PIETER BRUEGEL THE ELDER AND THE FIRST SCOTTISH LANDSCAPE
Grand tours, House tours, Art tours Take a tour of Ayrshire's Dumfries House, designed by Robert and John Adam, and discover one of the most complete collections of furniture from omas Chippendale's early Director period and the ﬁnest collection of Scottish rococo furniture in existence. Dumfries House, which is run by the Great Steward of Scotland's Dumfries House Trust, is also proud to display a group of paintings by Scottish masters on loan from the Fleming-Wyfold Art Foundation.
ISSUE 30 AUTUMN 2018 £3
Dumfries House, Cumnock, Ayrshire KA18 2NJ www.dumfries-house.org.uk 01290 425 959
PLUS Margaret Salmon An Artists’ Guide to Orkney V&A Dundee Charlotte Prodger
SCOTTISH ART NEWS
Private View The Garden by Stephen Conroy Robin Fleming CBE
Margaret Salmon Jessica Ramm
An Artists’ Guide to Orkney Frances Scott and Brittonie Fletcher
Iman Tajik David Pollock
Five untold stories of Scottish design Susan Mansﬁeld
Charlotte Prodger: BRIDGIT Kathryn Lloyd NOW: Monster Chetwynd, Henry Coombes, Moyna Flannigan, Betye Saar, Wael Shawky Neil Cooper Rosengarten Strange Foreign Bodies Susan Mansﬁeld 369 Remembered – The Women David Pollock Embroidered Stories: Scottish Samplers Susan Mansﬁeld
PIETER BRUEGEL THE ELDER AND THE FIRST SCOTTISH LANDSCAPE
urs, Art tours
ned by Robert and John Adam, s of furniture from omas st collection of Scottish rococo
eward of Scotland's Dumfries paintings by Scottish masters on
Icarus and the Gannets: Pieter Bruegel the Elder and the ﬁrst Scottish Landscape Duncan Macmillan
ISSUE 30 AUTUMN 2018 £3
Dumfries House, Cumnock, Ayrshire KA18 2NJ www.dumfries-house.org.uk 01290 425 959
PLUS Margaret Salmon Charlotte Prodger An Artists’ Guide to Orkney Iman Tajik
Cover Image Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Sailing Vessels, Armed ThreeMaster with Daedelus and Icarus in the Sky, engraved by Frans Huys, 1560-65 © Trustees of the British Museum
Scottish Art News Diary Perrine Davari
Scottish Art News The Fleming-Wyfold Art Foundation, 15 Suffolk Street, London W1J 8DU United Kingdom T: (0)207 042 5730 E: scottishartnews@ﬂemingcollection.com Scottish Art News is published biannually by the Fleming-Wyfold Art Foundation, London. Publication dates: May and October.
EDITORIAL Director James Knox Editor Rachael Cloughton Editorial assistance Paul McLean Design Lizzie Cameron www.lizziecameron.co.uk Print co-ordinated by fgrahampublishing consultancy Print Elle Media Group
ADVERTISING Director James Knox T: (0)207 042 5730 E: james.knox@ﬂemingcollection.com
© Scottish Art News 2018. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, copied or transmitted in any form or by any means without the written permission of the publisher. Scottish Art News accepts no responsibility for loss or damage of unsolicited material submitted for publication. Scottish Art News is published by the Fleming-Wyfold Art Foundation but is not the voice of the Fleming Collection or the Foundation. All images copyright of the artist or artist’s estate unless otherwise stated.
The Fleming-Wyfold Art Foundation pursues a programme of cultural diplomacy furthering an understanding and appreciation of Scottish art and creativity outside Scotland through exhibitions, events, publishing and education. The Foundation also owns the ﬁnest collection of Scottish art outside institutions comprising over 600 works from the seventeenth century to the present day. The Foundation has established a ‘museum without walls’ strategy using its collection to initiate exhibitions of Scottish art outside Scotland. It is a registered charity in England and Wales (No.1080197).
ISSUE 30 / AUTUMN 2018/SPRING 2019 DIRECTOR’S NOTE
As the 50th anniversary of the Fleming Collection draws to a close, we can look back at a year of celebration which launched in February 2018 with the opening of The Rhythm of Light: Scottish Colourists from the Fleming Collection at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts in Birmingham. The exhibition went on to attract over 17,500 visitors and director Nicola Kalinsky hailed it as ‘one of the most successful exhibitions ever held at the Barber . . . it struck a real chord and was also, visually, such an attractive display of beautiful paintings.’ Evidently, the Colourists – who enjoy iconic status in Scotland – are proving a revelation to art lovers south of the border.
Such contrasts help us deﬁne the characteristics of national schools. Is there a quality inherent in the Scots’ psyche – marked by the eternal conﬂict between the Calvinist and the Sensualist – that inspired the Colourists’ abandonment to colour? Peploe wrote about his love of the French: ‘They always remind me of the Gaelic – so frank and open . . . they so enjoy life largely in an animal way.’ France unlocked the reserved Scot’s wild side and emboldened him to make common cause with Les Fauves – the ‘wild beasts’ of French art. To date over 30,000 people have visited the Colourists’ shows touring south of the border, suggesting that the quartet’s
Visitors to the relevant exhibitions at these venues numbered well over 100,000 – representing a further dramatic increase of public accessibility to works in the collection. This was acknowledged by the art historian and writer, Duncan Macmillan, who wrote in The Scotsman that the Fleming Collection ‘has become a wonderful emissary for Scottish art and so also for Scotland.’ He was reviewing our Edinburgh Art Festival show, Radicals, Pioneers and Rebels, mounted in August at the Fine Art Society, which focused on the iconic Highland Clearance paintings by Victorian masters, Thomas Faed and John Watson Nicol. Hung alongside were contemporary photographs of the
Our campaign of acquisitions has culminated this year with the purchase of a landmark work by one of Scotland’s (and the UK’s) greatest 20th-century artists, Ian Hamilton Finlay (1925–2006). Brought up in Clackmananshire and trained (brieﬂy) at Glasgow School of Art, Finlay realised his unique vision as a poet and conceptual artist at his remote moorland redoubt, Little Sparta in Lanarkshire. By his death in 2006, Finlay was recognised as a major artist in the European canon with works in the likes of MOMA in New York, Pompidou in Paris and Tate. At home, he was hailed as a hero among his artistic peers, who voted Little Sparta the most important work of art ever produced in Scotland
Bringing the Colourists to major museums outside Scotland provides an opportunity to test their mettle against their European peers. Did Peploe and Fergusson, working in
proﬁle in the context of British art is once again on the move. This is key to the Fleming Collection’s charitable goal of promoting Scottish art and creativity outside Scotland, which through
Calais Jungle taken by a young Iranian photographer, Iman Tajik, himself a refugee now living in Glasgow, who had recently graduated with a ﬁrst from Glasgow School of Art. His powerful
(Mackintosh’s School of Art was the runner up). Our acquisition is a sandstone carving of two symbolic columns entitled ‘Classical/Neo-Classical’ which sums up Finlay’s
Paris before WWI, measure up to their French contemporaries and heroes –Matisse and Derain? Based on a comparison with
prestigious loans to museums raises not just the awareness of the Scottish school across the UK but also the critical stature of its
images have been acquired by the collection – meaning that photography is represented for the ﬁrst time.
lifelong preoccupation with man’s relationship with nature, which he believed lay at the heart of Western civilisation. By far the most
the Barber’s superb Derain portrait, hung a few steps away from the Colourists, the answer was an emphatic yes, reinforcing their reputation as four of the most innovative British artists of
artists in the European canon. The collection has had a long tradition of lending individual paintings and discrete groups of work to museums and
As part of our strategy to strengthen our already impressive holding of women artists, we have also acquired a rare work by Cecile Walton, who sprang from a dynasty of Glaswegian
important sculpture still owned by the artist’s estate, it had been held back from sale on the understanding it should only be oﬀered to a high-proﬁle collection. In turn, the trustees of the Fleming
their generation. The next leg of the tour was to the University of Hull Art Collection, which boasts a ﬁne holding of British
galleries across the UK, which in 2018 ranged from paintings by midcentury greats, Anne Redpath and Wilhelmina Barns-Graham
artists with close ties to Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Her 1922 selfportrait with her young son, ‘Early Morning’, dates from the
Collection, with the support of other family members, determined to acquire the work to stand as a milestone in our 50 years of
(largely English) art from 1890–1940 – spanning the careers of the Colourists. The juxtaposition of the Scots with their English
to historic innovators, George Jamesone and William McTaggart. Borrowing institutions included Tate St Ives; Pallant
most distinctive and accomplished period of her relatively short career as a painter.
collecting and as a marker signalling the collection’s intent to remain as a standard bearer for Scotland’s art and creativity for
counterparts led by Sickert and the Camden Town Group provoked further questions. Both groups were obsessed with France, but the older Sickert and his disciples drew inspiration
House, Chichester; Cilfton Park Museum, Rotherham; the Metropolitan Art Centre, Belfast and ﬁnally the Millennium Gallery in Sheﬃeld where works from the collection are currently on show
from the narratives and tonal values of Degas, whereas the Scots chose the hot primal colours of the Fauves.
(until 13 January 2019) in the Darkness into Light exhibition.
years to come.
3 1 Iman Tajik, Can you hear me I. Image courtesy of the artist 2 John Watson Nicol, Lochaber No More. Image courtesy of The Fleming Collection 3 Cecile Walton, Early Morning. Image courtesy of Cecile Walton Estate
2 | ART
4 Ian Hamilton Finlay, Classical/ Neoclassical, 1993. Sandstone, with John Sellman. Image courtesy Ian Hamilton Finlay Estate
Scottish Art News | DIRECTOR’S NOTE | 3
THE FLEMING COLLECTION AT 50
Susanna Beaumont (left) and Lady Sophia Crichton-Stuart Bill Smith MP (left), Lord and Lady Wilson of Tillyorn
Director, Fleming Collection, James Knox (left), with previous Keepers of the Collection, Selina Skipwith and Bill Smith David Warren, Jimmy Banks and Carole Warren Left to right: Ginny Mayhew, David Mayhew, Glenda Weil
By kind permission of the Secretary of State for Scotland, the Rt. Hon. David Mundell, the Fleming Collection held a party to celebrate its 50th anniversary on Wednesday 14 November 2018 at Dover House, the headquarters of the Scotland Oﬃce in Whitehall. Guests were welcomed by chairman of the trustees, Rory Fleming, and director, James Knox 4 | ART
Left to right: Chairman, Fleming Collection, Rory Fleming, piper Jimmy Banks, trustee, Fleming Collection, Richard Schuster
Ian Denyer and Lachlan Goudie
Left to right: Head of Client Management Stonehage Fleming, Steven Kettle, Group Chief Executive Oﬃcer Stonehage Fleming, Guiseppe Ciucci and Maria-Edmee di Sambuy
Scottish Art News | THE FLEMING COLLECTION AT 50 | 5
Dovecot celebrates 10 years at Inﬁrmary Street Baths with a new tapestry A major new tapestry, ‘Water Surface’, has been commissioned by Dovecot to mark the 10-year anniversary of the Edinburgh gallery and studios’ move to Inﬁrmary Street. Created by master weaver David Cochrane, alongside junior weaver Ben Hymers, the tapestry is inspired by a photograph taken from the surface of the Crinan Canal in Argyll and Bute, which links the shores of Loch Fyne to the Sound of Jura. The work echoes the natural colours of the water through the natural ﬁbres of tapestry wool. Prior to Inﬁrmary Street, Dovecot was sited in the grounds of Corstorphine Castle, which was demolished in 1797. The company took its name from the 16thcentury castle ‘doocot’, still present at the site today. Dovecot Studios was at risk of closure in 2000, but was saved and ﬁnally moved in 2008 to Inﬁrmary Street following renovation of the former Victorian baths building.
Feeder cup in Glasgow Museums’ WWI collection inspires new 14–18 commission by Christine Borland Christine Borland has created a major new work in response to Glasgow Museums’ WWI collection, cocommissioned by 14–18 NOW, the UK’s art programme for the First World War centenary. The large-scale sculpture, ‘I Say Nothing’, is the result of a yearlong residency with Glasgow Museums, during which time Borland discovered a simple, white, ceramic invalid feeder cup in the collection’s Open Museum World War I handling kit. This object became the lynchpin for the artwork. ‘Feeder cups like this were widely used to nurse wounded soldiers during World War I, but also, perhaps surprisingly, to force-feed hunger-striking suﬀragettes in the period directly before 1914–1918,’ explains Borland. ‘This duality intrigued me, as did the very tactile form of the cup itself, which is at once so personal and domestic in scale, yet institutional in function.’ Using the little-known technique of photo-sculpture from the mid-19th century, the artist worked with models and participants to document two poses that represent the diametrically opposed ways in which the feeder cup was employed. The resultant sculptures embrace all the inherent distortions and inaccuracies of the process to question the accuracy of representation and the power of a seemingly humble object.
6 | ART
Lawrence Weiner’s wall texts translated into Scots for exhibition at The McManus The McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery & Museum is currently showing work by the acclaimed Amercian artist Lawrence Weiner in its ﬁrst ARTIST ROOMS exhibition. Unique to Dundee, Weiner’s wall texts are presented in English and Scots, translated by author James Robertson. Although the artist has exhibited internationally in a number of languages, this will be the ﬁrst time his work appears in Scots. The text works are accompanied by a mini-retrospective, which includes a selection of works on paper, archive and ephemera, oﬀering an overview of the last ﬁve decades of the artist’s career, featuring material on loan from the Tate and the Artists’ Books Collection Dundee (abcD) at the University of Dundee.
