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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)

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Sue Biazotti @ The Western Baths






One of the reasons I am writing about art (as opposed to randy dogs/feuding neighbours/triumphs over tragedies - delete as appropriate) is my friendship with Sue Biazotti.

I first met Sue 10 years ago when I was working for a short-lived but excellent publication called Business am, a Mon-Fri Scottish newspaper. It lasted for less than two years and was a newspaper ahead of its time. Looked great, was great to work for and had a superb staff of talented journalists who wholly believed in the product.

The standard of journalism was second-to-none and I loved the free rein which I, as a feature writer, got to go off and write about interesting subjects.

Business was always the starting point but business is life and so I found myself interviewing monks at Pluscarden Abbey, the former head of the legendary Goldbergs' store in Glasgow and Sue Biazotti, who was putting on a solo show in a disused shop in Glasgow's Merchant City.

I'd always been interested in art - particularly when I was younger, and had tried to keep the practical side up for a long time after leaving school. But life and work gets in the way of all things. It was only when I met Sue and got to know her that I was reminded about how much art used to excite me.

Her work is instantly recognisable but at the same time, quite diverse. Ranging from landscapes, to abstract and superbly realised figurative work, there is a distillation process which happens during her painting process which holds the viewer in a moment and makes them stand still rooted in that moment.

Sue is a practising yoga teacher and a very good one at that. She brings this sense of spacial and bodily awareness into all her work.

The other night, at the opening of her exhibition of work relating to her year as artist in residence at the historic Western Baths in Glasgow, the author and artist Alasdair Gray commented on her 'wonderful sense of space and distance', comparing her to one of his favourite artists, David Hockney. (Or as one of the people I spoke to afterwards said: 'He says she's better than Hockney!)

"I only like to look at art that I can learn or steal from," he opined in his familiar rise-and-fall voice. "I can't learn anything from installation art, but I can from this artist, whom I didn't know before I saw this work."

As if this wasn't praise enough, he also bought one of her paintings! Sue was so chuffed she could barely speak.

(I have to admit to being was quite giddy with excitement myself. I wrote my final year dissertation on Alasdair Gray's novel Lanark while a student at Aberdeen University. It was a piece of pretentious nonsense which is now lying in a box in my attic. I grimace even thinking about it...)

As Sue's year as artist-in-residence ends at the Baths, so Alasdair Gray's year as the new artist-in-residence there begins. He's a busy man.

One of the many projects he's working on is a mosaic for the Glasgow underground. He's working on it with Nichol Wheatley of Perfect Circle Art. Nichol seemed amazed when Alasdair revealed to the assembled guests that his plan for the Baths would be an underwater mosaic - made in conjunction with Nichol.

Anyway, go see Sue's beautiful paintings (& prints - perfect for affordable Christmas presents) inside one of Glasgow's most historic buildings. It's a real treat and will transport you instantly from all the madding Christmas crowds.

Sue Biazotti Exhibition 'The Baths'

The Western Baths Club
8-12 Cranworth St, GLASGOW,
G12 8BZ
Glasgow, United Kingdom

Opening times Monday 13th Dec - Friday 17th Dec
by appointment only
Sat 18th Dec 10 - 6 pm open to public
You and your guests are invited for drinks from 4pm till 6pm on Saturday 18th Dec to celebrate the closing of the exhibition.
Tel 0141 579 7370 to book appointment

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