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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, 18 May 2012

Rory Gallagher's guitar lives on...


The Tangible & the Spiritual 
Mansfield Park Gallery
5 Hyndland Street Glasgow
May 19-June 16
3 Rory Headstocks
This neat pairing of the work of artists and friends, Peter Howson and Alec Galloway, in one small exhibition as part of Glasgow’s West End Festival is definitely one for the art diary.
Howson's work on paper and canvas is famously marked by his own ongoing quest for meaning and redemption in the face of dealing with his own personal demons, while Galloway, best known as a glass artist, takes existing objects and reconfigures them to make new meanings. 
The Tangible & the Spiritual is likely to attract both art lovers and musicos, as Galloway has produced a unique ‘portrait’ of guitar legend, Rory Gallagher’s 1961 Fender Stratocaster.
The Inverclyde-based artist was given unique access to the guitar by the rock legend’s brother Donal Gallagher, who was also his roadie and manager until his death in 1995.
With his flowing locks and trademark plaid lumber shirt, Gallagher, who played all over the world, was a regular at the Apollo in Glasgow both as frontman with his band Taste and as a solo artiste. He even played the first Highland rock festival in Inverness Caley Park in 1970. The crime writer Ian Rankin references Rory in his Rebus novels and is a huge fan.
“Handling that guitar was a Holy Grail experience,” recalls Galloway, who has always played in bands. “Throughout his career, Rory faithfully relied on this one instrument which is for £1 million and now in storage and unplayed since his death in 1995.
“I met Donal at Nordoff-Robbins fundraiser in Glasgow, and when I asked if I could paint the guitar, he invited me down to his house in London. It was quite a moment when he came in with the guitar and casually put it on the table; there was no standing on ceremony.
“When I took the guitar to my room and started drawing it, it was like a still life and nothing was really happening, until I put the sketch on the bed and the lights above cast a shadow on it. Magical things began to happen and I believe that the guitar was telling me it wanted to be drawn as a shadow. Rory wrote a lot about shadows, and it felt like a spiritual experience.”

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