I Say Nothing Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum (south balcony), Argyle Street, Glasgow, G3 8AG T:(0)141 276 9599 | glasgowlife.org.uk Open: Monday to Saturday 10am–5pm, Sunday 11am–5pm
‘This duality intrigued me, as did the very tactile form of the cup itself, which is at once so personal and domestic in scale, yet institutional in function’
Water Surface cutting-oﬀ ceremony 4 December, 5.30–7pm, tickets £25 Dovecot Gallery, 10 Inﬁrmary Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1LT T: (0)131 550 3660 | dovecotstudios.com
ARTIST ROOMS: Lawrence Weiner Until 17 February 2019 The McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery & Museum, Albert Square, Meadowside, Dundee, DD1 1DA T:(0)1382 307200 ı mcmanus.co.uk Open: Monday to Saturday 10am–5pm, Sunday 12.30–4.30pm
New artwork by Katie Paterson connects the public to the world’s diverse mountains ranges Next summer Katie Paterson will tour her major new project, ‘First There is a Mountain’ to 25 coastal art venues across the UK. The project involves the creation of a set of ‘buckets and spades’ in the form of world mountains, from which the public will be invited to build mountains of sand across the UK coastline and play out the world’s natural geography against a series of tidal times. Each pail is a scale model of ﬁve of Earth’s mountains: Mount Kilimanjaro (Africa), Mount Shasta (USA), Mount Fuji (Asia), Stromboli (Europe), and Uluru (Oceania) are nested together. Paterson
carefully selected each mountain range via exacting research, using data from NASA’s Shuttle Radar Topography Mission and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. 2019 is a deﬁning year for the artist. In addition to ‘First There is a Mountain’, she will stage her largest ever solo exhibition at Turner Contemporary in Margate. ‘First There is a Mountain’ will tour the UK from 31 March–27 October 2019.
Openings Collective opens new home on Calton Hill The major £4.5m redevelopment of Collective in Edinburgh is complete. The newly restored City Observatory on Calton Hill, designed by William Playfair in 1818, and a new purpose-built exhibition space with panoramic viewing terrace, are now open to the public. The opening marks a fresh chapter in the history of the observatory site and for Collective, an organisation active on the Scottish arts scene since 1984. Collective will position itself as a new kind of observatory, inviting the public to view the world around them through the lens of contemporary art. A selection of international and Scotland-based artists – Dineo Seshee Bopape, James N Hutchinson, Alexandra Laudo, Tessa Lynch, Catherine Payton and Klaus Weber – will show their work at Collective as part of the inaugural exhibition, Aﬃnity and Allusion, each drawing on themes connected to Calton Hill’s rich history.
A-M-G5 opens in Glasgow A-M–G5, a new space for exhibitions and dialogue in central Glasgow, was opened in September by artist Andrew Mummery (previous co-owner of gallery Mummery + Schnelle which closed in 2014.) A-M-G5 will present three exhibitions a year, each focusing on one work by an invited artist; the ﬁrst exhibition presented the work of painter Merlin James. A-M-G5, Room 106 Oxford House, 71 Oxford Street, Glasgow G5 9EP | a-m-g5.co.uk
Collective, City Observatory 38 Calton Hill, Edinburgh, EH7 5AA T:(0)131 556 1264 | collectivegallery.net
Scottish Art News | NEWS | 7
Art Exhibitions Making and Meaning: The Scottish Colourists in The Hunterian The Technical Art History Group and The Hunterian have initiated a pilot research project on the little-studied techniques, materials and studio practice of three Scottish Colourists: John Duncan Fergusson (1874–1961), Samuel John Peploe (1831–1935) and Francis Campbell Boileau Cadell (1883–1937). This study will add substantially to the scant information currently existing on the Colourist’s working practices and on that of early 20th-century Scottish artists in general. Contributors to the project will achieve this by combining technical and art historical research with scientiﬁc analysis and the study of historical sources (textual and visual). Five paintings from The Hunterian collection have so far been examined, all dating from between 1909 and 1926. Following a detailed preliminary analysis of each work, paint samples taken are now being analysed using optical microscopy, ﬂuorescent staining, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) in combination with energy-dispersive x-ray microanalysis (EDX), Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and Raman microscopy. Some infrared photography and ultraviolet ﬂuorescence photography was also carried out on speciﬁc works.
Glasgow School of Art: Auto-Destruction in Action
The ﬁrst reports focus on Fergusson’s ‘Le Voile Persan’ (1909) and Peploe’s ‘Tulips and Cups’ (1912), and initial ﬁndings show that these two painters used very diﬀerent materials in their preparatory layers, reﬂecting the exploratory nature of their painting styles at this time. Signiﬁcantly expanding our body of knowledge, the project will ﬁrstly illuminate the working methods of the Colourists and their Scottish contemporaries. It will also help to establish any techniques they may have shared with or taken from their contemporaries, particularly in light of their known association with the continental avantgarde through their training and working in France, and their references to French impressionists, Van Gogh and the Fauves. Findings from the research should also lead to a deeper understanding of early 20th-century painting techniques and their development within the UK and Europe. Project partners: Mark Richter (lecturer, Technical Art History Group), Margaret Smith (conservation scientist / lecturer, Technical Art History Group), Anne Dulau Beveridge (curator, The Hunterian).
8 | ART
In February 2008, the Mackintosh Room of Glasgow School of Art played host to ‘Vanishing Point – Gustav Metzger and Self-Cancellation’. This round-table discussion formed part of Instal 08, the Arika organisation’s festival of Brave New Music, which took place more or less annually at the Arches club and performance venue throughout the noughties. In the 1960s, Metzger had been one of the prime movers behind the notion of auto-destructive art, in which art destroyed itself as it was being created. One of Metzger’s ﬁrst public demonstrations of auto-destructive art in 1961, acid action painting, saw the Bavarian born artist ‘paint’ acid onto sheets of nylon, which burnt itself out of existence after 15 seconds. Metzger later showed an ongoing series of enlarged historic photographs of 20th-century disasters. With Metzger in attendance, the discussion in the Mackintosh Room focused on the idea of self-cancellation, and included references to the Hindenburg air balloon disaster of 1937 and the destruction of the World Trade Centre in New York in 2001, an event now immortalised as 9/11. Two days after the discussion, a version of Metzger’s technique, called Acid/Nylon, was performed in the Arches by musicians and artists Benedict Drew, Rhodri Davies and Chris Weaver as part of Instal’s Self-Cancellation strand. By the time Metzger passed away aged 90 in 2017, Glasgow School of Art’s iconic Mackintosh Building had been seriously damaged by ﬁre once, in May 2014, and a major rebuilding programme was in progress when the second ﬁre occurred in June 2018. The Arches had closed in 2015 following its late license being withdrawn. With the building’s cavernous interior left empty for some time, it has more recently been turned into a food market, with assorted deals with commercial operators
looking set to be sealed. Meanwhile, committee-run gallery Transmission, another beacon of independent thinking, was this year turned down for regular funding by arts funding agency Creative Scotland. That the second Mackintosh Building ﬁre happened at all was deeply troubling, not least because of the wider consequences beyond the damage to GSA. The fallout of the blaze left both the neighbouring Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA) and, further along Sauchiehall Street, the O2 ABC music venue, cordoned oﬀ for several months along with other local businesses and residential properties. While mercifully there were no fatalities in either GSA ﬁre, everyday livelihoods were at risk of being destroyed. In the CCA alone, as well as the visual art, ﬁlm and music programmes that had to be cancelled, the Saramago Café Bar and Aye Aye Books were seriously under threat. On top of this, more than a dozen other cultural tenants, including visual arts magazine MAP, moving image producers LUX Scotland, ﬁlm-making collective Camcorder Guerillas and theatre companies, comic book publishers, writers agencies and music ensembles had been made homeless.
‘The art school dance goes on. Glasgow School of Art must be rebuilt. Selfcancellation and auto-destruction are not an option’
The second GSA ﬁre occurred in the wake of another blaze that happened at the other end of Sauchiehall Street three months earlier. One of its casualties was the Pavilion, the city’s self-styled ‘national theatre of variety’, which is run independently, and was closed long enough to threaten its survival as a going concern just as the CCA and the O2 ABC would be. Between the two ﬁres, some 75 businesses were damaged, destroyed or temporarily closed. With all these doors shutting, it’s hard not to presume that Glasgow’s artistic life is itself currently in the painful throes of both auto-destruction and self-cancellation. That might have been the impression gleaned by GSA’s new intake of freshers who were perhaps attracted to their would-be alma mater by the perceived glamour, not just of its Turner Prize winners, but how it feeds into a grassroots artist-led culture that seemingly moves in tandem with a ﬂourishing DIY music scene. GSA itself has been an important meeting point for extra-curricular activity, which has similarly fed into a wider groundup infrastructure. The student union, these days simply called The Art School, is where things begin. Friendships, love aﬀairs and life-changing ideas all start here. CCA too is at the heart of Glasgow’s artistic ecology, and has been ever since its premises opened in the 1970s as The Third Eye Centre. The city’s ﬁrst multi-arts centre became a melting pot for alternative thought in a way that has trickled down into the city’s artistic life since then. Francis McKee’s tenure since 2006 as CCA’s artistic director (and lecturer and research fellow at GSA) has consistently recognised the umbilical links that exist in on-theground activity across the city.
1 Christine Borland, I Say Nothing, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, 2018. Photograph © Keith Hunter. 2 ARTIST ROOMS: Lawrence Weiner, The McManus © Alan Richardson
3 Katie Paterson, First There is a Mountain 2019. Image © Katie Paterson. First There is a Mountain is supported by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland and Arts Council England
As with other ﬁres, such as the Cowgate blaze in Edinburgh in 2002, the GSA and Sauchiehall Street ﬁres could be a gift to developers. Among the Cowgate casualties were music venue La Belle Angele, major Fringe venue the Gilded Balloon and it’s neighbouring bar the Gilded Saloon, and the Bridge Jazz Bar, as well as artists’ studios in the old 369 Gallery space. While La Belle Angele reopened after more than a decade, and the Gilded Balloon found a new home, a new hotel and supermarket are the main beneﬁciaries of the rebuild. In Glasgow, developers have been sniﬃng around Sauchiehall Street for some time, though up until now proposals for student ﬂats and other lucrative developments close to GSA have been resisted. After the Sauchiehall Street ﬁre, however, a headline in the Evening Times on 29 March declared the blaze could be an opportunity to invest in the area’s decline. Whatever caused the most recent GSA ﬁre may never be clear, but when on 20 October the CCA sent out a press release for a full November programme, and when The Art School did the same just over a week later, one suspects the word ‘release’ carried a more active weight than usual. For the venues’ tenant organisations too, to be able to function again, even with all the losses inevitably acquired, is a relief. The art school dance goes on. Glasgow School of Art must be rebuilt. Self-cancellation and auto-destruction are not an option. Neil Cooper is a writer and critic based in Edinburgh
4-5 Collective Gallery opening, images courtesy of Collective Gallery 6 John Duncan Ferguson, Le Voile Persan, 1909, GLAHA 52297 © The Hunterian, University of Glasgow 2018
Scottish Art News | NEWS | 9
ICARUS AND THE GANNETS: Pieter Bruegel the Elder and the ﬁrst Scottish Landscape Duncan Macmillan
In a major art historical discovery, Duncan Macmillan reveals that the ﬁrst known Scottish landscape – featuring the Bass Rock – was a design by one of Europe’s greatest artists, Pieter Bruegel the Elder
The Bass Rock is home to the largest colony of northern gannets in the world. Just two miles from the harbour at North Berwick, it is also the most accessible. Correspondingly, the gannet takes its
preserved) was a well-known delicacy among Scotland’s trading partners in the Netherlands. The Bass Rock has often been painted and drawn , but the
appearance. Bruegel has treated a curving edge of cliﬀ near the centre of the rock as a separate promontory and has added some trees, but otherwise here too he copies its position and proﬁle very
clumsy in the other. We should know our limitations and stick to our own element. Finally, however, who drew the Bass Rock for Bruegel’s
Latin name, Morus Bassanus, from the rock. Sailors knew the Bass too. A grand seamark at the entrance to the Firth of Forth, as they
earliest image of it , and indeed, of any actual Scottish landscape, is in a print of The Fall of Icarus, dated 1560 – 65, by Pieter Bruegel the
closely. By bringing it forward, Bruegel has made clear that it is in fact a separate feature which is not apparent from a distance – so
picture? He clearly wanted to portray the Bass speciﬁcally, but it is unlikely that he drew it himself. More probably he used
entered or left this stretch of water, they knew to round it on the seaward side to avoid the fearsome hidden reefs that lie inshore. They also knew the gannets, which in summer gather in their thousands, forming a white cloud over the rock. They are striking birds. With a six-foot wingspan, dazzling white plumage set oﬀ by jet black wingtips and a yellow head, they plunge straight into the sea from 60 feet or more as they hunt for ﬁsh. The Bass and its gannets were a famous natural phenomenon. They were ﬁrst described by the Scottish humanist John Major in his Historia majoris Britanniae, tam Angliae quam Scotiae (History of England and Scotland), published in Paris in 1521. He wrote with authority; Major was born in North Berwick. He tells us that the young birds ‘are sold in the neighbouring country. If you will eat of them twice or thrice you shall ﬁnd them very savoury; for these birds are extremely fat, and the fat skilfully extracted is very serviceable in the preparation of drugs.’ This trade was evidently not limited to the locality. Gannet (somehow
Elder. Before going further, it’s worth pointing out that other early depictions of Scotland – Pinturicchio’s frescoes in the Piccolomini Library in Sienna and the landscapes in Margaret Tudor’s Book of Hours – are entirely fanciful. It should also be noted that Bruegel’s famous painting of Icarus in the Royal Museums of Fine Arts in Brussels is quite diﬀerent in terms of iconography and landscape to his engraving of the same subject which must have been taken from a lost drawing by Bruegel made for his engraver, Frans Huys. Until now this image has been overlooked. Not because it is obscure, it is not. But simply because it is the wrong way round having been reversed in the process of printing.’ As a result, the identity of the rock to the left of the picture has never been recognised. Reverse it and it is quite clear it is the Bass seen from North Berwick. Bruegel has added a couple of rocky pinnacles and has lowered the domed summit of the rock to accommodate them, but the sheer cliﬀ with a separate little rock close by is immediately recognisable and the indented cliﬀ edge also echoes its actual
he must have either seen the rock himself or relied on a ﬁrst hand account of its topography. On the left of the reversed picture, the coast of Fife opposite is also in the right place and has the right sort of proﬁle. Gannets have a very distinctive appearance on the wing. Though in the print the birds wheeling above the rock are tiny, they are nevertheless easily recognisable. He means us to know they are gannets and it is the Bass Rock. That is the point of his picture. History never happens in bold type. What makes Bruegel the ﬁrst modern artist is the way he recognises this; he eschews the rhetoric of history painting to adopt instead the casual viewpoint of ordinary life. Here typically, though it dominates, the big ship is a distraction. The real drama is almost oﬀ-stage. Way up to the right, too close to the sun, the hapless Icarus is falling from the sky. Unlike the elegant gannet’s stunning dive, his fall is clumsy and will be fatal. The moral is clear. Avoid hubris. The gannet is agile in air and water. We are incapable in the one and
a drawing by someone else. The Reformation ended artistic connections between the newly Protestant Scotland and the still Catholic Flanders, but they were once very close. The Trinity Altarpiece by Hugo van der Goes is only the most signiﬁcant witness of that. There were Scottish artists in Flanders and Flemish artists in Scotland. We will never know who among them did the drawing. It is nevertheless fascinating that, from that drawing, the ﬁrst known Scottish landscape should be by one of the greatest of all European artists. It reminds us that Scotland was not remote and far beyond some distant cultural pale. We were a conﬁdent and familiar member of the community of nations, joined, not divided, by the North Sea.
