most of his working life in London and the south of England. After early training as an architect, he went on to study at Glasgow School of Art, concentrating on printmaking, as well as watercolours and drawings.
His prints, many of which were concerned with architectural subjects, were avidly collected in Britain and America during the first three decades of the twentieth century until the print market was killed off by the Wall Street Crash of 1929.
In 1916, he was appointed the first British War Artist, producing hundreds of sketches and watercolours of the Western Front, the Fleet in the Firth of Forth, shipbuilding on the Clyde and the war effort in factories the length and breadth of Britain.
He was also an Official War Artist during the Second World War. On one occasion, he was recalled to London after a devastating raid by the Luftwaffe on December 29,1940 to record St Bride’s and the City after the fire.
Bone supported and encouraged many young artists, including Stanley Spencer, Jacob Epstein, Mark Gertler and David Bomberg as well as being a trustee of the Tate, the National Gallery and the Imperial War Museum.
This exhibition at The Fleming Collection’s Mayfair gallery features watercolours, drawings and prints, and several examples of the few oil paintings he executed during a long and fruitful artistic life. It also includes work by Spencer, Epstein, Gertler and Bomberg
- The story so far
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org (All work © Jan Patience)