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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, 4 October 2010

Philip Reeves, Scott Campbell & Abigail McLellan @ Glasgow Print Studio

Philip Reeve's Interior (left) and Abigail McLellan's Alliums (right)

This exhibition profile appeared in The Herald Arts section on Saturday October 2

As a wee addendum, I went to the preview night of this exhibition on Friday October 1 (I don't work that quickly - this was written as a preview piece...) and one of the highlights was meeting Abby McLellan's mum, Ruth.

She did a speech at Abby's funeral last October, which was a wonderful thing to hear. It must have been so difficult to do something like this for your 'baby'. (Abby was the youngest of her three daughters) yet at the same time it was necessary. Speaking to Ruth, I can see where Abby got her creative zest for life.

Also at the opening, was Louise Higgins, Abby's best friend - whom I've met a few times. She's returned to painting recently after a gap and her work is well worth seeking out. I'll try to post some images soon. (Louise??)

A further PS, earlier in the day on Friday, I had a sneak preview of Abby's husband, Alasdair Wallace's fantastic new work, Riverside Flock, which is destined for Take Me To The Riverside, an exhibition of work inspired by Glasgow's new Riverside Museum.

I'll be blogging about this forthcoming exhibition in Kelvingrove Museum & Art Gallery (at length probably, so be prepared!) in the coming weeks as I've been involved in putting it together.

Phillip Reeves, Scott Campbell & Abigail McLellan
Glasgow Print Studio
Trongate 103, Glasgow
0141 552 0704
From today until November 7

Scotland’s reputation in fine art printmaking goes before it and one its doyens is the artist Philip Reeves.
Reeves, whose work continues to be an essay in beautifully crafted, poetic simplicity, has been at the forefront of the printmaking scene in Scotland for six decades and continues to pursue his craft with quietly understated verve as he approaches his 80th year.
It is fitting then that the master’s work is the lynchpin of this three-person exhibition at Glasgow Print Studio (GPS), of which he was a founder member in 1972.
Reeves came to Scotland from the Royal College of Art in London in 1954, to lecture at Glasgow School of Art, and in 1970, was appointed Head of Printmaking (a department which he founded), thereby influencing generation after generation of printmakers.
Since the 1950s, no important development in his field has escaped his involvement. In 1967 he was a founder member of Edinburgh Printmakers, a routine he repeated five years later at Glasgow print Studio.
His printmaking displays a modern expressive abstraction, confidently conceived by experimentation with the process of intaglio printmaking (in which the image is incised directly into the plate). As well as experimenting with the possibilities of the etching plate, Reeves frequently employs found objects to use as the printing ‘plate’ to great effect.
The skills of dedicated printmakers such as Reeves and Scott Campbell (currently master screenprinter at GPS) ensure continuing high standards of production in this specialist art form, while the value of the studio’s collaborative publishing projects can be seen in works by the late Abigail McLellan, with whom Campbell worked on two of the prints on show here.
Works in all three exhibitions under the GPS’ roof at Trongate 103 demonstrate the exceptional calibre of printmaking in Scotland.
Side by side with the work of Reeves, is the multi-layered festival of texture and colour which makes up the work of Scott Campbell, who works almost exclusively in the screenprinting medium to create abstract and colour field works.
Campbell's in-depth understanding of colour, layering, the interplay of textures and mark making within screenprinting is clear in this display. He uses screenprint to innovate – pushing the boundaries of the process while relying on instinct and experience to explore what can be achieved. The artist, who has been printing for over 15 years, has an almost obsessive involvement with the screenprinting process.
Campbell studied at Glasgow School of Art and Central St Martins, London. He has worked with artists such as Elizabeth Blackadder, Scott Myles, Martin Boyce and Richard Wright, as well as with many respected internationally acclaimed artists such as Patrick Caulfield, Howard Hodgkin, Julian Opie, and Michael-Craig Martin.
To complete the triumvirate, ahead of a major retrospective of her work at the Rebecca Hossack Gallery in London next year, GPS is also showing a mixture of screenprints, monoprints and works on canvas by Abigail McLellan, who died a year ago at the age of just 40 from a particularly aggressive form of Multiple Sclerosis. McLellan was noted for still-life paintings consisting of pared down, almost abstracted, images of single plants, flowers, other distinct items, as well as portraits. All her work is set against richly-worked backgrounds of saturated colour, strongly influence by Japanese art.
The Glasgow-based artist, who was a great admirer of Reeves, produced six screenprint editions and a number of monoprints, working with master printmakers at GPS. These works are incredibly life-affirming and while simple and true are never simplistic. Seen as a group, they only serve to highlight what a loss to the art world McLellan’s death represented.

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