This weekend it has been the Festival of Museums throughout Scotland (and Museums at Night throughout the UK). We had a great time yesterday (May 17th) on an architectural art bus tour organised by the Glasgow Gallery of Modern Art, and hosted by Dress for the Weather architects. There is currently an exhibition at GOMA by Nathan Coley, using the architectural form of places of worship in Edinburgh to form a dramatic model landscape, our tour was inspired by this and we visited two religious buildings in the South Side of Glasgow (Glasgow Gurdwara and Govan Old).
I have included a taster of some of the sketches and models in the video, but I am looking forward to seeing them all on display in GOMA together.
I saw this today and think it is a wonderful idea. Built environment and urban change from a suitcase!
When many people think of Aberdeen, they think of Granite.. but do they think of greenspace? Glasgow may be the Dear Green Place but Aberdeen has wonderful green spaces, and architecture which delights. I watched a Jonathan Meades documentary on the BBC where it was said that many of the 300 year old buildings look brand new because of the qualities of granite.. we were lucky to see the city on yet another glorious sunny May weekend so it shined beautifully where the sun hit the stone. The baronial buildings and sculpted crests looked beautiful against the blue sky. Imagine the patience and skill to carve that Bon Accord crest- situated on the “corporation electricity works” building.
Union Street Gardens were buzzing, many people out in the sun and even a team of drummers offering taster sessions. The soundtrack to the sun!
If you sneak off Union Street you will be treated to a peek at the Peacock Gallery, a contemporary arts space which houses many exhibitions. The weekend we visited was the last day of the Jacki Parry exhibition entitled “Resonance- Paper as memory” which contained elegant paper sculptures and also huge collages made from handmade paper and recycled books. The one of Port Dundas was particularly striking as anyone who has seen this chimney will know it is a big feature on the Glasgow skyline, visible from the M8 and the city centre. Words entwined with painted images and delicate paper, a huge almost tapestry style hanging (part of a series of four). The other gallery contained an amazing piece of patience… art created soley using a typewriter. I had to stare at this so many times, almost in disbelief, to work out that it was a series of commas and other punctuation marks forming what appeared to be a hillscape; utterly entrancing to look at.
If you go for a wander along the river you will be treated to the newly restored Duthie Park. It is a fabulous space which contains formal glasshouses and a Japanese garden, a scented corridor and many recreated ponds. It is an excellent place in which to lose yourself and absorb some of the city. You can also find floral specimens from all the other Aberdeens in the world, quite a geographical challenge as one of them is 10,290 miles away in New South Wales!
I have been enjoying playing with lots of different artforms recently, which has made me consider more clearly what my own creative voice actually is. Talking to friends and colleagues about how they go about “being creative” is rather interesting. Ideas come to us in so many different ways, and we all document our thoughts slightly differently… our outputs are completely different (be it specialising in mainly visual art, photography, music or writing novels) but we all share a desire to make our ideas come to fruition and to some extent to share our work with others. I think another common factor is play; we all want to enjoy our creative work (whether it is done purely as a one off piece or for a bigger paid project) and put our heart and soul into it. Exploring art forms which I am not familiar with has really helped me generate more creative ideas, as has working with others with different backgrounds as it is great for approaching a project in a different way.
I had been reading the book “The Artists Way” by Julia Cameron and she suggests that creative people take themselves on an “artists date”, spending time doing only creative things for a certain period of time; personally I have been making time to visit galleries (as in my previous blog post) as this immerses me in the gallery experience, taking in both the work itself but also how it is presented and the additional materials which many exhibitions now put out (I have spent many a happy time exploring the books and publications, or web materials, accompanying my favourite exhibitions).
I love my studio but sometimes taking time away from my usual space also helps me be more creative, it is funny how an hour in a coffee shop can make me think of all sorts of ways of tackling a new piece of work. Listening to music can help too.. I read with interest a post by Jane Hannah on her blog recently where she talked about how she started her day with music (and made some great drawings). Sometimes music can really uplift us and also guide us to new places (I liked the recent Sonica festival where technology, visual art and sculpture all combined to make dramatic work in the Tramway arts space).
Do you make your own creative tune? Do you have a place to “be creative” or does it just happen naturally or when you are least expecting it?
I thought I would write about a few of my favourite Glasgow arts spaces which combine interesting exhibitions with architecture to delight and intrigue. I like it when I can go and visit a space which inspires me to enjoy the work and discover new art, but then also gives a little nosey into a nice building as a bonus! For ease of identification I will include the Google Maps so that you could go and discover them yourselves.
Glasgow Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA)– Royal Exchange Square/ Queen Street, Glasgow, G1 3AH
This building houses a wonderful and varied exhibition of modern art from around the world, including a large collection of works by Scottish based artists. The current changing exhibits include Niki de Saint Phalle and (outside) Bill Fontana’s Finnieston Crane “Silent Echoes” soundscape and video work. Interestingly part of the mosaic which adorns the pediment above the main entrance to the building includes an “M” in the style of Saint Phalle! Inside the ground floor Earth Gallery one can see “Everyday”, which celebrates Glasgow sculpture and includes work by a collective of artists. Look up at the ceiling and one can see the glory of the ceiling of the original Royal Exchange building designed by David Hamilton in 1827. In the mezzanine, look out for the wonderful wooden sculpture which includes a seat to look back onto the Earth gallery, a sitooterie in the interior of a building.
The David Dale Gallery, 161 Broad Street, Glasgow, G41 2QR
Here one can find a contemporary gallery in a former industrial building (once used by a college and named after David Dale the industrial entrepreneur who helped established what is now the world heritage site of New Lanark, in the Clyde Valley). Many of the works within the gallery specifically respond to the space within, using features such as the cast iron beams and structural features to their advantage. There is a changing programme of exhibitions, including sculptural pieces and visual art, a creative gem in the East End of Glasgow.
Recoat gallery, North Woodside Road, Glasgow, G20 6ND
Recoat is a great place for graphic design and street art, and is located in the ground floor of a residential tenement building. It also sells limited edition works. Look out for the lane next to the gallery which contains ever changing walls too.
The Mitchell Library (Main Hall), North Street, Glasgow, G3 7DN
The Mitchell Library is a Glasgow landmark, you may well have seen it lit up at night when zooming past on the nearby M8? It is a beautiful and elegant building which opened in 1877. The Main Hall has changing exhibitions (which are quite wide ranging, from visual art to local history and Scottish culture). A recent highlight for me was the George Wyllie “In Pursuit of the Question Mark” exhibition which had sculpture, illustration and video work and was a thorough catalogue of all his great works. The main library is also well worth a look, as well as a huge selection of reference and lending books on the upper floors there are also architectural drawings and image archives from the West of Scotland and an extensive Scottish family history area.
I feel this is a “part one” blog post.. there are so many I could mention so I will continue this theme at a later date and expand it beyond Glasgow (sneak peek… Gladstone’s Gallery, Lawnmarket, Edinburgh, has a hugely elaborate 17th century painted ceiling.. oh, and an exhibition by me from Tuesday 2nd July to Sunday 7th July 2013 entitled “Are You Here”; a genealogical journey exploring family history, identity and place through illustration and digital media). Do come along!