10 | ART
Scottish Art News | FEATURES | 11
The ﬂying Abbot of Tongland: Scotland’s Icarus As Bruegel’s subject was consciously Scottish, perhaps his choice also reﬂects some knowledge of the remarkable story of the Italian Abbot of Tongland, John Damian, who in 1507, seeking to impress his patron James IV, tried to ﬂy from the walls of Stirling Castle. He broke his leg, so didn’t do too badly; the walls are very high. He excused his mishap, however, by saying that ‘thair was some hen fedderis in the wingis quhilk yarnit for and covet the mydding and not the skyis’ [‘there were some hen feathers in the wings which yearned for and coveted the midden and not the skies’]. His contemporary, William Dunbar, wrote an unkind poem, ‘Of the Feinyeit Freir of Tungland’, about him. In it, he compares Damian sarcastically to Icarus’ father, Daedalus, who as Bruegel shows, evidently did ﬂy successfully. Dunbar then has the birds, sharing Bruegel’s opinion perhaps, looking on this intruder in their skies ‘as at a monster them amang.’ They attack him in the air until ﬁnally he falls ‘in a myre up to the ene / Amang the glar did glyd.’ Dunbar’s ridicule shaped Damian’s subsequent reputation. However, even Dunbar’s scathing account implies that Damian didn’t simply fall from the walls straight into the midden. Indeed the poet actually uses the word ‘glyd’ or ‘glide’ to describe his descent which, as a court poet, he may actually have witnessed. Thus he implies that the ﬂying abbot did actually manage to stay airborne at least long enough for the birds to see him as an intruder. Maybe at the time, therefore, it was his relative success – now forgotten – and not his ignominious failure that was still remembered and so Bruegel could
perhaps have seen in Damian’s attempted ﬂight a contemporary echo both of Icarus who fell and of Daedalus who ﬂew. Duncan Macmillan is a Professor Emeritus at the University of Edinburgh, an art critic and art historian
3/4 1 Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Sailing Vessels, Armed ThreeMaster with Daedelus and Icarus in the Sky, engraved by Frans Huys, 1560–65 © Trustees of the British Museum
12 | ART
2 Aerial view of the Bass Rock showing the promontory © Stuart Murray, BritishBirds & the Seabird Group
3 The principal features of Bruegel’s image superimposed on the Bass Rock. Courtesy Duncan Macmillan
4 The Bass Rock from North Berwick Harbour. Courtesy Duncan Macmillan
Scottish Art News | FEATURES | 13
MARGARET SALMON Jessica Ramm
Jessica Ramm talks to the Jarman Award nominee about her most recent Scottish ﬁlm projects 2018 has been quite a year for New York-born, Glasgow-based
a queue of pensioners at the till. Parents watch their children
ﬁlmmaker Margaret Salmon. In February, Tramway hosted Circle, a major survey show of her works, and in December
perform Gaelic songs at a ‘Mod’ ceilidh. Daily life is incidental, made up of small social exchanges and mundane tasks involved
another solo exhibition will open at Dundee Contemporary Arts. In between, she has had major commissions from Invisible Dust,
in caring for people and for the material things that make up a community. Often the camera lingers on people’s faces as they
a UK art and environment organisation, in partnership with Skye’s Atlas Arts, and has been shortlisted for the prestigious Jarman Award, which celebrates the best moving image artists
watch someone or something just outside the frame. Nuanced gestures of mimicry can be read in their shifting expressions. This intimate and intuitive language of mirroring is unique to
working in the UK right now. Salmon’s most recent ﬁlm ‘Cladach’ premiered at
each face, but hints at emotional experiences shared by everyone. While spending time in these coastal communities,
the London Film Festival in autumn and is touring across the country as part of Shore: How We See The Sea, a Scotland-wide event where her ﬁlm screens alongside work by fellow ﬁlmmaker Ed Webb-Ingall. Filmed in Ullapool and Plockton, ‘Cladach’ is a portrait of a Scottish coastal community, whose every day rhythms are lived out in connection with the sea. Salmon strings together ordinary social interactions between people in the community and the shoreline that they live alongside and depend upon. Her portrayal of the ebb and ﬂow of communal life lend the ﬁlm a liquid quality, as though time is stretching and contracting, punctuated by occasional bursts of activity. As with Salmon’s previous ﬁlms, the people she is watching appear completely relaxed, or even oblivious to the camera’s presence, adding to the confusingly real sensation of time passing as it does in real life: plenty of time is spent waiting for things or for people. The camera follows a shopper past the newsstand of the local post oﬃce, past stacked tins of canned vegetables and
Salmon noticed ‘a particular gaze which we use to address the open water’, and says that she was ‘struck by the way in which that landscape elicits a very emotional response’. Paying close attention to people’s expressions as they contemplate the horizon, the camera lingers but does not suggest what kind of thoughts they are connecting with as they look out. On the horizon line, emotional space and physical space converge. Spaces also overlap above and below the water in the audio Salmon uses. A school folk group lends discordant rhythm to the community’s activities above water and a narrated voiceover describes the issue of industrial ﬁsh-farm pollution that the community is tackling on its shoreline. Later in ‘Cladach’, the camera meets sea creatures creeping about underwater, capturing the clicking rushing sounds of their liquid atmosphere. ‘[It’s about] listening to diﬀerent voices that are part of the same world,’ she explains, listing ‘sea squirt’ and ‘sea urchin’ alongside ‘gaelic primary 2–7 choir’ in the rolling credits.
14 | ART
Scottish Art News | FEATURES | 15
16 | ART
Scottish Art News | FEATURES | 17
Salmon’s camera is a connective tool that helps her become closer or more intimate with her collaborators. Though she isn’t necessarily participating in what she’s ﬁlming, her presence within the social relationship aﬀects what is visible through the ﬁlm. Her collaborators are not performing, but being. Their ability to carry on with their existence as normal even though there is a camera trained on them is down to Salmon’s supportive, inclusive and caring way of working. ‘In a lot of the ﬁlms we look at, the cameras are traditionally operated by men,’ Salmon says, speculating that being a woman inﬂuences the ways she interacts with people and how she intuitively develops her approach to working with the camera. As well as the ongoing tour of ‘Cladach’, in December she will present Hole at Dundee Contemporary Arts. As part of the show, she will present a new 16mm ﬁlm exploring the erotic female gaze. The ways in which bodies and people connect
Jessica Ramm is an artist and writer living in Glasgow
emotionally and how the camera can ‘transcribe this physical manifestation of love or emotion and the subtleties involved’ are central questions in this new work. Salmon describes this
Barbican Centre, London
Cladach Touring Scotland until April 2019 as part of Shore: How We See The Sea invisibledust.com/project/shore-how-we-see-the-sea Hole 8 Dec 2018 –24 Feb 2019 Dundee Contemporary Arts 152 Nethergate, Dundee, DD1 4DY T: (0)1382 909900 | dca.org.uk Open: Friday to Wednesday 10am–6pm, Thursday 10am–8pm
AN ARTISTS’ GUIDE TO ORKNEY Frances Scott and Brittonie Fletcher
The winner of the £10,000 Film London Jarman Award will be announced on 27 November 2018 in a special ceremony at the
approach to working with the camera as part of a wider language she is developing through all her ﬁlms, but in particular this work will allow audiences to contemplate physical sexual relationships in contemporary ﬁlm representation. In dealing with this sensitive subject matter, Salmon is careful to stress that she is not thinking of the erotic as pornographic, but as a much more nuanced set of experiences that can be translated through the lens into something with feeling. Reﬂecting on the way other ﬁlmmakers work, Salmon says: ‘The notion of technique or approach to ﬁlmmaking has an emotional gauge that relates to temperature – a feeling of warmth or coolness.’ Accordingly, the ﬁlm will be presented as part of
an installation that will explore how ‘temperature can enhance, loosen, or perhaps open up levels of comfort within a space.’ For Salmon, this new installation is an opportunity to open up aspects of her practice that extend beyond the screen, building on the survey show she presented at Tramway. She describes the installation as reﬂecting ‘the cosmos that exists around a work or within a work, in the experience of making it.’ Contrary to the ways in which lens-based media commonly objectify erotic experience in pornography and advertising, the lens of Salmon’s camera is likely to be positioned in the middle of a web of nuanced human relationships. Instead of presenting ﬂattened images of dreamlike perfection and satisfaction choreographed for the eye of the camera, what she translates or describes from her position inside this emotionally charged atmosphere is likely to be tactile, textured and incomplete, leaving room for many layers of interpretation.
