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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)

Monday, 6 September 2010

Gallery Round up - The Herald Arts supplement 4/9/10

Work No. 316: Self-Portrait Thinking 2004 by Martin Creed
(This makes me smile every time...bought the postcard and everything!)

Rhonda Smith 'Fresh Summer Sea'

45 Market Street, Edinburgh
0131 225 2383
Until October 31

As one critic put it recently, Martin Creed goes to a lot of trouble to make art that doesn’t look like art. The naysayers will put that down as a negative comment, but I beg to differ. Martin Creed’s new solo exhibition, Down Over Up, has been at the Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh for the last five weeks and luckily, you still have another couple of months until its run ends. It will lift you up – quite literally as the synthesised steps and lift are an integral part of the exhibition – and leave you smiling/pondering by degrees. No bad thing in any exhibition.
Creed won the Turner Prize in 2001 with Work No 127: The Lights in a Building Going On and Off. His work ever since has proceeded in an orderly, almost Asperger-like fashion, constantly searching for order within chaos. It comes in a variety of forms, be it the careful numbering of all his works (he’s up into the thousands now and has even diversified into dance with Creed’s ballet: Work No. 1020) or in stacked up chairs, comical cacti lined up in steps and stairs, Lego tower and the musical stairs which sound a different note as gallery go-ers walk up and down. (Kids love it – the shop assistant told me one wee girl had even managed to play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.)
Then there’s my personal favourite from this show; Work No. 316: Self portrait thinking 2004, which shows the artist at dusk on a prom counting the columns on the sea wall. No, stop. Maybe it was the wee film with the giant Irish wolfhound and totey-wee Chihuahua being ‘directed’ around a pristine white gallery by Creed and his assistants. Sheer laugh-out loud genius.
Creed creates order from everyday objects and bestows on them an everyday beauty. Unpretentious Art: No 1.


Art in the Village
(Part of Milngavie Book & Arts Festival
Arts Marquee, Station Road, Milngavie
September 9-12

As the last performers and Festival stragglers head out of Edinburgh, over in the west, in the normally quiet streets of Milngavie, the third Milngavie Book & Arts Festival is about to commence.
It’s not on the same scale as its Edinburgh counterpart, but it provides a real cultural focal point for Milngavie and the surrounding area.
Book lovers can enjoy incredibly reasonably-priced author-events (£6 maximum –with refreshments thrown into the mix) which start on Tuesday and run until next Sunday. Writers lined up to appear include Julia Donaldson, Kenneth Steven, Fergal Keane and Caro Ramsay.
Meanwhile, from Thursday onwards, in a tented area close to the start of the West Highland Way, art lovers can come and browse in an exhibition which includes the work of artists such as Gordon Wilson, Marion Drummond, Pam Carter, Charles Jamieson and Alexandra Gardner.
There’s also an opportunity to see several artists at work over the course of the four days. Art in the Village stalwart Katharina Kubrick (daughter of legendary film director Stanley) will be donning her fingerless gloves, praying for warm weather and setting up her easel, as well as showing her new handmade gold and silver jewellery. Father and son Ron and Gordon Wilson – father and brother of organiser Rona Miller - will also be taking painting in the marquee. Well known as a framer in the Milngavie area, Gordon’s vibrant landscapes and increasingly distinctive figurative work has a growing army of fans – as demonstrated by the success of his current solo exhibition at the Smithy Gallery in Blanefield.

An Exhibition of Works by Rhonda Smith
House for an Art Lover, Cafe Gallery
Bellahouston Park, 10 Dumbreck Road, Glasgow
www.houseforanartlover.co.uk and www.rhondasmithscottishartist.co.uk
0141 353 4770
Until October 11

One time Aspect Prize finalist and occasional comedy writer Rhonda Smith has a beautifully instinctive feel for the freedom of space and this new solo exhibition of her work in the stylish surroundings of the House for an Art Lover demonstrates this perfectly.
Since she was shortlisted for the Aspect Prize in 2003, and has gone on to fulfil the promise shown in her portfolio at that time. A talented comedy writer, around the same time, she was one of ten budding sit-com writers selected for a place on the BBC Talent Sitcom Writers scheme.
Glasgow-based Smith, who graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 1991, is constantly drawn to beaches and seascapes and she weaves into her paintings the colour, texture, atmosphere and freedom which she finds in her chosen subject matter. Humans – and dogs – all impinge on that space but there is nothing contrived or sentimental about her work. She captures ordinary drama and unnoticed moments with a poignant touch.
“I strive to keep my compositions unstaged,” she says. “They are a moment captured in time, where people are scattered and active and as is usually the case in Scotland – trying to keep warm.”

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