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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)

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

The River Runs Through It (and into The Herald)

The exhibition profile which appears below of The River Runs Through It appeared in The Herald arts supplement on 6/11/10.

The exhibition is being hung (drawn and quartered) by Charlie Jamieson and a crack team of technicians at Kelvingrove as I write. I went in yesterday for a peek and it took my breath away to see all the work in one place.

The picture at the top is one of Charlie's paintings, entitled Cherry Picker. As well as being the driving force behind the exhibition, Charlie has produced several paintings and a series of stunning (and affordable) prints based on photographs he took onsite at the Riverside Museum as it was being constructed. An stoppable force of creativity, today's he's painting and illustrating a narrative on the hallowed walls of Kelvingrove...

After I wrote this feature, I went to Gourock to meet scul?tor George Wyllie's daughter Louise and select some of her dad's work for the exhibition. I'm so pleased that George's work will be represented here as the river runs unconditionally through his life and unique artwork.

Charlene Sweeney wrote an excellent piece on this in Scotland on Sunday on 7/11/10:http://scotlandonsunday.scotsman.com/scotland/Scultor-gives-rare-works-to.6615848.jp

The River Runs Through It
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
Argyle Street, Glasgow
0141 276 9599
From Nov 12 to Jan 30, 2011

Rivers have a habit of gathering momentum. Mystery often rushes around the source of a river. The Clyde, the waterway at the heart of The River Runs Through It, a major new selling exhibition which opens this week in Kelvingrove, may or may not originate at Little Clyde’s Burn in South Lanarkshire.
What is indisputable is the power of this river. It snakes its way from small beginnings, past New Lanark (where David Dale, a founding father of socialism, established his model of Utopian business practice) on to Motherwell and Hamilton, Blantyre, Bothwell and into the southern reaches of Glasgow.
From there, it widens out, surging out past Glasgow Green and through the city centre. On and on, it courses, through Govan, Partick, Whiteinch and Clydebank. Places which once rang out with the sense-assaulting tumult of the shipbuilding industry.
It then flows out to Renfrew, under the Erskine Bridge and past Dumbarton, heading into the greener terrain of Cardross and Helensburgh, before sailing again into shipbuilding territory that was; Port Glasgow and Greenock. At the Tail of the Bank, it merges into the Firth of Clyde. Job done.
As the late Jimmy Reid (whose name will be forever linked with this great river) put it: “The Clyde isn’t just a river it’s a way of life.”
The River Runs Through It has been inspired by the new Riverside Museum. For the last few years, this distinctively jaggy Zaha Hadid-designed building has slowly taken shape on the site of the former Pointhouse shipyard of A&J Inglis in Yorkhill, where the Clyde meets the River Kelvin.
After it opens in May 2011, this new museum will house the city of Glasgow’s treasure trove of transport-related collections and will give space for an in depth interpretation of Glasgow’s maritime history.
The ‘source’ of the exhibition was a chance comment back in January by Riverside Museum Appeal Director, Gavin McLellan, on my blog about Scottish art. He was responding to a posting I’d put up about Patricia Cain winning premier Scottish art award, The Aspect Prize, with her forensic studies of the Riverside under construction.
Gavin is the man charged with the responsibility of spearheading the public appeal which aims to raise £5m of the £74m required to build this landmark building. His blog comment led to an informal meeting in Kelvingrove’s cafe at which he outlined the scope of the new museum and talked about the appeal to Patricia Cain, the artist Charles Jamieson and me.
As we looked at the plans for the museum, Charles (who is also the driving force behind the Aspect Prize), wondered out loud if we could follow Patricia’s example and invite a group of artists to respond to ‘the riverside’ by inviting them on site to see the museum as it took shape.
Before you could say ‘last tram to Auchenshuggle’, Charles was on the case and he and I had divvied up a list of potential artists to invite. This list ebbed and flowed and created a momentum all of its own. Patricia Cain was the first to be signed up...
Within a few months, some of Scotland’s best known artists were donning hard hats along with lesser known, emerging ‘names’. Some, like Ben Crawshaw and Rachael Rebus are new graduates, while others, such as Peter Howson and Adrian Wiszniewski have already established stellar careers.
Neither of us imagined that this germ of an idea would lead to a major exhibition in the space vacated by Kelvingrove’s hugely successful Glasgow Boys’s exhibition. As images of the work have flowed in, Charles and I have been like children with new toys. The quality of work which this group of artists has created is exemplary. The river, it seems, has quietly seeped into their collective souls.
All the work is for sale, and ranges in price from £375 to £20,000 (a pastel by Peter Howson entitled Machine Magician). To date, £3.7m has been raised and it is hoped this selling exhibition will raise a substantial portion of the remaining £1.3m required.
Glasgow-born and bred Annette Edgar, who has applied her vigorous imagination to the subject for this exhibition, has been drawn time and time again to rivers in her painting career. She sums it up perfectly when she says: “It is – and always has been – a great river. When other things become a memory, it will still be there. It lives.”

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