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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, 4 January 2012

Turner, Cartman and Chinese New Year in January

Turner in January: The Vaughan Bequest
Scottish National Gallery, The Mound, Edinburgh 
0131 624 6200
January 1-31 
Rome from Monte Mario, a welcome addition to Turner in January at Scottish National Gallery

Every new year, like clockwork, the National Galleries of Scotland dust down their stash of Turner watercolours and bring them out of storage for their annual public viewing. When art lover Henry Vaughan (1809-1899) bequeathed his collection of 38 Turner watercolours to the Scottish National Gallery in 1900, he specified that they should only be displayed during daylight-shy January because watercolours fade easily if over exposed to light.

Tomorrow, for the first time in 112 years, a new painting will be added to the 38 watercolours which have been shown in Edinburgh every January, in the shape of Rome from Monte Mario, a work the great English artist painted in 1820.

This stunning watercolour has recently been allocated to the Scottish National Gallery through the Acceptance in Lieu of Tax scheme and will take pride of place in the Gallery’s much-loved Turner in January exhibition.

Rome from Monte Mario illustrates an aspect of the artist’s work not previously represented. Turner was perhaps the most prolific and innovative of all British artists and he paved the way for many of the painters who followed in his wake.  

Rome from Monte Mario is one of his finest watercolours and was made after his first visit to Rome, between August 1819 and February 1820.  Turner was delighted and overwhelmed by the trip: the ancient remains, profusion of Renaissance and Baroque buildings, and splendour of the city’s setting fired his imagination.  This delicate and sophisticated work was created as part of a set of Italian scenes for his friend and patron Walter Fawkes (1769-1825).

This addition to the stable of 38 watercolours formed part of the distinguished Turner collection created by the Scottish shipping magnate and educational benefactor Sir Donald Currie (1825-1909), who founded the Castle (later, Union Castle) Steamship Company.
Of the Land: New Work by Sam Cartman
The Meffan
20 West High Street, Forfar
January 6-February 4
Bandeath I - Sam Cartman 81 x 61cm Oil 2011

There is something about the wide open spaces of the outer reaches of Scotland’s northern climes, with the huge skies and endless swathes of land, which suits painter Sam Cartman’s work. The focus of his new work in this latest solo exhibition in Forfar is a series of voyages to the east and west coasts of Scotland, the areas around Stirling, Arbroath, and the Western Isles.
Originally from Shropshire, Cartman is now based in Glasgow and he has an instinctive feel for responding to the landscape he finds in and around the less inhabited spaces of his adopted homeland.
This new exhibition of his work, which opens next Friday, builds on his growing reputation as a landscape artist, who is at once grounded in architectural reality, while still exploring the bigger abstract picture.
“Although the inspiration for my work often comes from visiting singular architectural structures in specific rural places,” he says, “I primarily use these buildings to provide myself with a structure or form to paint within. Any illusions to representing a particular place masks what I am really interested in, which is to figuratively paint an abstract picture.”
Structure and form is clearly important to Cartman in his work, but something else seems to take over once he has laid down a framework within the confines of four sides, which takes it into a prosaic, almost poetic place.
“The structures I at first capture in drawings serve as a basis for my involvement with the paint and from then on, my interaction with the paint takes over,” he states. The end results give the viewer time to pause and reflect. This is not just about landscape, but about the atmosphere which takes over when you find yourself in certain quiet places that are stumbled upon by chance.

Takeaway China  速视中国  2012
Millennium Hotel Glasgow George Square Glasgow & other venues
0141 1332 6711
January 20-April 14
Chinese New Year Eve Banquet with Shanghai Jazz & performance by Carol Kidd
The bells might be almost upon us here in Scotland, but the Chinese New Year is a still a whole three weeks away. In Glasgow, a city which has long celebrated its links with China, plans are well underway to usher in the Year of the Dragon when it starts on January 23.
During his visit, First Minister Alex Salmond, spoke of ‘doors swinging open, enabling people in both countries to discover more about our respective cultures,’ and this philosophy is writ large during a three-month long jamboree of Chinese culture, which rejoices in its cuisine, its film and its art.
The festival is programmed by Ricefield Arts and supported by the newly-opened Confucius Institute at the University of Glasgow.
A packed programme of events will take place across the city and is due to launch on January 20 at Glasgow’s Millennium Hotel with a weekend of family friendly activities and experiences straight from China.
Following the launch weekend, a programme of independent Chinese cinema will be shown at various venues and two exhibitions of contemporary Chinese photography will open to the public. Over the intervening three months, 13 Chinese films will be screened at various venues across Glasgow, including CCA, GFT and Andrew Stewart Cinema. A symposium titled, Memory and the Witness in Chinese Language Cinema will also be held at the University of Glasgow. 
Another highlight will be two exhibitions of photography by Chinese artists at Street Level Photoworks in the Merchant City from March 3-April 14. The first will be Chinese on the Train, featuring the work of artist Wang Fu Chun 王福春 and Mood and Memory, featuring Chi Peng 迟鹏,

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