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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, 15 August 2011

Graham Fagen, Aberdeen Art Fair & Theo Mattof

This is an unedited version of the Galleries Round-Up published in The Herald Arts section on 13/08/11 
Graham Fagen: Baile An Or
Dunrobin Street, Helmsdale, KW8 6JX
01431 821327 
From today until October 2

A still from Graham Fagen's film

Glasgow-based artist, Graham Fagen has been artist in residence at the Timespan heritage and arts centre in Helmsdale, Sutherland, at various periods during the first half of 2011.  

During this time, he created a film work which is specific to this outlying corner of Scotland while at the same time reflecting the universal needs of identity and belonging. 

His film focuses on the sea, the river and the land that form Helmsdale and the Strath of Kildonan and the life that this place has formed; the gold that comes from its geology, and the living that is made from its land and its animals. The artist has also examined the legacy of its past and the possibility of its future.

Fagen has also worked with seven community members on their own short film during the course of his residency. Podi Plass, Ben Keighley, Sean Robertson, Heather MacDonald, Lisa MacDonald, Brian Adams and Jacquie Aitken spent over a month working on a short film in response to their ‘place’. These films will also be on show as part of the exhibition and each takes a unique view on the identity of East Sutherland.

Graham Fagen graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 1988 and the interdisciplinary MA in Art & Architecture from the Kent Institute of Art and Design in 1990. He works in a variety of medium ranging from sculpture and printmaking through to video and photography. He works with what he describes as ‘cultural formers’, things that form our cultural identity and how in turn, that forms us.

The artist will be giving a talk, following on from a screening of his film on the evening of Friday September 2 as part of a weekend of arts events at Timespan.

2011 Aberdeen Art Fair
Music Hall
Union Street, Aberdeen, AB10 1QS

Stornaway-born Seonaid Clarke has used Harris Tweed as the canvas for her Hebridean inspired landscapes, which were launched at the Aberdeen Art Fair with Insch-based Country Frames Gallery

As one art fair closes, so another opens its doors for business proving that there is still an appetite for buying original artwork which isn’t contemporary beyond belief.

Glasgow Art Fair was one of the highlights of the Scottish art calendar for many galleries, buyers and interested bystanders, but organisers decided to call it quits this year, leaving the Edinburgh Art Fair as the sole art fair in Scotland.

Now GM Events has decided to launch the Aberdeen Art Fair in the hope that it will become an annual fixture, bringing the work of artists and makers - both known and unknown, to an eager public in a relaxed setting.

Sponsored by oil giant TAQA, the fair will take place at the centrally-located Music Hall in the centre of the Granite City.
Organiser Gerry Muldoon of GM Events said: “This is a first for Aberdeen and with works on view ranging from around £50 to upwards of £10,000, there will certainly be something for everyone.”

There will be around 30 exhibitors, ranging from galleries to individual artists and associations.
Included in the mix are a couple of northern European galleries, Ostwest-galerie, Regensburg, Germany and Håvard Hølland Gallery, Stavanger, Norway, as well as several north east favourites, including Gallery Heinzel, Peacock Visual Arts, Aberdeen Artists Society and the Lost Gallery. 

Individual artists flying their own flag include Aberdeen-based Joyce W Cairns RSA and Edinburgh artist Trevor Jones.
There are also some well known galleries from airts and pairts of Scotland, such as Glasgow-based galleries, Roger Billcliffe and the Annan Gallery, The Leith Gallery, Edinburgh and the Tighnabruaich Gallery from Argyll.

The Scottish Furniture Makers Association will also be flying the flag for some of our fine craftsmen and women.
Creative Scotland’s Own Art will be on hand to help lighten the load if you decide to make an investment. 

Don Quixote’s Dance 
The Doubtfire Gallery
1-3 South East Circus Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6TJ
0131 225 6540
Until August 28

Edinburgh is awash with little arty gems which are worth rooting out at this time of year. One newcomer to the scene is the Doubtfire Gallery in the New Town and if you are looking for a Quixotic Edinburgh Fringe experience, this is definitely the place to be.

This gallery is named after a famous former occupant of the property, Madame Doubtfire, who ran a second-hand clothes shop there until the late 1970s.

Madame Doubtfire's dingy bric-a-brac shop, was full of her cats and also jam-packed to the gunnels with jewellery and old furs.
The sight of the old lady sitting outside the shop smoking a clay pipe inspired author and former Stockbridge resident Anne Fine to borrow the name and aspects of her character for her 1987 novel,   Madame Doubtfire, subsequently adapted into a hugely successful film starring Robin Williams.
For the last 20 years, the property has been the offices of design agency, Frame Creative, and now director David Frame has realised a long-held ambition to open a gallery side-by-side with the agency premises following an extensive refurbishment

This handsome-looking gallery space has now held several exhibitions, including most recently, a show of work by Helen Tabor.
For festival time, it is hosting Don Quixote’s Dance, a suite of 44 pen and wash drawings by UK-based Canadian artist Theo Matoff, from his book of the same name.

Freely drawn with a Japanese bamboo pen and accompanied by stanzas in Spanish and English, Matoff’s work is a graphic and dynamic tribute to the universal values and ideas embodied in the story of the deluded windmill-battling knight, Don Quixote, and his faithful servant Sancho Panza.

Matoff produced Don Quixote’s Dance to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the first publication of Cervantes’ classic tale.

He said: “In order to celebrate a ‘dance of life’ it seemed to me necessary to transform his battle weaponry into bamboo pen and ink, and apply these to paper with an energy which parallels the emotion contained in the narrative of his adventures.”

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