18 | ART
8 1 Margaret Salmon, Eglantine 1 © Margaret Salmon
4 Margaret Salmon, Cup Coral, ‘Cladach’ ﬁlm still © Margaret Salmon
2 Margaret Salmon, Eglantine 2 © Margaret Salmon
5 Margaret Salmon, Seagull ‘Cladach’ ﬁlm still © Margaret Salmon
3 Margaret Salmon, Langoustines ‘Cladach’ ﬁlm still © Margaret Salmon
6 Margaret Salmon, Man ‘Cladach’ ﬁlm still © Margaret Salmon
7 Ed Webb-Ingall, still from I Walk There Everyday But I Never Saw It That Way © Ed Webb-Ingall, courtesy of Invisible Dust 5 8 Margaret Salmon installation view of Circle at Tramway, Glasgow, 2018. Courtesy the artist and Oﬃce Baroque
As part of the centenary celebrations for Orkney ﬁlmmaker and artist Margaret Tait, Edinburgh’s centre for photography, Stills, and Highland Park Single Malt Whisky have supported a Creative Exchange between Orkney and Edinburgh for two artists – Orkney-born Frances Scott and Edinburgh-based Brittonie Fletcher. Here’s their personal guide to Orkney’s highlights, compiled following their research residency on the islands in October Scottish Art News | FEATURES | 19
Pier Arts Centre
The Arts Elsewhere
Orkney Library and Archives
I was dumbstruck by the Pier Arts Centre’s
As well as the Pier Arts Centre, arts
Orkney is fortunate to have an excellent
The museum is a great place to discover
Frances took me here. It’s ﬁlled with
Before the Creative Exchange, I had been
beautiful space in Stromness. The building has an extraordinary history – for much the
lovers should explore Northlight Gallery (Stromness), The Old Library’s Exhibition
library in Kirkwall, which has taken Twitter by storm (check out @OrkneyLibrary and
more about Stromness’ historical connection with expeditions and explorers.
dramatic ocean, cliﬀs, sea stacks and arches as well as Lord of the Rings-type landscape
asking anyone with an Orkney connection for recommendations on where to go. One
19th century, it was occupied by Edward Clouston, a prosperous merchant and agent of the Hudson’s Bay Company. The
Room (Kirkwall), the Orkney Museum (Kirkwall) and The Loft Gallery (St Margaret’s Hope). Every fortnight, the
@ShetlandLibrary’s playful – we hope – online rivalry). Besides a functioning darkroom, the archive holds collections of
Orkney was often the last port of call for explorers to take on water and supplies before heading into the unknown and the
and interesting geology. ‘Horses teeth’ fossils (ancient algae) are visible along the cliﬀ top with an interesting variety of
of the last people I asked was the writer Kevin Williamson who I’d seen at the ‘Hoy! Sound!’ poetry event at Stills (in connection
collection – donated to ‘be held in trust for Orkney’ by the author, peace activist
Stromness Town Hall – formerly a church – is converted into a cinema, where you can
Gunnie Moberg and Margaret Tait’s work, notes, negatives, ideas and scrapbooks. It’s
museum is full of artefacts from all around the world, including a necklace made of
colour and texture. (BF)
with the Days Never Seem the Same exhibition) and later we ran into each other
and philanthropist Margaret Gardiner – is equally impressive. I saw work I’m familiar with and love, such as Gary Fabian Miller’s photographs and was introduced to a new artist, Orcadian painter Sylvia Wishart. There are quite a few of her paintings and studies in the centre, which I found very striking; so much so that I went back a few times to soak in the work. (BF)
enjoy a selection of unusual and interesting ﬁlms under the impressive pipe organ, sat around candlelit tables drinking. There’s also ØY Festival, an annual arts festival on Papa Westray (known locally as Papay) which sees artists, musicians and writers ﬂocking to the tiny island for three days each November. This local celebration of the arts has seen the rise of young graduates returning to Orkney rather than heading south to the cities, with the formation of the Orcadian art collective Móti in 2016. (FS)
also a bottomless supply of local folklore and history. You could spend weeks and not see half of it. (FS)
human teeth and a piece of wood on which a castaway has scrawled a message asking to be rescued from a desert island. There is a particularly excellent section on the celebrated Orcadian explorer Dr John Rae. (FS)
20 | ART
‘The day I chose to visit Deerness was incredibly warm and as I approached, the landscape began to dramatically shift, changing every few steps to reveal beautiful winding sea cliﬀs and coves. I found my way to the path leading up to the brough with a chain and pulled myself along’
at Sandy Bells pub in Edinburgh. I asked him where he would go if there was only one place in Orkney and without pause he said ‘Deerness, the brough, with a kirk on it . . . there’s a chain you have to pull yourself down and up! It’s a poets’ pilgrimage, I took Liz Lochead there!’ The day I chose to visit Deerness was incredibly warm and as I approached, the landscape began to dramatically shift, changing every few steps to reveal beautiful winding sea cliﬀs and coves. I found my way to the path leading up to the brough with a chain and pulled myself along. The top is beautiful, as are the ruins, and I decided to sit for a long time in the grass just taking it all in. (BF)
Scottish Art News | FEATURES | 21
You can catch a glimpse of Waulkmill Bay
North Ronaldsay is home to a unique
Dwarﬁe Stane on Hoy is an enigma. Like
in Margaret Tait’s ﬁlm, ‘A Portrait of Ga’ – it’s a beautiful deep beach which looks
breed of seaweed-eating sheep, kept on the shoreline by a continuous 13-mile
many interesting neolithic places, this stone is surrounded by hills. But this
south to Scapa Flow, good for paddling, bounded on each side by small, heathery cliﬀs, and nearby to Hobbister where the
stone dyke, continually repaired by the islanders. There’s also one of the four oldest lighthouses in Scotland, made entirely from
is one of the oldest in the area. It’s also a solid piece of stone which has been hollowed out by hand to create a sheltered
peat which ﬂavours Highland Park Whisky is cut. (FS)
stone, and another, functioning lighthouse – the tallest in the British Isles. If you’ve
enclosure (thought to be a tomb) and includes something like a bed. It includes
not got time to stop oﬀ, you can do a round trip from Kirkwall and get an aerial tour of the archipelago, following in photographer Gunnie Moberg’s footsteps. There’s also the shortest scheduled ﬂight in the world from Westray to Papa Westray, once completed in 53 seconds. (FS)
quite a lot of historic graﬃti but the most exciting piece is in medieval Arabic, which translates to ‘I have sat inside here for two days and two nights and learned the meaning of patience’. (BF)
1 Gunnie Moberg’s camera in the Orkney Library and Archives © Frances Scott 2 Pier Arts Centre © Brittonie Fletcher 3 Orkney Archives © Brittonie Fletcher 4 Stromness Museum, Boat heaven © Brittonie Fletcher
5 Horse Teeth Fossil © Frances Scott
9 Dwarﬁe Stane © Brittonie Fletcher
6 Deerness Stairs © Brittonie Fletcher
10 Devils Share © Frances Scott
7 Highland Park Tour, Peat Fire © Frances Scott
11 Yesnaby © Frances Scott
8 North Ronaldsay Arrival © Frances Scott 11
22 | ART
Scottish Art News | FEATURES | 23
IMAN TAJIK David Pollock
2 1 Iman Tajik, Can you hear me 2. Photograph, inkjet print on Brilliant Supreme Lustre paper, mounted on a card
Iman Tajik has become the ﬁrst artist to have photographic works purchased by the Fleming Collection. Here he talks about his journey to Glasgow as an Iranian refugee and the forces that drive his creative process
2 Iman Tajik, The Lighthouse. Photograph, inkjet print on Brilliant Supreme Lustre paper, mounted on a card
3 Iman Tajik, The Mirror. Photograph, inkjet print on Brilliant Supreme Lustre paper, mounted on a card All images courtesy of the artist
‘My interests are in social justice, and also to explore myself in terms of the limitations placed upon me,’ says Iman Tajik. ‘These
ﬁrst class degree. ‘I would go to see exhibitions in Glasgow School of Art, and I realised that could be my place where I could explore
Although he uses the techniques of documentary photography, Tajik isn’t so keen to be identiﬁed as such. ‘I see
think it’s good to take that on, so the future generations can know something about what’s happened in these times.’
are social limitations, the limitations of borders, all these kinds of things: how I grew up, what I face in my life, in my country
myself,’ he says. ‘I went through trauma, so I needed something to bring it out, and I thought that art could do this. Even when I
myself as an artist,’ he says. ‘There’s a big discussion about these things, about whether photography is art, or is it documentary or
On the table in a coﬀee shop in central Glasgow, he spreads examples of his other work, which demonstrates the
and in the world.’ Tajik was born and raised in the Iranian capital of Tehran and came to the UK as a refugee, with his subsequent multimedia works reﬂecting his experience.
was studying in college, my work wasn’t journalism or commercial work. I was more interested in the idea than the technique.’ In his ﬁrst year at GSA, Tajik was invited by a friend who
journalism. I think journalists mainly make work for what they get paid, so if they get paid from one party they get told, “go and show the refugees are bad people”. Or if they have money from another
breadth of his ability as a ﬁlmmaker and a performance artist, as well as a photographer. There are some stills from A to B, a series of ﬁlms featuring a dense tangle of white string ﬁlling a wooded
A recent graduate of Glasgow School of Art, four of his photographs of the Calais Jungle migrant camp appeared in the
was studying a Masters to accompany him to the Jungle refugee camp in Calais to help him make a ﬁlm about it; not wanting to
group it’s, “go and show that refugees are all perfectly nice”. I can’t really trust photography as documentary, because we just see the
clearing; in one ﬁlm, Tajik must navigate these awkwardly and laboriously; in another, he simply cuts his way through.
Fleming Collection’s Fleming at 50: Radicals, Pioneers and Rebels exhibition in Edinburgh over the summer, and were purchased by the collection; the ﬁrst photographic works to have been included in it. Tajik started studying photography at high school in his native country, although he eventually went on to study design at college. His process as an asylum seeker brought him to Glasgow, and he decided to remain. ‘I was in a diﬃcult time in my life, suﬀering from depression after the trauma I had from the journey,’ he says. ‘I saw the doctor, because I wanted to go back to normal life and not just stay in a room and think about what happened to me, and he said I should maybe start studying.’ He applied for a design course at Clydebank College, but after a few weeks, his lecturer realised he had a real talent for photography and suggested he change course. This was in 2012, after which Tajik went to the City of Glasgow College for his HND and ﬁnally Glasgow School of Art, from where he graduated with a
miss too much of his studies, particularly as he was concerned about the possible language barrier, he went for just ten days, during which time he shot the images which form the basis of this project. ‘I approached it like journalism or documentary, but I tried to show what it was really like in the camp,’ says Tajik. ‘For example, I’ve made portraits but you don’t see the faces . . . I didn’t want to show the sad eyes, instead I wanted to show the feelings of people who don’t have an identity, who don’t want to expose themselves. Ninety-nine per cent of the people in the refugee camps don’t want to expose their face or the situation in which they live.’ Why is this, does he believe? ‘I think they’re embarrassed,’ he replies. ‘Some of these people are doctors or artists, and it’s really a shameful feeling, living in such a situation. People don’t allow themselves an identity, they don’t share their real name . . . there’s such a strange atmosphere.’
frame, we don’t see outside of it and we can’t 100 per cent trust what the image is telling us. The artist is more honest, and often it’s my experience that if somebody like myself is suﬀering from problems and they make artwork about it, I trust this person. They have touched it with their own skin, and they transfer this feeling with honesty.’ He’s extremely pleased with the recognition of the Fleming Collection, not just for the sense of validation, but for practical reasons too. ‘I’m very happy with what they’ve done, partly because I could earn some money and help pay my fees,’ he says. ‘Studying in university, especially art, is unfortunately very expensive, especially when you have no support; I used my credit card to buy what I needed for my degree show. But I think [this work being recognised is] also very important, in that we have one of the worst refugee crises in history since the Second World War. So often in the arts you see works of beauty, with nice lighting and nice colours, and you don’t see so much darkness or sadness. I
‘I was limited by the borders and by emigration,’ he says. ‘Now I want to explore myself: where I was, who I was and who I am now after crossing these borders. But now I have a chance to make art, I also feel I should use my voice to say things about immigration and about refugees. We should be free to move everywhere, but these days with politics and capitalism, we can’t.’ He points to the still from the second ﬁlm. ‘That’s what I wish, to break these borders.’
24 | ART
David Pollock is an arts journalist based in Edinburgh
Scottish Art News | FEATURES | 25
FIVE UNTOLD STORIES OF SCOTTISH DESIGN Susan Mansﬁeld
Sauceboat c.1760–65, West Pans Porcelain In 18th-century society, ﬁne porcelain was very fashionable. Imported china from overseas inspired British entrepreneurs to try to beat the foreign competition. William Littler could be regarded as the founder of Scotland’s porcelain industry, opening his factory at West Pans near Musselburgh in 1764. He made high-end pieces, catering for a market which was embracing new trends in dining from Europe, requiring new types of vessels such as sauceboats. He advertised his work as ‘not inferior to the foreign china both in transparent, beautiful colours and uses’. West Pans ware was both heavy and translucent, hand decorated in a distinctive bright cobalt blue, and trademarked with a pair of crossed L’s, believed to refer to Littler and his wife Jane. But porcelain was diﬃcult to make and ﬁnancially risky. Littler had been bankrupted by the failure of his previous venture at Longton Hall, Staﬀordshire, and the West Pans factory closed its doors in 1777.
Model for the Scott Monument, 1840, designed by George Meikle Kemp When Sir Walter Scott died in 1832, a competition was launched to design a monument in his memory. One intriguing entry was signed simply ‘John Morvo’, the name of the medieval architect of Melrose Abbey. It was the nom de plume for George Meikle Kemp, a 45-year-old joiner and draughtsman with a passion for gothic architecture who feared that his lack of formal training might count against him. The son of a Pentlands shepherd, Kemp was awarded the commission in 1838 for his ambitious ‘wedding-cake’ design featuring more than 90 statues on its various levels. It took four years to build and cost £16,000, which was raised by public subscription. Sadly, Kemp did not see his creation completed; he drowned in the Union Canal when walking home on a foggy night in 1844. Towering 61 metres over Princes Street, the monument remains the largest memorial to a writer anywhere in the world.
