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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 July 2011

The Kennedy Brothers, Best British Silver and Philip Braham

This Gallery Round-up appeared in The Herald Arts supplement on Saturday July 2, 2011.
Unfortunately, I got so excited about the Philip Braham show at the small but beautifully formed Union Gallery in Edinburgh's buzzing Broughton Street that I wrote about it a MONTH too early...

In Saturday's Herald, I stated this exhibition of paintings will open on July 5 and run throughout July. Sadly you'll have to wait another month for this treat as it starts on August 5 and runs throughout the whole festival-tastic month.

Sometimes, for this page, there is almost too much to write about, such is the liveliness of the Scottish visual arts scene. There are several factors which contribute to why a particular exhibition is selected and not others.

Often I end up selecting exhibitions which are geographically, as well as content varied. It also depends on what I write about in the lead, which this week was about an exhibition at the Robert Burns Birthplace Centre in Alloway, Ayrshire.

One which got away was a new exhibition of work by Joe O'Brien at Scotlandart.com's Glasgow gallery.
My friend Heather Macleod has written about Joe's exhibition in her great new blog:

In the meantime, here are the exhibitions which appeared in Saturday's paper...

The Kennedy Brothers
Glasgow Art Club
185 Bath Street, Glasgow 
0141 248 5210
From July 9 - 30 (closed Tue & Sun)

Historic Glasgow landmark, Glasgow Art Club, has played host to both aspiring and established artists for more than 150 years. If walls could talk, the secrets which this building could divulge would be worth hearing.
From the Glasgow Boys of the late 19th century to the new Glasgow Boys of the 20th century, everyone who is anyone in the Scottish art scene has worked, rested and played in this building, which was originally converted from two townhouses in 1893 under the supervision of architect John Keppie, assisted by a young Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
Like any institution, Glasgow Art Club needs new blood to keep it relevant and recently it has seen artists such as Paul and Adam Kennedy join as artist members to help keep its flag flying for another century.
The two Glasgow-based brothers, though still in their 20s, have never exhibited together before but on Friday night, a new exhibition of their work will go on show in the art club. 
Paul (29) was a finalist in the 2010 Aspect Prize and is now well established on the Scottish art scene with many solo shows and various awards from the Royal Glasgow Institute and others to his name. 
Adam (23) won the Aspect Prize earlier this year and this exhibition and interest in his work has been growing ever since.
Both brothers are graduates of Edinburgh College of Art but remain firmly rooted in Glasgow. They have been strongly influenced by the city and the River Clyde and its surroundings, living in the west end and working from studios in the east end. Against this shared background they have evolved distinctive styles, Paul works mainly in oils, while Adam’s mainly monochromatic work shows the influence of time spent at Kyoto University in Japan, learning about composition and use of different mediums. In their own ways, both brothers strive to recapture memories and feelings of lost places, structures and lifestyles and to commemorate the people and the heavy industries whose histories continue to shape our lives.
This exhibition gives viewers the chance to enjoy the work of these talented artist brothers and to see the development of their distinctive styles.
British Silver Month 
The Scottish Gallery
16 Dundas Street, Edinburgh
0131 558 1200
Hamilton & Inches
87 George Street, Edinburgh
From today until July 31

The Birth of Venus
Silver, silver gilt, and enamel with 22ct gold cloisson
£price on application

The art of silversmithery has never really gone out of fashion, but during the month of July, the limelight will be firmly trained on the work of leading exponents of this ancient skill.
In an inspired pairing, top jeweller, Hamilton & Inches is collaborating with the The Scottish Gallery in Edinburgh to present a joint exhibition showcasing some of Scotland’s finest silversmiths and the best English silversmithing and enamelling.  
This joint project, which starts today, brings together two companies who have championed silver smiths over the years.
For more than four decades, The Scottish Gallery has been an exponent of the best of Scottish silversmithing, showing the work of new graduates and established makers. 
Since 1866, Hamilton & Inches has maintained their own silver workshops and hold a Royal Warrant, as Silversmiths to HM The Queen. Spread over three floors above the Edwardian grandeur of the Edinburgh store, these workshops are almost the last of their kind and are home to a team of the UK's finest craftsmen.
From today until Friday, Hamilton & Inches is displaying a collection of silver under the British Silver Week banner. Craftspeople will be set up at a bench in the showroom, demonstrating various silversmithing techniques.
Sponsored by the Edinburgh Assay Office, British Silver Month aims to raise awareness of the field, the breadth of beautiful, quality work by individual makers, the studio workshop practice and give some insight into a unique Scottish silversmithing history and tradition. 
Scottish artists include Malcolm Appleby, considered the finest gun engraver in the world and story teller in metal, and other Scottish silversmiths such as Adrian Hope, Grant McCaig and Marion Kane who all exhibited in Silver for the Stars.  
The Scottish Gallery will also be exhibiting Cartier Award winning enameller Fred Rich including work such as the breathtaking Venus Vase.  
Rich will be at The Scottish Gallery today meeting gallery visitors and discussing his work.  The Hamilton & Inches apprentice, David Ramsay, and silversmith Jamie Hamper are also exhibiting their work at The Scottish Gallery. In addition to the Edinburgh silver-fest, Hamilton & Inches will also exhibit around six silversmiths work this week at its London store, 52 Beauchamp Place, Knightsbridge.

STILL. New paintings by Philip Braham
Union Gallery
45 Broughton Street, Edinburgh 
0131 556 7707 www.uniongallery.co.uk 
From Aug 5- Sep 5 

Blueebell Woods by Philip Braham (as an interesting aside, the model for this painting is Alison Auldjo from The Union Gallery

One of the outstanding sights of last year’s Edinburgh Art festival programme was a collection of Philip Braham’s photoworks at the Royal Scottish Academy. Beautiful, atmospheric, chilling and elegiac all in one breath, Suicide Notes and Falling Shadows in Arcadia portrayed suicide and ‘dogging’ sites in Scotland to great aesthetic effect. Unlikely subject matter perhaps, but with a perfectly rendered literary quality all of their own.
STILL is the first solo exhibition of Braham’s paintings to be held in Edinburgh since 2005, and the first anywhere since 2006. Like his photoworks, Braham’s paintings are a visual feast which also challenge and perplex the viewer. This new collection of paintings explores the influences that have helped to shape his life as a painter and as a man, invoking a sense of what gallery director Alison Auldjo describes as ‘paused narrative’ which recalls vivid moments of personal history. 
While his works in the RSA show were devoid of human figures (though their presence was felt), this exhibition also signals a return to figurative work after a 14-year gap.
Using woodland interiors as his backdrop, Edinburgh-based Braham, who lectures part-time at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee, invokes an intense stillness in his paintings which makes the viewer pause and reflect. Auldjo (who features in a painting called Bluebell Woods), adds: “There is no doubt that the work is challenging and will demand considerable attention from the viewer, but the result will certainly be worth the effort.”
Braham says of the exhibition: “A brushstroke is different from a pixel or a grain of silver halide on photographic film. The gestural movement both describes and withholds information simultaneously. It gives form, colour, tone, texture, depth and expression, but it resists amplification. The openness of the mark allows completion in the mind of the viewer and the transmutation of the idea begins in front of the painting.”
In addition to the paintings, there will a short film, Philip Braham in Conversation, available for viewing at all times throughout the duration of this exhibition.

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