About Me

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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)

Friday, 9 December 2011

The Tu-Tu-Truth About My Turner Prize TV Debut

Martin Boyce and Mario testino (after the streaker was huckled off stage)

Well, it's been an arty pants sort of week. On Monday night, The Turner Prize was awarded to the third Glasgow-grown artist in three years and a man wearing no pants - just a tutu - jumped on stage at The Baltic in a bid to steal Martin Boyce's thunder.

When I watched the smartphone footage of Martin receiving the prize from suave photographer, Mario Testino on the Guardian's website yesterday I couldn't help chuckling. 'Well, I didn't expect that,' he quipped, sounding as good as a top stand-up.

See Martin Boyce's classy retort to tutu-wearing streaker here...

I have to confess, I was in a bit of a spin myself on Monday night because a producer from STV's Scotland Tonight called when I was making the kids' tea to ask if I'd go on the late night news and discussion programme to talk about Glasgow growing reputation as the place where contemporary art.

So there I was, trying to read/watch up on all things Turner as I supervised various domestic activities.

The taxi was due to pick me up at 9.30 and the programme started at 10.30. Meanwhile, my daughter and her pal sat waiting for a pick-up from Brownies in the next village because I was watching the Channel 4 live coverage and got the time muddled up. It's not all glamour.

My 10-year-old son was shaking his head as all four artists on the shortlist were profiled. 'Mum, I just don't get that modern art stuff,' he said, sounding like a Daily Mail reader from the Home Counties.

There was obviously a short delay build into the 'live' coverage because Channel 4 managed to edit out pink tutu-wearing streaker Mark Roberts lunging towards Testino (personally, I was more shocked that Roberts was a 46-yr-old grandfather than anything else...)

Anyway, the TV debut went well - according to those who know me.  had a bit of interaction beforehand on Twitter, with Glasgow International festival producer, Jean Cameron, feeding me a good opening line about this being a 'goooooood news' story for Glasgow. The main thing was I didn't make a diddy of myself. Always a bonus.

The link seems to have gone offline now, so I can't regale you with it...

My red velvet dress, bought for £15 in a vintage shop, and black accessories matched the set though it felt a bit slippy on Scotland Tonight's black leather sofas... My mother would've been proud (that I matched, that is...)

My two fellow guests, Prof Roger Wilson, head of fine art at Glasgow School of Art and artist, Craig Mulholland (nice white shoes, Craig) were very charming and loquacious, so in the end I didn't say much and it was all over too quickly. We had a drink afterwards in the green room (not green) with presenter John MacKay and the team and to be honest, that would have made better telly.

The curious success story that is Jack Vettriano was discussed and the mysteries of the art world were unravelled just a fraction.

Martin Boyce winning The Turner Prize is a good news story. It was good for 'winners' Douglas Gordon, Martin Creed, Richard Wright, Susan Phillipsz and for all the other artists who have been shortlisted but didn't pick up the £25k cheque.

As Karla Black said in her Channel 4 interview, 'I just want my work to be seen and this allows it to be seen.'

The art world is the broadest church imaginable and as both Karla Black and Jack Vettriano can confirm, at the end of the day, success comes down to people seeing the work. They might not like it, they might not understand it, but it's out there and that is the main thing.

Not often you get Karla Black and Jack Vettriano mentioned in the same sentence.


  1. Great to hear that Jack Vettriano was mentioned in such circles Jan never mind the same sentence! Fantastic for Scots artists as you say but among laypeople the Turner prize over the past few years has made Joe Public not only ask the question "what is art?" even more but question "is that art"?

  2. Very conscious of that Joe but it's a broad church this modren art biz! Interesting to hear all the chat...


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