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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)

Friday, 12 November 2010

Take Yourself To The Riverside Exhibition @ Kelvingrove

This is one of Ruth Nicol's small paintings - she produced the biggest and the smallest works for this exhibition. I've reserved a wee one, which was very well priced (they've all gone... I think it was this one, tho it might have been another because they were all little studies for her big painting)

Like a river, an exhibition gathers a momentum all of its own. This definitely happened with The River Runs Through It, which previewed last night in Kelvingrove Art Gallery in Glasgow.
As Riverside Museum Appeal director Gavin McLellan mentioned in his speech at the preview, the exhibition sprang from a comment on this blog back in February. I like to think it's a bit like the old world colliding with new media in the most positive way imaginable.
The work which all 29 artists have on show in Kelvingrove demonstrates what a wealth of creative talent we have here in Scotland.
The exhibition features work from artists at all stages of their career, from early 20s to late 70s. We also have two works by George Wyllie, who will be 90 next year, and a short film about him is showing on a loop.
Many of the artists are well known if you follow the art scene, but most people don't - and I have to say that sometimes going into private galleries or art institutions can be intimidating.
I know from talking to people about art that a lot of people feel shy because they 'don't know about art' and think they'll appear stupid.
My feeling is that everyone should and can enjoy art. Even if they don't like it, it's a response - and it's their response.
What I really love about this exhibition is that it's in Kelvingrove, which is right at the heart of Glasgow life.
Go in there any day of the week and it's filled with ordinary people going about their business.
I had a great chat with the guy who delivered the catalogues yesterday morning about the Flying Scot bike he used to own - a memory triggered by one Colin Brown's mixed media works, which featured the bike.
One of the artists I spoke to last night, Ruth Nicol, talked about how inclusive Kelvingrove and the old transport museum felt to her as she was growing up. I knew instantly what she means because I felt the same way.
I remember travelling up from Ayrshire to Kelvingrove when I was at school for the annual drawing competition and sitting in front of a stuffed tiger (I think it was) and feeling wide-eyed, yet secure.
We got to see Dali's famous Christ on the Cross and a host of other weird and wonderful oddities. A day to remember.
So, to have an exhibition in Kelvingrove featuring new graduates such as Ruth, mid-career artists like Alasdair Wallace and Simon Laurie, whose work sells very well in London, as well as veterans such as Annette Edgar (she'll kill me for saying that!) and James Watt all exhibiting here, is something of a triumph.
Huge thanks to the creative powerhouse, Charlie Jamieson - my mum would have described him as the gauleiter of the project, Gavin McLellan, Marguax Achard, Holly Hines and the superb behind-the-scenes technical team at Kelvingrove.
And of course all the artists and their loyal family & friends! (Loyal family and friends have a lot to put up with where artists are concerned...)

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