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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)

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Gallery Round-up (published in The Herald 5/2/11)

Consecration Stone, By James Dunbar on show as part of the 131st ANNUAL EXHIBITION of The Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour (RSW) in 
The Lower Galleries, The Royal Scottish Academy Building, The Mound, Edinburgh until March 3


Axolotl Gallery
35 Dundas Street, Edinburgh
0131 557 1460
From today until March 5

Having two artists in one small country called Joyce Cairns can be confusing. Not to be confused with the other Aberdeen-based Joyce Cairns, Joyce Gunn Cairns is an Edinburgh-based evergreen creative spirit who brings an almost naive childlike fearlessness to her figurative work.
Gunn’s work is well represented in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery and, as her portraits of well-known writers reveal, there is a curious mix of tenderness and almost telepathic empathy going on within them.
She has a new body of work on show at the buzzing new Axolotl gallery space in Dundas Street, Edinburgh which takes her own middle-aged body and self as the starting point.
“Using my own middle-aged body for stimulus,’ she explains, “I am seeking to integrate in my painting and drawing the memories and media messages which have informed and continue to inform my understanding of myself as a woman and as a sexual being.
“My engagement with my body is also impelled by my desire to challenge the forces – political, religious, sexual – which seek to exact a conformism to a value system that ultimately crushes each person’s right to speak with her/his unique voice and define her/his physical and metaphysical shape.’
The artist will be in Axolotl today (Saturday) between 1pm and 3pm doing an informal talk about her influences and inspirations.


Cookie Restaurant

72 Nithsdale Road, Glasgow


0141 423 1411
From Feb 8 to March 14

Glasgow southside slow food restaurant, Cookie, has developed a reputation since it opened two years ago.
Inspired by the Slow Food revolution, it is owned and run by husband and wife team Domenico del Priore and Dr Melanie McCallum.
A graduate of Glasgow School of Art, del Priore sees the restaurant as a community hub for cookery, healthy eating and art.
This new exhibition, which opens later this week showcases the work of Gardner Muirhead. 
The West Lothian born artist studied Tapestry Design at Edinburgh College of Art.
Now a full-time teacher of art and design, he has exhibited with textiles and painting and printmaking in various group shows in Edinburgh and Glasgow. 
In 2005, Gardner was introduced to Japanese woodblock printing by Elspeth Lamb at the the Glasgow Print Studio and has been studying and working in this medium ever since. In the last ten years he has travelled extensively in Europe and Asia, particularly Japan.
Travelogue is a collection of Japanese woodblock prints inspired by sketches and photographs taken during these trips. Each different print is inspired by many factors, not least the versatility of his chosen medium, which he uses to depict subjects such as the smile of a Tuk Tuk driver in Bangkok, a subway carriage full of dozy passengers in Tokyo or descending upon Hong Kong Harbour.

Owner del Priore explains: “In this digital age isn't is great to see work in a traditional medium. One of the most exciting things about this show for us is the instructive value. We have asked Gardner to in addition to the prints to show a selection of the blocks he carves to produce them. So the public get both process, form and content.


The Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour (RSW)

The Lower Galleries, The Royal Scottish Academy Building, The Mound, Edinburgh

0131 624 6550

Until March 3

Alongside Visual Arts Scotland (VAS) and the Scottish Society of Artists (SSA), both of which are now exhibiting simultaneously in the Upper Galleries of the Royal Scottish Academy building, the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour (RSW) are showing the wider world what a wealth of talent lies within this small country.

This year, more than 180 paintings by over 130 artists – both established and emerging – are on display in Edinburgh for the next few weeks.
In what is believed to be a first for a Scottish art institution, the entire exhibition is also online at www.rswgallery.org.uk, which means that it people can’t make it to the exhibition, they can go online and buy it. 

Like most art societies, the RSW receives no public funding, so commission from any sales enables them to continue holding exhibitions.

There are many highlights in the exhibition, which also features the work of several prizewinners (announced last night - Friday).
Glasgow artist Emma Waine, who won the £3000 Alexander Graham Munro Travel Award in 2009 for the best painting submitted by an artist under 30, travelled to India last year, and one of her paintings from the trip is in the exhibition. 
Waine previously received the RSW Residency for Visual Arts at Hospitalfield, and it was a painting from this which won her the award.

Also on show is work by artists from the Australian Watercolour Institute & the Royal Watercolour Society. New Members welcomed to the Society in 2010 were June Carey and Alan Robb and their work will be a welcome addition to the RSW fold.

(This is an unedited version of what appeared in yesterday's Herald)

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