The Scottish Design Galleries at the newly opened V&A Dundee bring together a treasure trove of Scottish design spanning several centuries, from golf balls to computer games, from architectural drawings for the Forth Rail Bridge to a costume worn by Natalie Portman in Star Wars. Drawn from the V&A’s own collection, but including loans from private and public collections, they bring to light many untold stories of Scottish designers
26 | ART
Firescreen, 1900–1914, designed by Alexander Ritchie, Iona After working for more than 20 years as a marine engineer with the British India Steam Company, Alexander Ritchie started taking classes in metalwork at Glasgow School of Art in the 1890s. Charles Rennie Mackintosh had recently left, and the city was buzzing with design energy. At GSA, Ritchie met his wife Euphemia, and they married and moved to Iona in 1899 where he became guardian of the then ruined abbey, and they set up their business, Iona Celtic Art. Making meticulous silver jewellery inspired by Celtic and Viking designs, the Ritchies became pioneers of the Scottish crafts revival, and their designs remain inﬂuential today. Alexander also made clocks, chalices, candle sconces and one-oﬀ larger pieces typically in carved oak with repoussé panels, like this ﬁrescreen featuring a favourite motif, the birlinn (West Highland galley). Their productive business continued well into the 1930s. The couple died in 1941, within two days of one another, and are buried on Iona. Scottish Art News | FEATURES | 27
Evening dress, 1972, designed by Bill Gibb In the early 1970s, red carpet celebrities – Elizabeth Taylor, Bianca Jagger, Twiggy – were wearing the catwalk creations of a young man from Aberdeenshire, Bill Gibb. Born in 1943 in the village of New Pitsligo, Gibb graduated at the top of his class in Saint Martin’s School of Art in the mid 1960s. He captured the mood of early 1970s romantic eclecticism with ﬂoaty gowns embellished with beads or feathers, or paired with hand-crafted knitwear by his long-time collaborator Kaﬀe Fasset. In 1970 he was chosen as Designer of the Year by Vogue and Harrods opened a room dedicated to his designs. He launched his own label in 1972, and opened his ﬁrst shop, in Bond Street, three years later. He was not a good business man, and the business collapsed several times before his early death in 1988. Designers such as Giles Deacon and John Galliano credit him as an inspiration, and in 2009 The
Stephen Conroy, The Garden, 1996, oil on canvas, 121 x 151 cm. Image courtesy of Stephen Conroy
Scotsman described him as ‘one of British fashion’s forgotten geniuses’.
Record sleeves: Happy Birthday by Altered Images, True by Spandau Ballet, High Land, Hard Rain by Aztec Camera designed by David Band, 1981–83
It is the 50th anniversary year of the Fleming
plus inclusion in The Vigorous Imagination, an
David Band was born in 1959 in Ralston, Renfrewshire, and studied textile design at Glasgow School of Art. Always gregarious, he was soon hanging
Collection and I have been involved in one way or another to varying degrees throughout that period, having been made a director of my grandfather’s ﬁrm
exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art of emerging ﬁgurative painters. Collectively known as the New Glasgow Boys and Girls, they took
out with the city’s musicians, and designed the record sleeve for Altered Images’ debut single, ‘Dead Pop Stars’, in 1981. In 1983, after moving to
from 1964. Business came ﬁrst during the beginning but eventually I had more time to appreciate and
the art world by storm with their contemporary take on earlier masters. Conroy’s work was acquired by
London, he founded The Cloth design studio with friends, while all were still students. Quickly, they became the coolest thing in town, designing fabrics for designers such as Paul Smith and Jeﬀ Banks and record sleeves for bands like Spandau Ballet and Aztec Camera, while continuing to work as artists. They featured regularly in the hippest style magazines. Band’s bold, abstract designs helped deﬁne the style of an era; Banks has called him ‘a real artistic adventurer’. At the height of his success, Band moved to Australia where he made his name all over again as a designer and artist. He died of cancer in Melbourne, aged 51, in 2011.
augment the collection. This makes choosing one picture from the current 600 nearly impossible when I have huge admiration and respect for many of the artists represented. Having established the charity in 2000 to safeguard and maintain a living collection to promote education and cultural diplomacy through Scottish art in general, I have chosen an artist as much as one of his pictures. While travelling south from the Highlands one day in the 1980’s, my wife Vicky and I dropped in on a very young Stephen Conroy’s studio near the Erskine Bridge over the Clyde. We have always enjoyed his work and following his career which mirrors that of my grandfather’s in taking Scotland out into the world. Born in Helensburgh in 1964, Stephen Conroy made his name while still a student at the Glasgow School of Art with a sell-out degree show
numerous institutions, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. ‘The Garden’, acquired by the Fleming Collection at the height of his early fame, draws inspiration from Edwardian painters and early Renaissance portraits. In retrospect, the achievement of Conroy and his contemporaries was the last ﬂowering of Glasgow Art School’s century of producing cutting-edge ﬁgurative painters before the ﬁrst wave of Glaswegian conceptualists swept all before them. This painting is on loan from the Fleming Collection to the British Embassy in Dublin where it hangs alongside other works from the collection. The embassy loan forms part of the collection’s campaign of cultural diplomacy promoting Scottish art and creativity outside Scotland.
Susan Mansﬁeld is an arts journalist based in Scotland
V&A Dundee 1 Riverside Esplanade, Dundee, DD14EZ T: (0)1382 411611 | vam.ac.uk/dundee Open: Daily 10am–5pm
28 | ART
As part of the New Glasgow Boys, Stephen Conroy was at the forefront of the ﬁgurative painters from Glasgow School of Art who took the art world by storm in the 1980s
Scottish Art News | REGULARS | 29
The last six months has seen a number of exceptional works entering Scottish collections, but the most notable has to be the Mackinnon collection, with over 14,000 photographs capturing a century of life in Scotland purchased for the nation through a collaborative acquisition by the National Library of Scotland and the National Galleries of Scotland. This landmark purchase saw support from the Scottish Government, the Heritage Lottery Fund and Art Fund. Until now, it was one of the last great collections of Scottish photography still in private hands. The photographs in the Mackinnon collection date from the 1840s through to the 1940s. One of the earliest is a view of Loch Katrine by William Henry
RECENT ACQUISITIONS Scottish Art News highlights the latest acquisitions to enter Scottish collections
Fox Talbot, who travelled to Scotland in the autumn of 1844. Talbot was the inventor
famous collection of surrealist art by purchasing ‘Portrait of Max Ernst’
to add a new perspective to the collection. ‘One of the diﬃculties in collecting objects
executed in the 1920s by artists such as Robert Ilhee, Archibald McLaughlan, John
of the calotype, a negative-positive paper process that was patented around the world, but, importantly, not in Scotland,
(1939) by the celebrated surrealist painter, sculptor and writer Leonora Carrington (1917–2011). The painting of her lover,
to a modern and very active regiment is the lack of opportunities to acquire items of real quality,’ says Thomas. ‘Silver,
Duncan Fergusson, George Leslie Hunter, Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Anne Redpath, among others.
allowing for free use and experimentation. As a result, early Scottish photographers,
Ernst, is one of Carrington’s most famous works, and has an extraordinary history:
such as Hill & Adamson and Ross & Thomson, were encouraged to take up the
by December 1942, following a series of upheavals caused by the outbreak of
new technology, becoming key ﬁgures in developing its potential as both document and art form within its ﬁrst two decades.
war, Carrington had become estranged from Ernst and was on her way to Mexico, where she spent much of the rest of her
paintings, medals and many of the other impressive trappings of regimental life are 8 Elsewhere in Scotland, many constantly in use and consequently rarely smaller collections have been making parted with. We were therefore absolutely ambitious purchases. Following Grantown Museum and Heritage Trust’s successful thrilled when an opportunity arose to
More than 600 original photographs from these pioneering days of photography are
life. She and Ernst met in New York and, as a parting gift, she presented him with
within the collection. Other highlights in the collection include portraits of Scottish regiments in the Crimean War by pioneering war photographer Roger Fenton and ﬁne examples of the work of Scotland’s successful commercial photographers including George Washington Wilson (1823–1893) and James Valentine (1815–1880).
this portrait. In exchange, he gave her a painting titled ‘Leonora in the Morning Light’, which remained in her possession until her death in 2011. They never saw each other again.
Another signiﬁcant acquisition for the National Galleries is a portrait of HRH Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay, by Victoria Crowe. The work was exhibited over summer in Crowe’s major solo exhibition at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery and was painted over
30 | ART
7 four sittings at Birkhall on the Balmoral years old – and when Raeburn was at the The Hunterian also recently Estate in Royal Deeside, Aberdeenshire. peak of his career. The intimate portraits purchased ‘A View of Cassis’, (1920) – an Commenting on her portrait, Crowe said: of the boys and their pet dogs makes extraordinary watercolour by Stanley ‘His Royal Highness was extremely relaxed these works diﬀer from the conventional Cursiter. The work was made after his and generous during the sittings and we portraits that Raeburn more usually service in WW1. Like many other artists talked about painting, the Royal Drawing produced, giving them much of the appeal after this experience, Cursiter left behind School and shared interests, as well as of ‘genre’ paintings that show scenes his interest in experimental and chaotic attitudes to conservation and ecology. The from everyday life. As such, they have an avant-garde movements and adopted a more we spoke, the more I realised the exceptional status within the artist’s output more realistic style. The work has aﬃnities importance of Birkhall and the sanctuary and in British portraiture of the period. with that of a number of his peers, it had provided. So the landscape element including the Scottish Colourists, who of the painting became very speciﬁc. I felt 5 Elsewhere in Edinburgh, three regularly visited the French Mediterranean that so much of his thinking was rooted in portrait paintings of Sergeant Craig coast in the 1920s – Peploe and Fergusson a deep love of the natural world.’ The work Sharp MC, Corporal James Smith and had ﬁrst set the trend when they visited is the ﬁrst portrait of the Duke of Rothesay Warrant Oﬃcer 2nd Class Terry Lowe by Cassis in 1913. As such, ‘A View of Cassis’ Tom McKendrick, have been acquired by to enter the collection. helps to put in context The Hunterian’s the Museum of the Royal Regiment of signiﬁcant holding of works by these The Scottish National Gallery Scotland. For curator Desmond Thomas, artists, from an early view of Cassis painted 3 of Modern Art has built on its worldthe acquisition presented the opportunity by Peploe in 1913 to a group of works
As work on the The Scottish National Gallery’s eagerly anticipated Scottish Rooms continues, the Scottish collection has been greatly enhanced by two recently acquired portraits by Henry Raeburn. They represent the two eldest sons of Sir William Forbes, 7th Baronet of Pitsligo in Aberdeenshire, a wealthy and inﬂuential banker, art collector and patron. The paintings were commissioned in 1809– 11, when the young boys were around seven
acquire three portraits by the wonderfully talented Scottish artist Tom McKendrick.’ 6
In Glasgow, The Hunterian has acquired two charcoal drawings by Käthe Kollwitz – Drie Studien einer klagenden Frau’, (1905), and ‘Frau mit Kind im Arm’, (1909). These works were purchased as part of the museum’s campaign to develop their collection of drawings. They will be included in the upcoming exhibition German Revolution opening in March 2019. ‘It’s called German Revolution [to commemorate] the events in Berlin in 1919 at the end of the First World War,’ explains curator Peter Black, who oversaw the purchase of the works, ‘but it also refers to the extraordinary new direction taken by German artists such as Kollwitz, especially in woodcut.’
exhibition of paintings by Richard Waitt in 2017, the museum were encouraged to acquire a work by the artist for permanent display, and in 2018 purchased ‘Portrait of a Gentleman’ (1717). Museum manager Daniel Cottam says: ‘The work will allow us to explore Waitt’s story and his connection to the Grants. It will be on permanent display in our gallery that explores the founding of the town in the context of the Scottish Enlightenment and will clearly demonstrate how portraits were used at this time to show how the upper echelons of Scots society used art to convey their power.’
Scottish Art News | REGULARS | 31
In Irvine, the Scottish Maritime Museum has fulﬁlled a long-established ambition to acquire a work by John Bellany, purchasing ‘The Boat Builders’ (1962). ‘We purchased the work because we had always been keen to acquire a Bellany painting from his early period as part of our art acquisitions project,’ explains Fiona Greer from the Maritime Museum. ‘When we discovered that this one was available and with such an appropriate subject matter for the Scottish Maritime Museum, we were really keen to do anything we could to secure it for the collection and primarily for the public to enjoy. The work dates from 1962 when Bellany was
still an art student – an ambitious and forward thinking student who worked on a grand scale.’ 2
1b 1a Mackinnon, Hardship in the Camp. Image courtesy of The National Library of Scotland 1b Mackinnon, Fingals Cave. Image courtesy of The National Library of Scotland 2 Victoria Crowe, a portrait of HRH Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay. Image courtesy of National Galleries of Scotland 3 Leonora Carrington, Portrait of Max Ernst, 1939. Image courtesy of The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art 4 Henry Raeburn, image of son of Sir William Forbes, 7th Baronet of Pitsligo in Aberdeenshire. Image courtesy of The Scottish National Gallery
5 Tom McKendrick, portrait of Sergeant Craig Sharp MC, Corporal James Smith and Warrant Oﬃcer 2nd Class Terry Lowe. Images courtesy of Museum of the Royal Regiment of Scotland 6 Käthe Kollwitz, Drie Studien einer klagenden Frau, 1905. Image courtesy of The Hunterian
7 Stanley Cursiter, A View of Cassis, 1920. Image courtesy of The Hunterian
8 Richard Waitt, Portrait of a Gentleman, 1717. Image courtesy of Grantown Museum and Heritage Trust 9 John Bellany, The Boat Builders, 1962. Image courtesy of Scottish Maritime Museum
32 | ART
Scottish Art News | REGULARS | 33
ART MARKET David Pollock
The work of Andrew Cranston proved a major hit at this year’s Frieze Art Fair in London and is now the focus of an exhibition and book at Edinburgh’s Ingleby Gallery For Ingleby Gallery and the subject of
34 | ART
Yet the surprise, at ﬁrst, looked
‘Andrew’s paintings are very engaging and honest,’ says Ingleby. ‘They appeal to people who understand painting – that’s why the book was such an important part of it, because his
important than the art fair,’ says Ingleby. ‘That was just a ﬂeeting moment, although success there does create a certain momentum. Taking those three things together, it feels like a very important
commentaries give a very unusual and generous account of why paintings like this get made in the ﬁrst place. They’re
moment for him – he’s a brilliant painter, and this validation of his decision to take a sabbatical is very important at this point
their autumn 2018 exhibition, events have come together perfectly. The largest
like being an unpleasant one. ‘For the ﬁrst three or four hours, nobody seemed to
fascinating as objects, and they keep each other’s company very well; when
in his career. ‘For us as a gallery, it’s always
exhibition of Andrew Cranston’s work to date is currently running at their New Town base – with an accompanying
notice the wall with the small paintings,’ remembers Ingleby. ‘I suppose that’s the thing about these events; when they open
you see a wall with ﬁve or six of them, there’s a whole conversation and narrative going on there. He’s described himself
great when you introduce an artist that people don’t necessarily know, and you get such a positive response. It’s all well
publication, featuring an essay by friend and fellow artist Peter Doig – while his
everyone is racing around and they notice the noisy things that shout to you. The
as a storyteller, and that story changes depending on which paintings you put
and good in those environments to get people enjoying the thing they already
miniature paintings proved extremely popular at October’s Frieze Art Fair in
quiet little paintings on the wall don’t do that, but once they do capture people’s
next to one another. People get their own sense of involvement in making up their
know, but to get such a strong response to something they don’t is fantastic.’
