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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, 26 September 2010

Gallery Round Up - As seen in The Herald 25/9/10


Joan Mitchell
Inverleith House
Royal Botanic Garden, Arboretum Place/Row, Edinburgh
0131 248 2971 (2489 at weekends)
Until October 3
One of the good things about the art exhibitions put on to coincide with the various Edinburgh festivals, is that they continue after the madding crowds have departed for home.
If you haven’t seen the memorable Joan Mitchell exhibition at Inverleith House yet in the stunning setting of the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh, then there is still time. Just - as the exhibition – the first ever solo show of her work in the UK - closes a week on Monday.
I have to confess I had never heard of this Chicago-born artist, prior to this year’s Edinburgh Art Festival, and I suspect I’m not alone in wondering why not. Described on the promotional material at Inverleith House as ‘one of the most important and singular American painters of the post-war period, whose influence and stature are gaining increasing recognition today’, Mitchell moved from the US to France in 1959 and lived there until she died in 1992.
She had moved to New York in the late 1940s, where she became the youngest member of the Abstract Expressionist movement, enjoying the support of Willem de Kooning and Franz Kline.
On show at Inverleith, are seven paintings on canvas and five works on paper. Beautifully spaced out across two levels, the work is able to breathe and is ripe for contemplation.
Mitchell’s distinctive painterly style is clearly influenced by the American Abstract Expressionists, but there is something altogether more poetic and poignant going on in these works, which have absorbed the traditions and influences of European painting which she found in France.
Mitchell's love of nature and poetry seeps through the art on Inverleith’s walls. If you find yourself drawn into her art, there is a fantastic hour-long film about Mitchell, made towards the end of her life, being shown in the basement of Inverleith House.

Modern Print Masters
The Watermill
01877 822896
From today until November 29
The Aberfeldy Watermill’s annual Modern Print Masters exhibition has become a fixture on the Scottish art calendar. Not only does it provide an excuse to head to the Perthshire town (as the surrounding countryside bursts into full autumnal splendour), it also presents a staggeringly high quality of work at affordable prices.
This year’s exhibition features work by over 30 British and European artists. The earliest, a delicate Matisse lithograph, dates from 1945, while the most recent work includes two new prints by renowned Scottish masters, Alan Davie and Barbara Rae.
Alan Davie’s screenprint, entitled Grangemouth Image was produced in collaboration with Kip Gresham of the Cambridge Print Studio, while Barbara Rae’s delicate and contemplative etching and collograph, Doonfeeny, was hatched at Peacock Visual Arts in Aberdeen.
Alongside a striking etching by Joan Miro, there are also several affordable unsigned lithographs by him, a heart-stopping Henry Moore etching and aquatint, from the Mother & Child series as well as etchings by Stanley Hayter and Victor Vasarely and a screenprint by Banksy depicting a rat holding a sign which proclaims the legend: Get Out While You Can.

Art at Wigtown Book Festival 2010
Various venues around Wigtown
01988 403222/ 02036
Until October 3

This annual festival based in ‘booktown’ of Wigtown in the south west of Scotland opened yesterday (Fri Sep 24) and continues until October 3. Art highlights are many and varied within the programme. Spring Fling (Scotland’s largest art and craft open doors studio event) is bringing the work of their artist-in-residence, Jerwood Makers’ Award winner Deirdre Nelson, to this year’s Festival. Nelson’s textile art will be on display at the Glaisnock Guest House for the duration.
Nelson is a graduate of Glasgow School of Art who uses research into textile and social history. Narrative plays a key role in her work, which combines traditional and contemporary techniques. At the festival she is interested in becoming a ‘word collector’, asking visitors to nominate favourite words. These will be the starting point for new work to be shown in May 2011 at Spring Fling. Nelson is hosting a ‘meet the artist’ event tonight (Sat Oct 25) at 7pm.
Tomorrow (Sun Oct 26), Turner Prize winner Martin Creed will give an illustrated talk to discuss his book, Works, which looks back at his output over two decades. The book includes text from writers such as Germaine Greer, Colm Toibin and Barry Humphries.
Celebrated Glasgow polymath, Alasdair Gray, whose book, Alasdair Gray: A Life in Pictures, has just been published, will also be at the Festival tomorrow to discuss the paintings and drawings that have mattered most to him in a long and fruitful career,
Finally, after a much admired exhibition in the town in May this year, Place Identity Memory: The Archive, is being reprised especially for the festival. The exhibition is compiled by Iris, an acclaimed group of seven artists based in the region whose aim is to raise awareness of the exciting and diverse art form of artists’ books. The festival exhibition features new works and will be on display at The Hut at ReadingLasses.

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