Miscellaneous

London Art Fair

London Art Fair

IF ART sales need confident buyers it was not the most auspicious week for the London Art Fair.    Theresa May’s Brexit speech was reverberating during the VIP opening while Friday brings the strange new world of President Donald Trump. Soaring  rents and rates in central London have seen two important  venues for Scottish art close their doors in the past year, amid […]

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Fly 2016 – Visual Art Scotland

Fly 2016 – Visual Art Scotland

There is no longer an art college in Scotland that teaches a dedicated ceramics degree.   Which  makes the ceramics on show at this year’s Visual Art Scotland winter exhibition more emphatically interesting. Susan O’Byrne graduated from Edinburgh College of Art in design and applied art in 1999.   Her wall of fantastical animal heads in the […]

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Coburg House Christmas Open Studios

Coburg House Christmas Open Studios

So there’s a simple joy,  and the hope of a  certain Scottish parsimony,  in buying Christmas gifts direct from the maker. Nowhere better to start this weekend than at Coburg House studios in Leith, whose denizens have a refreshingly engaged attitude to the whole enterprise and where artists’ egos, and sensibilities, are disarmingly lacking. “I work in wood […]

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Shocked – 2016 Fringe

Shocked – 2016 Fringe

In the front row of an intimate Fringe venue on Saturday night audience a young woman kept turning around to look at me,  and others  behind her,  with her eyes open wide, her expression clearly asking – what is going on here?  How am I meant to react?  What am I watching? In show I witnessed in my […]

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Art Festival Fringe contd

Art Festival Fringe contd

Scotland’s oldest private art gallery says it may seek a festival listing next year – in the Fringe programme. The Scottish Gallery is one of three major  galleries on Dundas Street, centre of Edinburgh’s art trade, that are out of the Edinburgh Art Festival this year.   The Fine Art Society is another grand dame of the Scottish trade, […]

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Art Festival Fringe

Art Festival Fringe

Call it ‘beyond the art festival’, or the Edinburgh Art Festival Fringe. Within Edinburgh, there are several  private galleries with significant exhibitions, particularly for the collector in various budget ranges,   that  are not in the line-up of this year’s festival. Outwith the city, there are also several promising shows, perhaps for mid-August, when you need a […]

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ReUnion

ReUnion

Union Gallery – Reunion When Alison Auldjo began converting a former charity shop into the second incarnation of the Union Gallery, removing a lowered ceiling and turning a pokey back storage room into a well-lit stairwell, she knew exactly the picture she wanted in the space. It was Phil Braham’s Ophelia Bathing, a painting she had […]

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Surreal Encounters:  Collecting the Marvellous at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

Surreal Encounters: Collecting the Marvellous at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

Technically speaking, Surreal Encounters is what I’d call a stunner.    In particular the middle room on the ground floor of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, where they are showing Salvador Dali’s vast Landscape with a Girl Skipping Rope. I’m no expert on the Surrealists but in terms of Scottish gallery exhibitions this is […]

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Scottish Arts Club

Scottish Arts Club

Edinburgh is going wild for Britart until May but spare a thought and a short walk to three artists exhibiting in the Scottish Arts Club. The club exudes an old Edinburgh charm with a cast of characters to match; it has tottered  on from crise to crise over the years, and can be a difficult space to stage a show with much impact, […]

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Cordis Prize 2016

Cordis Prize 2016

The new Cordis Prize for tapestry, the only award of its kind in the UK,  came home in its second year.  From about 100 entries, and a short list that included artists from Japan, Denmark, Belgium and Brazil, the Scottish weaver and Edinburgh College of Art teacher Susan Mowatt won the £5,000 prize for her work, Black/time/lines/white/time/lines. The […]

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Montbéliard, My Love is like a red, red rose

Montbéliard, My Love is like a red, red rose

In the late summer of 2015 the mayor of Montbéliard, a small but historic  city nestled against the Swiss border in north-eastern France, had this idea.   Montbéliard prides itself on a Christmas market and Christmas scene that draws hundreds of thousands of people from across the region, including Switzerland and Germany.    Scotland was the invited guest this year […]

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The Art of Christmas

The Art of Christmas

Our parents conspire to make us believe in Father Christmas; reindeer footprints by the fire place, stockings mysteriously filled.    But the loss of that belief, the joining of the conspiracy. is itself a Christmas ritual,  a symbol of moving out of childhood innocence into knowing adulthood. Le Gui et le Houx, Noel dans l’imagerie popular,  a small […]

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2015 Turner Prize show:  Snap Judgement

2015 Turner Prize show: Snap Judgement

The Turner Prize show is notoriously easy to lampoon – it’s a case of fish and barrels – but it’s a strange year at Tramway, in Glasgow.    Not easy outrage over elephant dung or unmade beds in  but a curious emptiness.  The first impression of the exhibition is of vast white spaces with ‘the work’ tucked away […]

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Background and links

You can read John McLellan’s latest column on the row in The Scotsman website here. The Scotsman’s report on new designs unveiled by the hotel backers on September 2 are here. The developer’s website with some 2,500 pages including all the documents seeking planning permission is here. The BBC’s report on the  trust’s offer (see below) to buy and run […]

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