London, selling out before the event was over. ‘You never know how these things
attention . . . it happened in a moment, where one person stopped, then another appeared, then crowds of people were
own narratives from them.’ Aside from the aesthetics of the work, Ingleby believes that in the current
David Pollock is an arts journalist based in Edinburgh
are going to turn out, but you have plans set in place before you do them,’ says the
trying to get in to look at them. It was terriﬁc; by the end of the fair we had sold
market, these paintings were priced at just the right level to attract buyers.
Andrew Cranston: But the dream
gallery’s Richard Ingleby, who represents Cranston. ‘We sent the publication out in advance to key collectors and friends who we thought would be engaged, which was a good warm-up act. Then at Frieze itself, we made a very strong presentation of his work as part of our booth, which was all about artists from Scotland or working in Scotland. We’d done our legwork in order to set everything up, but sometimes these things take you by surprise.’ Other Ingleby Gallery artists showing at Frieze were Charles Avery, David Batchelor, Kevin Harman, James Hugonin, Callum Innes, Peter Liversidge, Jonny Lyons, Jonathan Owen and Katie Paterson.
everything, both from the book and from the booth, so there’s now a waiting list for Andrew’s work. We really couldn’t ask for anything better.’ Born in Hawick in the Scottish Borders in 1969, Cranston studied Fine Art and Painting throughout the 1990s at Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen and the Royal College of Art in London, and now lives in Glasgow. It seems fair to say that this show and his performance at Frieze represents the point at which it looks like he might just have made it; a year ago, he was a regular on the lengthy commute between Glasgow and Aberdeen, with a lecturing job at his old college, until he took a sabbatical to give this show his full attention.
‘There’s a threshold where people can make decisions more easily than others, and they’re beneath that threshold, which helps,’ he says. ‘If you’d asked me ﬁve years ago, I probably would have said that in the context of Frieze, it was something like £10,000. I think that’s come down, it’s now much closer to £5000, which is where these pictures were – and they’re quality paintings, it’s immediately obvious when you look at them that they are the real thing made by someone who absolutely knows what he’s doing. The more you look at them, the more they give back.’ For Cranston’s future career, this positive moment is ready to be capitalised upon. ‘For Andrew, the book and the exhibition are obviously much more
had no sound
Until 21 December Ingleby Gallery Glasite Meeting House, 33 Barony Street, Edinburgh, EH3 6NX T: (0)131 556 4441 | inglebygallery.com Open: Tuesday to Saturday 11am–5pm
1 Andrew Cranston, A room remembered, 2018 2 Andrew Cranston, Viennese Nude, 2018 3 Andrew Cranston, Swimming with Lynda, 2018 All images © Ingleby Gallery 3
Scottish Art News | REGULARS | 35
Charlotte Prodger: BRIDGIT Kathryn Lloyd
1/2 Charlotte Prodger BRIDGIT, 2016. Video Stills. All images courtesy of the artist, Koppe Astner, Glasgow and Hollybush Gardens, London. 3 Charlotte Prodger. Portrait, 2017. Photography © Emile Holba 2018
Tate Britain, London Until 6 January 2019
Bridgit’s etymology throughout history: Bride, Brid, Brig, Brizo of Delos, The Manx Breeshey, the Cretan Britomartis, Bree. ‘One of the great diﬃculties facing anyone who attempts to unravel the problems of the ancient world is that of names. The deities of antiquity have a very great number of names. Not only were they known by diﬀerent names in diﬀerent places, but they all had at least three diﬀerent phases: old, middle aged and young, which were all known by diﬀerent names in one place.’ Similarly, the citation from Stone describes how, prior to the conventions of the Domesday book in the
which queer and non-binary individuals are subject. Names, labels and identity packages are exposed as multiplicitous even when ascribing to heteronormative modes – always changing, even in ignorance or cruelty. The plurality Prodger extends to identity, names, myth and history sits within a framework dictated by her own state of recovery after surgery. She equates her own obliviousness to her sexual identity as a teenager with the oblivion of anaesthetic; her own coming out mirrors the coming out of the theatre, the hospital, the woods; the limbo of recovery is equated with the limbo she
11th century, names could change to reﬂect one’s age, experience or circumstance. Despite the arbitrary nature of
encountered working in a care home in the 90s. As BRIDGIT ﬁlters through its wide-ranging source material, rife with
names, we often think of them as both descriptive and prescriptive. Instead,
transmutations and associative games, It exposes our own predilection for the
Prodger parallels the ﬂuctuations in names across time, myth and land with the plurality and ﬂuidity of shifting
shifting, while we incomprehensibly cling to the ﬁxed.
Charlotte Prodger: Bridgit Showing as part of Turner Prize 2018 Tate Britain Millbank, Westminster, London, SW1 P 4RG (0)20 7887 8888 | tate.org.uk/visit/ tate-britain Open: Daily 10am–6pm The winner of the Turner Prize 2018 will be announced on 4 December
subjectivities. Alongside Bridgit, other female names appear and resurface, while
As Glasgow-based Charlotte Prodger’s single-channel video BRIDGIT opens, her
sea. Two voices recount moments from Prodger’s youth, author-less diary entries,
the camera. At points, Prodger’s thumb covers the lens, so we see the ﬂeshy
her closest friends are referred to solely by their initials. The names of the women she
own voice resounds in the large, black, felted room at Tate Britain: ‘A group of people are focusing very closely on you
anecdotes from friends and excerpts culled from various texts. Snippets of jazz musician Alice Coltrane, the deafening
red of her skin and the blood behind it – suddenly monumental in size. Static shots of dense forest reveal the movement
shared a ward with while recuperating in hospital ﬂash across the screen: Margaret, Deborah, Eimear, Helen. In Prodger’s own
– the minute details of you and also the macro. It’s all women. They’re totally in
hum of a ferry and the tinny noise of the radio perforate the meandering narration.
of her breathing and the violence of the surrounding winds. Always alone when
voice, in a rhythm which echoes the earlier cataloguing of Bridgit’s various aliases,
control of you . . . You’re at the centre of the whole thing, every part of you. But you’re not there.’ As Prodger speaks, only her feet are visible, clad in trainers and propped up on the edge of a sofa, the movement of her stomach causing the camera to gently rise and fall. Although, as the voice suggests, Prodger is at the centre of the work, you will never see more than a foot, a ﬁnger, a ﬂash of clothing or a reﬂection in a train window; it is permeated with limbs and disembodied voices. Over its 32 minute running time, BRIDGIT weaves together footage of Prodger’s domestic spaces, fragments of journeys, her cat, vast expanses of Scottish landscape and even vaster expanses of
Composed during a period of recovery from surgery, BRIDGIT is a non-linear, visual essay, summoning ﬁgures from ancient and modern history into a loose autobiographical trajectory. As it unfolds and slippages and deviations occur, Prodger presents a ﬁrst-person subject that is both plural and shifting; the ‘I’ is always present but never personiﬁed. No single scene in BRIDGIT lasts for more than four minutes. Gathered over the course of a year, the footage was taken on Prodger’s iPhone – where length is dictated by the phone’s limited storage. A small object, generally clasped in the palm or kept close to the body, the handheld device allows for the systems of the body to become enmeshed with
ﬁlming, Prodger’s ﬁlmic collections reveal the innate intimacy of personal technology; as an extension of the body, the relationship is both a symbiosis and a grappling. As Prodger’s camera lingers on the monumental landscape of rural Aberdeenshire, the narration falls upon two publications which consider the transitory nature of names: musician and writer Julian Cope’s The Modern
Stone is referred to in three consecutive iterations: Sandy Stone, Allucquére Rosanne Stone, Alucquére Rosanne ‘Sandy’ Stone. This constant recalibration of names is mirrored in the anecdotes Prodger incorporates: ‘September 29th, a young guy at the opticians just asked me if that was my daughter I was in with yesterday. Flummoxed, I replied, “No, she’s a friend.” Now I’m closeted as well as being a cradle-snatcher. I told Isabel. She said that usually her and L get “Are you twins?” and once L got “Is this your son?” I told Irene. She said V has been variously her mother, aunt or brother.’ Recounting these commonplace moments of confusion, Prodger details the perpetual forms of misidentiﬁcation to
36 | ART
Kathryn Lloyd is a writer and editor living in London
Antiquarian: A Pre-Millennial Odyssey Through Megalithic Britain (1998) and transgender theorist and performance artist Allucquère Rosanne Stone’s The War of Desire and Technology and the Close of the Mechanical Age (1995). Cope’s text traces the minutiae of the Neolithic deity
Scottish Art News | REVIEWS | 37
NOW: Monster Chetwynd, Henry Coombes, Moyna Flannigan, Betye Saar, Wael Shawky Neil Cooper
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh Until 28 April 2019 All creatures great and small are everywhere throughout the fourth edition
the same mad scientist’s lab as both Flannigan’s cartoon-paint collages and
cast of marionettes, the strings of which are visible, though who is pulling them isn’t.
of NOW, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art’s six-part series of exhibitions designed to show oﬀ the wealth of living
the man-beasts lurking in Coombes’ ﬁlm. The corridor itself is redecorated as ‘Reverent Wallpaper’ (2018), a wall-
In the main rooms, Chetwynd’s array of giant bugs, salamanders and cat people all but burst through the walls.
artists from Scotland’s creative diaspora alongside others beyond it. They’re
consuming mash-up of collages, prints and photocopies drawn from the Crazy
Film archives of performances between 2003 and 2018 are playful rituals in
roaming the hills in ‘The Bedfords’ (2009), Henry Coombes’ feature ﬁlm-in-progress about landscapist Henry Landseer, excerpts of which are screened in a room surrounded by storyboard prints covering the walls. Human creatures, meanwhile, are alive and kicking in Moyna Flannigan’s cut-out shapes of women in motion drawn from Flannigan’s Tear series made between 2016 and 2018. Most of all, though, an animal mentality is at the heart of Monster Chetwynd’s expansive trophy-like menagerie that forms the heart of the show. The stand-up large-scale collage of ‘Crazy Bat Lady 5’ (2018) at one end of what Chetwynd styles as ‘Revenent Corridor’ seems to come from
Bat Lady series alongside the dark grotesquerie of Goya’s Los Disparates or Los Proverbios (The Follies or The Proverbs) series of prints. In other rooms, bugs of a diﬀerent kind inﬁltrate ‘Mojotech’ (1987), Betye Saar’s wall-sized, circuit board mix of wired-up voodoo. It becomes an altar to the machine that ﬁres up the throbbing heart of the city it maps, while inviting oﬀerings to its shrine of hi-tech alchemy. Wael Shawky’s The Cabaret Crusades Trilogy is an epic ﬁlmic telling of the holy crusades of the 11th and 12th century seen from an Arab perspective. Shawky’s three ﬁlms, ‘The Horror Show File’ (2010), ‘The Path to Cairo’ (20120 and ‘The Secrets of Karbala’ (2015), feature a
which B-movie monsters come to messily choreographed life. Back in the corridor, ‘The Scottish Bestiary’ (1986), is a rare appearance of a construction instigated by Charles Booth-Clibbon’s Paragon Press, and which sees the likes of Steven Campbell, John Bellany and Bruce McLean bring texts on 19 animals both real and imagined by the late Orcadian poet George Mackay Brown to life. Captured alongside Chetwynd’s creations, unicorn and dragon are a breed apart in this wildest of shows.
