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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)

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

A flurry of festive gallery happenings


This is an unedited version of the Gallery Round-up I wrote for The Herald Arts section on 24/12/11

Queen Elizabeth II by Cecil Beaton: A Diamond Jubilee Celebration
The McManus
Albert Square, Meadowside, Dundee
www.themcmanus-dundee.gov.uk
01382 307200
Until January 8
Who's Queen? No, I'm just your mammie...

I was in Dundee city centre recently and, finding myself with an hour to spare after an appointment,  I dropped in to The McManus gallery. This was the first time I’d ever been in this beautiful building, recently sympathetically restored to its Victorian grandeur, and I had just enough time to take a quick look around the painting galleries before heading to the Cecil Beaton exhibition.
Dundee has been the first location to host the V&A’s exhibition of portraits of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by photographer Cecil Beaton before it takes a Jubilee-style tour around her Maj’s realm.
It is the first in a series of partnership projects between The McManus and the V&A, as part of the pre-opening programme for the V&A at Dundee.
An expanded exhibition will be hosted at the V&A in London from February 8-to April 22 next year. The exhibition will then tour around the UK to Leeds City Museum, Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery, and Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle.
If you haven’t seen this beautiful and captivating exhibition, I urge you to pay a visit before it closes on January 8. Through the vehicle of Beaton’s photographs, contact sheets and film footage, this exhibition radiates a real sense of time, place, as well as glamour. 
One of the things which struck me most was the maturing process as the years moved on for both Beaton – and his subject. Clearly, as a young woman, Elizabeth enjoyed the process of being photographed – she was first shot by him in 1942, at the age of 16. 
As the decades pass, duty hoves into view and more than a little exasperation with the whole process of being photographed. 
Beaton was even at her Coronation, taking official and unofficial photographs and this really does give you a ring-side seat of the history of a key period in the middle of the 20th century.
The perceived wisdom that Elizabeth was the workhorse and her sister Margaret, the beauty, is also challenged here. In these photographs, Elizabeth radiates Holywood-style glamour, particularly in the late 1940s and into the 1950s.
A fascinating study into a life spent in the spotlight, it also reveals Beaton as one of the 20th century’s masters of photography.
Christmas exhibitions at scotlandart.com
2 St Stephen Place, Stockbridge, Edinburgh
0131 225 6257
193 Bath Street, Glasgow
0141 221 4502
www.scotlandart.com
Edinburgh exhibition runs until January 15
Glasgow exhibition runs until January 22

Alan King 'Secret Message' (oil on panel £620)

Scotlandart.com has been flying the flag for Scottish artists since its inception in 2000, putting talented home-grown painters and makers’ work out in the ether, and in the flesh at its two city-based galleries in Glasgow and Edinburgh.A huge number of hits on its website comes from outside Scotland and staff tell tales of packing off paintings to New Zealand sheep farmers – and other far-flung locations.This year, Scotlandart.com has Christmas exhibitions running in tandem at its galleries in Bath Street, Glasgow, and Edinburgh’s Stockbridge district until into the new year. If you are too time pressed to drop into the galleries in person, you can visit the online gallery to view the extensive online catalogue.You can also lose yourself for a while in reading lively artists’ profiles. Last Christmas, as the temperature dropped, sales at the online gallery soared, with art lovers in rural areas selecting paintings from the comfort of their snowbound homes, and this continued well into the New Year. Featured work in the real life galleries includes paintings by Glasgow artist Alan King who often develops his ideas by using manikins and miniature theatre which are positioned and photographed with different lights.“The Red Hat is a major theme running through my work,” explains Alan. “Storytelling and a love of early Italian Art are the roots of the development of my work. I try to create images which are visually compelling and form a bond with the spectator.”
Kelly Gallery
118 Douglas Street, Glasgow
0141 248 6386
www.royalglasgowinstitute.org
What's New In Your Neck of the Woods by Pamela Tait 


This Christmas marks not just the end of the 150th birthday celebrations for venerable Scottish art institution, The Royal Glasgow Institute for the Fine Arts (RGI), but also Lynne Mackenzie’s first anniversary as curator of the RGI Kelly Gallery in Douglas Street.
Mackenzie, together with assistant curator Amy Marletta, has injected much needed 21st century vim and vigour into the actual and virtual life of this little gallery just off Sauchiehall Street.
This year has seen a packed programme of exhibitions, talks and events and there have been several innovations to the gallery, including the Own Art scheme, as well as jewellery and prints for sale, both in the gallery and online via http://royalglasgow.culturelabel.com/
My eye was drawn to some lovely kitsch yet tender Pamela Tait originals, which can be yours to keep for just £45 a month for 10 months.
Keep an eye out on the RGI website and social media platforms, Facebook and Twitter, for more innovations and news of next year’s exhibitions and events.
Highlights for 2012 include exhibitions of paintings and drawings from uber-talented sisters Kim and Lara Scouller (April 17-28), paintings from members of The Glasgow Group (March 20-31) and mixed/glass/drawing from Alex Galloway (May 29-June 9), whose stunning Windows of Today were recently unveiled at the now refurbished Maryhill Burgh Halls in Glasgow.

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