For these tasty arty treats in 2012...
I wrote this for The Herald newspaper's preview of arts highlights in Scotland in 2012. There was a lot I had to leave out due to pressure of space. I wrote way over the 750 word limit as it was (sorry subs...)
It was in the paper on January 2 - so in case you missed it (and let's face it, January 2 was a forgettable sort of day) here you have it
|Nothing Without Us About Us Is For Us - Art Work on River Clyde led by Matt Baker and TS Beall as part of Glasgow International Festival. I love this title and like the cut of the Baker/Beall gib...|
THE RECENT announcement that this year has been designated the official Year of Creative Scotland, complete with a £6.5m tranche of Lottery funding, surely set off a ripple of wry laughter throughout the visual arts community. After all, every year is a year of Creative Scotland, as far as they are concerned.
Whether they receive official funding or not, it never ceases to amaze me how inventive our artists, curators and independent gallery owners can be when it comes to rising to economic challenges. Thank goodness they do, because our lives are all the richer for it.
Visual arts highlights of the 2012 Year of Creative Scotland includes a celebration of Scottish printmaking at Traquair House in the Borders during the summer, with various towns competing for a Creative Place Award, to be announced in January.
The shortlist promises some interesting suggestions, including a proposal that West Kilbride become Craft Town Scotland, while the local Cultural Partnership in Perth wants to build on its Living Communities project and identify a local hero for a commissioned portrait.
Scotland has its fair share of visual arts festivals, ranging from the Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art (GI) from April 20-May 7 to the Spring Fling event in Dumfries and Galloway (June 2-5), which sees around 80 arts and craft studios fling open their doors to the public.
During August and often beyond, the Edinburgh Art Festival pulls together the best of the city’s galleries, museums and art studios, while August is never a wicked month in the East Neuk village of Pitenweem, because that’s when garages, gardens, home and studios turn into exhibition spaces.
GI has already announced solo exhibitions by Glasgow-based Turner prize winner, Richard Wright at Kelvingrove Art Gallery, 2012 Turner nominee Karla Black at Glasgow’s Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA), Mexican artist Teresa Margolles at Scottish Sculpture Studios and Dutch artist Folkert de Jong at Glasgow School of Art.
Graham Fagen builds on a relationship forged with the National Theatre of Scotland last year on The Missing to work at Tramway again, this time with theatre director Graham Eatough and renowned Scots cinematographer, Michael McDonough on a unique collaboration that blends art installation, promenade theatre and film-making.
Also within GI, there is Henry Coombes at House for an Art Lover and the quirky yet strangely grounded Nothing About Us Without Us Is For Us, a public art event led by Matt Baker and TS Beall, which will see (or hear) attempts to hurl language from one side of the river to the other by means of obsolescent technology.
Craig Coulthard is the only Scots recipient of an Artist Taking The Lead award from the Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival. His creation will be a full size football pitch hidden within a commercial forest in The Borders on which football matches will be played on July 21 between teams consisting of recent British citizens currently living in Scotland.
The National Galleries of Scotland and the Tate have joined forces again to present a fourth successive Artist Rooms tour. The Mapplethorpe Scottish Tour will see the work of American photographer Robert Mapplethorpe travel to Dunoon (March-June), Linlithgow (July-October) and Perth (November- April 2013).
Other Artist Rooms highlights in Scotland are August Sander at Duff House, Banff (April 1-Aug 31) and Jannis Kounellis at Tramway in Glasgow (July 13 - September 9). At Tate Liverpool, seven works donated by Martin Creed will be on show from February 24 - July 27.
The National Galleries of Scotland has another packed programme of exhibitions in Edinburgh. Van Gogh to Kandinsky: Landscapes of the Imagination (July 14 - October 14), Giovanni Battista Lusieri (June 30-October 28) and John Bellany: A Passion for Life (November 17 - January 27 2013) will all go on show at the Scottish National Gallery.
Over at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, expect a summer blockbuster in the shape of Picasso and Modern British Art (August 4-November 4). Meanwhile, Peploe will be the next artist to be featured in the Scottish Colourist Series (October 2012 – March 2013).
As always, Scotland’s independent galleries continue to punch above their weight. Glasgow-based Compass Gallery’s highly-regarded Force and Form of Memory exhibition in association with Alzheimer Scotland tours to Stirling, Wick, Thurso, Greenock and Banchory throughout the year.
One to see in Edinburgh soon is The Scottish Gallery’s survey of the work of William Johnstone, from January 11-March 3. Look out for a beautifully produced, thoroughly researched catalogue of this overlooked Scottish master.
Finally, throughout 2012, there will be a year-long celebration of the work of maverick polymath, George Wyllie, who turned 90 on Hogmanay. Best known for public art events works such as The Straw Locomotive and The Paper Boat, there is so much more to Wyllie and his work than meets the eye.
The family and friends of Wyllie, now in a care home in Greenock, have joined forces to present a cornucopia of Wylliana in 2012 under the banner The Whysman Festival (www.whysman.co.uk).
The first event of the year is George Wyllie: Treasures from the Archive at The Collins Gallery, Glasgow (March 10-April 21). Sadly, due to cultural cut-backs, this will be the last-ever exhibition, as the gallery is closing its doors when it ends, after 39 years of presenting high calibre exhibitions. The year will end with the first ever major retrospective of Wyllie’s work at The Mitchell in Glasgow.