38 | ART
NOW: Monster Chetwynd, Henry Coombes, Moyna Flannigan, Betye Saar, Wael Shawky Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, 75 Belford Road, Edinburgh, EH4 3DR T: (0)131 624 6200 | nationalgalleries.org Open: Daily 10am–5pm
1 Bat Opera 2014 © Monster Chetwynd, courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London and Massimo de Carlo, Milan. 2 Clic-Clac Collage 7, 2017 © Monster Chetwynd, courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London. Photo by Robert Glowacki 3 Cat People, 2018 © Monster Chetwynd, courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London. Photo by Robert Glowacki
‘All creatures great and small are everywhere throughout the fourth edition of NOW, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art’s six-part series of exhibitions designed to show oﬀ the wealth of living artists from Scotland’s creative diaspora alongside others beyond it’
4 Henry Coombes, The Bedfords, 2009 © Henry Coombes. Image courtesy of National Galleries of Scotland
Neil Cooper is an arts writer based in Edinburgh Scottish Art News | REVIEWS | 39
Rosengarten Strange Foreign Bodies Susan Mansﬁeld
1 Anne Bevan and Janice Galloway, glass. Image courtesy of The Hunterian 2 Anne Bevan and Janice Galloway, loops wide. Image courtesy of The Hunterian 3/4/5 Strange Foreign Bodies © Ruth Clark
The Hunterian, Glasgow Rosengarten, until 20 January 2019 Strange Foreign Bodies, until 13 January 2019 The tercentenary of physician and collector William Hunter has inspired
the ideas, while Bevan’s sculptures, quietly remaking the tools of the obstetrician in
If Barclay’s work seems in conversation with Bevan and Galloway,
Susan Mansﬁeld is an arts journalist based in Scotland
a series of exhibitions which touch on medical or anatomical themes. It provides a welcome opportunity to revisit
new materials – felt, plastic, sponge, the resonantly named mother of pearl – evoke touch, sensation, physicality. It’s a subtle
the other artists pull in diﬀerent directions. Sarah Browne’s sensual ﬁlm tells the story of a Kaꢀa-esque metamorphosis, a woman
Rosengarten Strange Foreign Bodies
Rosengarten, the 2004 collaboration between sculptor Anne Bevan and writer
show, which repays time spent. Meanwhile, upstairs, works by
becoming an octopus. Octopi also feature in Phillip Warnell’s 2009 ﬁlm ‘Outlandish:
The Hunterian, University of Glasgow, Hillhead Street, Glasgow, G12 8QQ
Janice Galloway around the subject of childbirth. Bevan and Galloway’s work highlights the contradictions at the heart of the subject: that an experience which is profoundly – perhaps even deﬁnitively – natural has become controlled by interventive medicine, driven forward by male physicians (of whom Hunter was one), yet those interventions have also saved lives. Bevan and Galloway worked with historic collections and contemporary obstetricians to create bodies of poetry and sculpture which quietly reclaim elements of the experience as visceral, painful, joyful and profoundly female. Each body of work needs the other: Galloway’s visceral poems open up
seven international artists are brought together around a theme of the body, embodiment, or its opposite – the sensation of being disembodied, strange to ourselves. The philosophical basis of Strange Foreign Bodies is laid out in the substantial accompanying text by curator Dominic Paterson. The centrepiece of the show is a new commission of sculptures and prints by Scottish artist Claire Barclay, drawing on Hunter’s collection of ‘gravid uteri’ casts and prints. Barclay’s sensitive handling of materials comes to the fore in two strikingly eﬀective sculptures which combine leather, brass, glass and other materials to evoke elements of the female body seen from outside itself.
Strange Foreign Bodies’, a collaboration with French philosopher Jean-luc Nancy, from which the exhibition takes its title, pairing philosophical discourse with footage of heart transplant surgery and a boat adrift on the ocean. There are works here which are well worth seeing, not least Christine Borland’s ‘Family Conservation Piece’ of skulls cast in bone china, her 2010 ﬁlm ‘SIMWoman’, and Alex Impey’s aluminium and steel bracket sculptures which turn out to be prototypes for sections of spinal column. But with a complex philosophical underpinning and several lengthy ﬁlm works, it is not an easy show to grasp.
T: (0)141 330 4221 | gla.ac.uk/hunterian
40 | ART
Open: Tuesday to Saturday 10am–5pm, Sunday 11am–4pm
Scottish Art News | REVIEWS | 41
369 Remembered – The Women David Pollock
1 Carol Gibbons 2 Pat Douthewaite 3 Caroline McNairn 4 Fionna Carlisle Images courtesy of Summerhall © the artist
Summerhall, Edinburgh Until 23 December Named after its original location at 369 High Street in Edinburgh, Andrew Brown’s
Curated by Brown himself (whose portrait by old classmate Fionna Carlisle
paintings were made; Margaret Hunter’s graﬃti-style ‘re-Statement – Joint Venture’
369 Gallery was a pioneering independent exhibition space which did much to
can be seen here), and using paintings and an array of photographs, cuttings and
documents her time painting on the East Side Gallery following the Berlin Wall’s fall,
promote the work of new and early-career Scottish artists in the last quarter of the 20th century. In fact, it was the only gallery
documents from his collection, this look back at the work of the 369 in the 40th anniversary year of its founding – the ﬁrst
while Lys Hansen’s ‘Berlin Trilogy’ (and her striking wood sculpture, ‘Madonna’) are vivid and edgy.
in Edinburgh to do so upon its founding in 1978 by Edinburgh College of Art graduate
of two such shows – celebrates the many female Scottish artists who exhibited over
Elsewhere, other painters include Sheila Mullen, Rose Frain, Pat Douthwaite
the gallery’s life. The exhibition materials, presumably prepared in consultation with Brown, note that the 369 showed equal numbers of male and female artists apparently ‘without positive discrimination’, and many of those featured here have gone on to positions of esteem. There’s a deﬁnite timeliness to Joyce W Cairns’ painting ‘Before Endeavours Fade’, which commemorated the end of the First World War with its bright, busy portraiture of Rose E B Coombs, whose 1976 guidebook of the same name attempted to record every grave site of the war, with some of them displayed behind her. Also featured is Cairns’ largescale ‘The Berlin Wall’, which expands upon a pivotal political theme of the time these
and Irina Zatulovskaya, while Alison Kinnaird’s fragile glass pieces are some of the few sculptural works on show. It’s a nostalgic show, there’s no question, but many of these stunning works by very talented artists bear a timeless sensibility which speaks highly of Brown’s abilities as gallery owner and curator.
For the next 13 years, the 369 was at the forefront of the art scene in Edinburgh and in Scotland in general. In 1984 it moved – while still retaining its name – to an old warehouse where Blair Street meets the Cowgate, and its reputation persisted until 1991, when Brown departed following what is cagily referred to in the exhibition materials here as ‘a debacle with the Arts Council’. He continued as an independent curator, and as the artistic consultant at the Phoenix 369 Gallery on Dundas Street, while the Gilded Balloon festival venue remained in the old Cowgate space until 2002, when it was completely destroyed by ﬁre. 42 | ART
David Pollock is an arts journalist based in Edinburgh 369 Remembered – The Women Summerhall, 1 Summerhall, Edinburgh, EH9 1PL T: (0)131 560 1580 | summerhall.co.uk
Open: Wednesday to Sunday 11am–6pm Scottish Art News | REVIEWS | 43
Embroidered Stories: Scottish Samplers
Dumfries RSA: Ages of Wonder: Original Prints and the Art of Etching Graceﬁeld Arts Centre
1 Janet Learmonth, Linlithgow, 1765 2 Isabel Ramage, Edinburgh, 1770, 3 Margaret Eiston, Ayr, 1810 All images courtesy of the National Museum of Scotland
Until Sat 2 Feb 2019 W: dumgal.gov.uk/graceﬁeld In November 2017, the RSA staged Ages of Wonder, its biggest collections-based show in a generation at its gallery on the Mound in Edinburgh. Original Prints and the Art of Etching is part of this critically acclaimed exhibtion, which is now touring, with the ﬁnal leg taking it to Graceﬁeld.
National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh Until 21 April 2019
David Austen: Underworld
Lawrence Weiner The McManus Until Sun 17 Feb 2019 W: mcmanus.co.uk As part of the Tate’s continuing touring collection series, this ARTIST ROOMS edition focuses on the inﬂuential conceptual artist, Lawrence Weiner. Weiner’s work uses language as its medium, and the McManus have strived to ensure that his ideas are fully taken up by the viewer through innovative modes of
Dundee Contemporary Arts Sat 23 Mar–Sun 9 Jun 2019 W: dca.org.uk This exhibition will oﬀer up a new constellation of work by British artist David Austen, bringing the breadth of his artistic practice to audiences in Scotland for the ﬁrst time. The artworks in this exhibition, in an array of painting, sculpture and ﬁlm, create an otherworldly space inhabited by Austen’s strange and lovelorn characters.
presentation. Margaret Salmon: Hole Dundee Contemporary Arts Sat 8 Dec 2018–Sun 24 Feb 2019 W: dca.org.uk
V&A Dundee Now open
Hole is about our bodies and the intimate human
Edinburgh Aﬃnity and Allusion Collective Gallery Opens 24 Nov 2018 W: collectivegallery.net The ﬁrst exhibition in the new
How often do we ﬁnd young women represented in history books? How often, in
information to trace most of the women whose work features here.
some also stitch maps of the world and multiplication tables.
W: vam.ac.uk/Dundee After much anticipation, the
connections we seek with others. In an immersive installation
Collective Gallery on Calton Hill, Aﬃnity and Allusion will
museums, do we ﬁnd objects that tell their stories? Not often, which is what makes this
Some of the samplers oﬀer a richness of detail in themselves: Jean
There are ideas emerging, too. Biblical quotations and proverbs about
V&A Dundee is ﬁnally open. The ﬁrst ever dedicated design
that uses light, colour, heat and sound to envelop a viewer
feature new work spanning sculpture, installation,
exhibition so unusual. Almost all of the 70 samplers on show were made by girls and young women in Scotland in the late 18th
Craigie gives us a portrait of the town of Montrose, including landmarks, events and organisations; Anne Raﬀan from Alvah in
virtuous wives, meticulously stitched pictures of prosperous homes – young women laying out their hopes for the future
museum in Scotland and the only V&A museum anywhere in the world outside London,
within the space, Margaret Salmon seeks to create an atmosphere of warmth, comfort
performance, audio and text by six artists chosen specially for the opening, and across all of
and early 19th centuries and, if we learn how to read them, can tell us something
Banﬀshire includes all the key dates of her life, even going back to the sampler to add
and their potential to fulﬁl them. There is more to this exhibition than historic
V&A Dundee provides a place of inspiration, discovery and
and radiance to step into over the cold winter months.
Collective’s exhibition spaces, grounds and buildings.
about their lives. Of course, they are also worth marvelling at simply as works of craft. Girls as young as nine or 12 (usually they give their age) are working in eye-watering detail using silk thread to create patterns, pictures, words and often complete sentences in stitches so small they can barely be seen by the naked eye. But these are less works of art (most of the designs and motifs are copied) as much as works of social history. Samplers are surprisingly good historical tools. The young stitchers usually include their name, age and where they live, some also include key dates relating to their families. American collector Leslie B Durst, who has loaned these works, has used this
the date of her marriage; Jane Milton made her exquisite sampler while growing up in Edinburgh Orphan Hospital. Then there are other stories beneath the surface: the girl hastily married to a cousin at the age of 15, to whom she bore a child; the poignant note stitched into the sampler by a friend who ﬁnished the piece ‘because the above lies sleeping in the tomb’. By the 18th century, the sampler was being seen as a way of demonstrating a young woman’s accomplishments. Parish schools had brought in education for girls in Scotland at least up to the age of 10 (more than in much of Europe) and we can see the results in their samplers: alphabets and texts from the Bible ﬁgure widely, but
needlework, there are hidden histories which have, until now, gone untold.
learning through its mission to enrich lives through design.
Lorna Macintyre: Pieces of
Andrew Cranston: But the
You Are Here Dundee Contemporary Arts Sat 8 Dec 2018–Sun 24 Feb 2019 W: dca.org.uk
dream had no sound Ingleby Until Fri 21 Dec 2018 W: inglebygallery.com
This exhibition will mark Scottish artist Lorna Macintyre’s ﬁrst solo exhibition in a major UK institution, debuting a new body of work commissioned for Gallery 2 at DCA. Interested in exploring the potential of the materials she uses within her practice, Macintyre often pushes them playfully to develop in unexpected ways.
But the dream had no sound is the largest exhibition of Scottish artist Andrew Cranston’s work to date. Once self-described as a storyteller of sorts, though without a clear story to tell, Cranston draws on a variety of sources from everyday life to form his idiosyncratic, intimate and often dream-like paintings.
44 | ART
Susan Mansﬁeld is an arts journalist based in Scotland Embroidered Stories: Scottish Samplers National Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1JF T: 0300123 6789 | nms.ac.uk Open: Daily 10am–5pm A book accompanying the exhibition, Embroidered Stories: Scottish Samplers by Helen Wyld, is available through the National Museum of Scotland
Bow Gamelan Ensemble: Great Noises That Fill The Air Cooper Gallery Until Sat 15 Dec 2018 W: dundee.ac.uk/cooper-gallery Utilising found objects, invented instruments and everyday sound, Bow Gamelan Ensemble have, since 1983, inspired generations of artists with their radical collaborative and cross-disciplinary practice.
Scottish Art News | DIARY | 45
The Miniaturists The Scottish Gallery Until Sat 22 Dec 2018 W: scottish-gallery.co.uk This exhibition curates an intriguing collection of beautifully made works of art on a small scale. Featuring an international selection of artists, the title of the exhibition is inspired by the ﬁctional novel of the same name, which centred around the 17th-century doll’s house made famous by Petronella Oortman of Amsterdam.
