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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

This week's gallery round-up

Gallery Round up Saturday October 2, 2010
(Published in The Herald Arts section)

James Hugonin
Ingelby Gallery
15 Calton Road, Edinburgh
0131 556 4441
From today until November 20

You could be forgiven for wondering why the name James Hugonin is not a familiar one as, for the past 22 years he has made just one painting each year. From his studio in the Cheviot Hills, in the border country between England and Scotland, Hugonin works constantly on intense evocations of colour and light, comprised of thousands of tiny coloured marks fluctuating across the surface. Not surprisingly, exhibitions of his work are rare.
Take a bow then, the directors of the Ingelby Gallery in Edinburgh, who are celebrating the artist’s 60th birthday by presenting a survey of his six most recent paintings, together with two early works which began this series over 20 years ago.
Untitled (I), now in the collection of the Arts Council of England, was begun in 1988 and since then Hugonin has completed a total of 18 identically sized and structured paintings, all of which have the same starting point - a grid made by scoring lines with a silverpoint wire into the surface of a gessoed board.
The gradual change from painting to painting is determined by the way in which the way in which the grid is filled in with strokes of colour: from the almost colourless glazes that made paintings of luminous translucency in the early years, to the increasingly bold and solid pigments that fizz across the surface of the most recent paintings.
The analogy to music is clear. Each painting is described as ‘a balancing act of rhythm and pace and gentle movement’. Since 2002 Hugonin has written a score for each work before making the first mark. Not a precise set of rules - more an organic document that recalls the notation of composers such as Morton Feldman and Philip Glass. As Michael Harrison (director of Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge) has observed “the paintings carry with them that pace, that slowness, that sense of time. They ask us to slow down, and to look, and to settle as we would to listen to a piece of music, allowing time to take effect – to acknowledge that, for all their quietness and stillness, our relationship to them is one of continual change”.
James Hugonin will be in conversation with Richard Davey, author of James Hugonin, The Nature of Colour: Similarity and Difference, today at 12pm in the gallery.

Mike Scott: A Memorial Exhibition
Roger Bilcliffe Gallery
134 Blythswood Street, Glasgow
0141 332 4027
From today until October 26

It is four years since the academic and painter Mike Scott died at the age of just 60 and this memorial exhibition of work will surely be welcomed with open arms by the legions of admirers who were drawn to his highly distinctive figurative work. The exhibition showcases many unseen works from his studio - several of which are for sale. There are also some older works which his widow Gill is lending for the duration of this exhibition.
Scott was born into the northeast fishing community of Peterhead, but moved to the fishing port of Hull, in the northeast of England, at the age of 10.
His classes in the sociology of knowledge and culture at Glasgow Caledonian University, where he taught from 1971 until 1986, were famous among generations of students for the insight and enthusiasm he brought to his chosen subject.
While still a full-time lecturer, Scott attended evening classes at Glasgow School of Art under the guidance of the late John Boyd, who became both mentor and friend.
He first exhibited his work in 1978 at the Royal Glasgow Institute and his style developed from the abstract manner of late Cubism, inspired by Leger, into a lyrical and evocative painter of pastoral scenes. In this later phase, his composition was shaped by a love of the Italian masters and painters from the northern European Renaissance.
Gallery owner and fellow academic, Roger Billcliffe says of his work: “To me, his later paintings – those made after the overt influence of Cubism waned – are about people, about episodes in family life, human dilemmas and achievements. Their titles elevate them from the commonplace but the artist’s concerns are fundamental – the human condition. His figures rarely make eye contact with us; in his own words they 'are just this side of melancholy'.
“His contribution to, and role within, recent Scottish painting is unique. His voice, in life and art, was gentle and questioning, laughter never far away, as was his innate seriousness. It is a voice that is, and will be, missed.”

Wasps Artists' Open Studios Weekend 2010
At nine artists’ studio buildings throughout Scotland
Today (Sat Oct 2), 11am - 5pm
Tomorrow (Sun Oct 3), 12pm - 5pm

If you have ever been remotely curious about what goes on behind the normally closed doors of an artist’s studio but were too afraid to ask for a nosey, then this weekend, at a studio near you, lies the ultimate prize. Wasps Artists' Open Studios Weekend* is now established as one of Scotland’s largest annual celebrations of visual art and it is the only time of year when hundreds of artists’ studios across Scotland are open to the public.
Not only can you nosey, you can also buy work direct from the artist and save yourself a fistful of gallery commission.
Around 200 artists at nine buildings in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, Irvine, Selkirk, and Newburgh in Fife are taking part this year and within their walls, a huge variety of art, from painting, drawing, ceramics, printmaking and photography to digital media, jewellery, glass, installation and sculpture, will be on display.
Last year, the event pulled in some 3,800 visitors across the weekend and this year, with the fantastically restored Briggait in Glasgow’s Merchant City throwing open its doors, that figure looks set to rise.
At the Briggait, there will also be two new shows in the exhibition spaces by Moray Hillary and Sebastian Wickeroth, displaying work created as part of Wasps/Culture and sport Glasgow Dusseldorf Exchange 2010.
The participating Wasps Studios are; Meadow Mill in Dundee, Albion Road Studios, Leith
West Park Place, Dalry and Patriothall Studios and gallery, Stockbridge in Edinburgh, Hanson Street Studios, Dennistoun and The Briggait, Merchant City in Glasgow, Courtyard Studios, Irvine, The Steeple, Newburgh, Fife and St Mary's Mill, Selkirk.
*Wasps Artists' Studios is an award-winning charity which provides affordable studio space to support the careers of up to 750 visual artists working in Scotland today.

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