The Print Show: 20th Century
BP Portrait Award 2018
James Cowie: Insights
In Focus: Scottish
Scottish and British Prints The Fine Art Society Thu 24 Jan–Sun 17 Feb 2019 W: fasedinburgh.com Kicking oﬀ the new year at the Fine Art Society is an exhibition dedicated to the sometimes overlooked art of print. Gathering a number of prominent Scottish and British printmakers, this exhibition shows the best of the 20th century, including the master Scottish etchers David Young Cameron, Sir Muirhead Bone
Scottish National Portrait Gallery Sat 15 Dec 2018– Sun 10 Mar 2019 W: nationalgalleries.org It’s that time of year again as the BP Portrait Award 2018 travels up to Scotland. Now in its ninth year at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, the award still stands as the most prestigious portrait painting competition in the world, and continues to be an unmissable highlight of the annual art
The Scottish Gallery Wed 27 Feb–Sat 30 March 2019 W: scottish-gallery.co.uk The Scottish Gallery presents an exhibition on James Cowie. One of the most individual Scottish painters of the 1920s and 1930s, Cowie is known for the quality of his portrait paintings and his strong linear style.
Photography City Art Centre Until Sun 12 May 2019 W: edinburghmuseums.org.uk/ venue/city-art-centre In Focus: Scottish Photography showcases the City Art Centre’s photographic collections, charting the development of ﬁne art photography in Scotland from the 19th century to present day.
Until Sun 3 Feb 2019 W: fruitmarket.co.uk
and James McBey.
The Scottish Gallery presents an innovative exhibition on the Edinburgh School and its wider circle. Including Scottish artists Robin Philipson, Elizabeth Blackadder, John Houston, and David Michie, this exhibition will also feature a number of early works by Wilhelmina Barnes Graham. A version of this exhibition will be taken to the London Art Fair later in the year. Emma Hart: BANGER Fruitmarket Gallery
Embroidered Stories: Scottish Samplers National Museum of Scotland
W: glasgowlife.org.uk/ museums/venues/gallery-ofmodern-art-goma As one of Scotland’s most inﬂuential artists of the 20th century, this in-depth exhibition surveys a decade of Jack Knox’s practice from the 60s and 70s. During this time, Knox turned from the illustrated canvas to lusciously coloured still life, which were later to be characterised as his artistic trademark.
and the modern labour suite, artists Anne Bevan and Janice Galloway explore the tools of obstetrics together with human hands, garden plants and the written word to form a visible aesthetic organic bouquet of the instruments of birth. Lucy Beech: Reproductive Exile Tramway Sat 1 Dec 2018–Sun 27 Jan 2019 W: tramway.org In Reproductive Exile, Lucy Beech blurs documentary and
Andy Warhol and Eduardo Paolozzi: I want to be a
Strange Foreign Bodies
Scottish National Gallery Of Modern Art (Modern Two)
Until Sun 13 Jan 2019 W: gla.ac.uk/hunterian
ﬁction. Exploring transnationalassisted conception, this ﬁlm follows a woman whose bodily
London-based rising star
Andres Serrano: Torture
Robert Blomﬁeld: Edinburgh
Until Sun 21 Apr 2019 W: nms.ac.uk/nationalmuseum-of-scotland
Until Sat 22 Dec 2018 W: fasedinburgh.com
Emma Hart has her ﬁrst exhibition in Scotland.
Stills: Centre for Photography
Street Photography City Art Centre
On loan from American collector Leslie B Durst, this
Until Sun 2 Jun 2019 W: nationalgalleries.org
New exhibition marking the 300-year anniversary of the
processes are facilitated by a chain of human and non-human
The Fine Art Society presents an exhibition of new work from Arran-based sculptor
Featuring entirely new work, her recent ‘Mamma Mia!’ installation is also on display.
Until Sat 24 Nov 2018 W: edinburghmuseums.org.uk/ venue/city-art-centre
special exhibition oﬀers a fascinating insight into the lives of children in the 18th and 19th
Inspired by Andy Warhol’s much-quoted remark, ‘I want to be a machine’, this exhibition
birth of pioneering anatomist William Hunter. Contemporary artists oﬀer a 21st-century
Since the 1980s, Andres Serrano’s work has sparked
Tim Pomeroy, whose sculpture, while diverse in medium and
An immersive, beguiling, engulﬁng installation, you are
debate in the radicality of his expression, pushing the
Robert Blomﬁeld’s street photography is a time capsule
centuries through this unique collection of Scottish samplers.
takes the seemingly facetious quip to the serious belief that
perspective on Hunter’s Enlightenment project.
AMOS’ WORLD Tramway
style, is known for its inherent beauty, and carved usually from
able to interact completely with the work, as notions of family
boundaries of priority and public decency. Organised in
of Edinburgh’s streets from the 1960s, largely unseen and
Made by young children, these small pieces of needlework are
art would become increasingly mechanised. Comparing the
material found on his island home.
become everyday household items.
association with the sociopolitical arts organisation a/ political, this exhibition shows a
perfectly preserved. Taken while he carried out his medical studies, these ﬂy-on-the-wall
a touching personal record of their lives.
bodies of work of both Warhol and Paolozzi side by side shows their parallel process and
Tim Pomeroy: New Works The Fine Art Society
Fri 30 Nov 2018–Sun 3 Mar 2019
369 Remembered – The Women
Edwin G. Lucas: An Individual Eye
new body of photography where Serrano’s subjects were subject
images engagingly capture a series of moments in the rapidly
NOW: Monster Chetwynd, Henry Coombes, Moyna
City Art Centre
to his ‘torture’.
changing post-war period.
Until Sun 23 Dec 2018 W: summerhall.co.uk
Until Sun 10 Feb 2019 W: edinburghmuseums.org.uk/ venue/city-art-centre
Flannigan, Betye Saar, Wael Shawky
Adrian Wiszniewski RSA Open Eye Gallery Fri 1 Feb–Mon 4 Mar 2019 W: openeyegallery.co.uk
Christine McArthur The Scottish Gallery Wed 27 Feb–Sat 30 March 2019 W: scottish-gallery.co.uk
Scottish National Gallery Of Modern Art (Modern One) Until Sun 28 Apr 2019 W: nationalgalleries.org
The Open Eye Gallery presents an exhibition on Adrian Wiszniewski. Born in Glasgow and trained at the Glasgow School of Art, Wiszniewski was a leading protagonist in the revival of ﬁgurative painting in the group known as the New Glasgow Boys.
Glasgow-born and trained artist Christine McArthur has exhibited widely both nationally and internationally, and is known for her colourful block-patterned paintings ﬁlled with surprises of organic matter.
NOW is a series of contemporary art exhibitions displayed across the ground ﬂoor at Modern One that presents some of the most interesting contemporary artists working today. This edition of NOW includes a major survey of the work by Turner Prize-nominated artist Monster Chetwynd.
The only gallery exclusively dedicated to the promotion of young Scottish artists at the time of its founding in 1978 by Andrew Brown, this memorial exhibition of the 369 Gallery champions the female artists who exhibited there during the 1980s. The Edinburgh School and Wider Circle The Scottish Gallery Sat 5–Sat 26 Jan 2019 W: scottish-gallery.co.uk 46 | ART
Edwin G. Lucas: An Individual Eye is the ﬁrst major exhibition to focus on this unusual and enigmatic artist. The unique Scottish painter channelled the inﬂuence of surrealism in his work, cultivating an original and highly imaginative style of painting that set him apart from his contemporaries.
increased mechanism in art.
Amanda Ross-Ho: HURTS WORST Mary Mary Until Sat 19 Jan 2019
Cécile B. Evans:
Fri 14 Dec 2018 –Sun 17 Mar 2019 W: tramway.org The ﬁrst solo exhibition of Cécile B Evans’ work in
Amanda Ross-Ho’s HURTS
Scotland, AMOS’ WORLD is an ongoing project that follows
WORST examines the precursor of the emoji, the Pain
the format of a television show set in a socially progressive
Alex Sarkisian: -ian CCA: Centre for Contemporary Arts Until Mon 3 Dec 2018 W: cca-glasgow.com/
Rating Scale that was ﬁrst invented in 1981 as a visual aid to help pre-verbal children accurately describe the complex sensation of pain. Mining this database, the artist uses hand-made processes to form physical manifestations of human anguish.
housing estate. Viewers are able to watch the drama crumble episode by episode as the estate’s communal fantasy goes awry.
Alex Sarkisian is an American artist currently living and practising in Glasgow. Her solo exhibition at the CCA, -ian, grasps at family derivatives through new ﬁlm and work. Jack Knox: Concrete Block Glasgow Museum of Modern Art Until Sun 13 January 2019
Rosengarten The Hunterian Until Sun 20 Jan 2019 W: gla.ac.uk/hunterian From research in the special collections of medical history
Commemorating 100 Years since WWI Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum Until Tue 25 Jun 2019 W: glasgowlife.org.uk/ museums/venues/kelvingroveart-gallery-and-museum To mark the centenary of WWI, Glasgow Museums programme Scottish Art News | THE DIARY | 47
of exhibitions and events features an array of cultural activities that cover all facets of experience from the Great War and includes a special commission from Turner Prize nominee Christine Borland.
Irvine Industry + Aesthetics Scottish Maritime Museum Until Sun 17 Feb 2019 W: scottishmaritimemuseum.org This exhibition puts a fresh perspective on historic photos from the industrial period, inviting the viewer to see the aesthetic value in their curation as well as their emotional potency.
Natasha Todd: Connected Landscapes Perth Museum and Art Gallery Until Sat 19 Jan 2019 W: culturepk.org.uk Connected Landscapes includes traditional landscape paintings chosen from the Perth Museum and Art Gallery collection to juxtapose new contemporary works by Natasha Todd. Todd’s series of paintings follows the rivers Tay and Earn, along Allan Water and through the Falls of Dochart, depicting evocative Scottish landscape.
Bho Mhoch gu Dubh: Dawn to Dark
Margaret Tait: 100
Until Sat 22 Dec 2018
Various venues throughout UK
Scotland Elsewhere Turner Prize 2018 Tate Britain, London Until Sun 6 January 2019 W: tate.org.uk The Turner Prize returns to Tate Britain this year for its 34th edition. Featuring nominated Scottish-educated artist Charlotte Prodger, each of the four collective nominated artists, including Forensic Architecture, Naeem Mohaiemen and Luke Willis Thompson, tackle pressing issues in society today. Dialogues: New Painting from London GASK, Kutna Hora, Czech Republic Until Sun 3 Feb 2019 W: gask.cz/en The ambition of this exhibition is to provide a focused snapshot of some aspects of
November 2018 onwards
Part of the continuing exhibition programme commemorating the Iolaire
painting in London now. Featuring Scottish London-based artist Caroline Walker, this exhibition includes work from her
W: margarettait100.com/category/events/ upcoming
disaster centenary, one of the worst maritime tragedy’s in UK waters in the
service series, showing the behind-thescenes activities of the cleaners – who
To mark the centenary of the artist’s birth, a year-long series of events and exhibitions
20th century. The work of Mhairi Law and Alec Galloway explores the aesthetic and
are exclusively female – maintaining the immaculate interiors of glossy hotels.
across the UK will celebrate the work of Margaret Tait, Scotland’s pioneering ﬁlmmaker and poet. The programme
emotional value of the shore, where many of the victims of the Iolaire came to their ﬁnal rest.
Jenny Saville The George Economou Collection,
includes screenings at Cinecity Film Festival, Havana Glasgow Film Festival, The Gable End Feature for Film Focus Festival, Pier Arts Centre and the BFI Southbank, plus much, much more.
Newport-on-Tay even more ALCHEMY Tatha Gallery Until Mon 24 Dec 2018 W: tathagallery.com This year’s winter show at the Tatha Gallery in Fife is a celebration of the magic and love that art can bring to us in its full force; namely, the conscious and subconscious enjoyment of art can be compared to an alchemical process, enriching our very souls. 48 | ART
Athens Exhibition Iolaire 100
Until Mon 1 Apr 2019
W: thegeorgeeconomou collection.com
Opening Sat 29 Dec 2018 W: lanntair.com In continuing commemoration of the centenary of the Iolaire Disaster, an overwhelming collection of 100 portraits were created over the past two years, featuring sailors lost and saved from the Iolaire, one for each year that has elapsed since the ship’s sinking. The collection evokes a powerful human, personal and individual dimension as well as embodying the dreadful scale of the tragedy.
This focused show at the George Economou Collection will present an overview of Jenny Saville’s work from 1993 to 2015. It includes the important early work ‘Cindy’ (1993), which introduces Saville’s concern with corporeality, anticipating her ongoing engagement with the manipulation of the body and the construction of a gendered identity.
THE FINE ART SOCIETY IN EDINBURGH
William McTaggart ꢀsꢁ ꢀsw (1835-1910), The Bait Gatherers, Sunset, c.1907, oil on canvaꢂ, 41 x 65 ꢃ incheꢂ
Specialists in Scottish Art Private sales and valuations Auction and collection advice Conservation, framing and restoration Installation and shipping 6 Dundaꢂ Street, Edinburgh EH3 6HZ +44 (0)131 557 4050 ꢄꢄꢄ.faꢂedinburgh.com art@faꢂedinburgh.com