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The Unswept Floor

The Unswept Floor

For the mosaic class assignment at the London School of Mosaic this week we’ve been asked to produce our own responses to the Unswept Floor. For the uninitiated, such as me, the Unswept Floor is arguably the most famous mosaic of the ancient world.   Why?  First, it was described by Pliny, who uniquely also […]

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Mosiacism

Mosiacism

Where do you begin with mosaics?   Impossible.   But perhaps at the Zeugma Mosaic Museum in Gazientep, Turkey.   The stunning, purpose-built museum displays the mosaics dramatically rescued from a huge Roman site being flooded by the rising  waters of a dam. The museum took the so-called Gipsy Girl as it’s figurehead.   The […]

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Miniature Mosaic

Miniature Mosaic

Browsing the stands at the Winter Art & Antiques Fair at Olympia in November I came across this magnificent Italian marble table at Burton Antiques.    The fine variety  of the cut marble with geometric black inlay lines is combined with a mesmerising  set of micro mosaics.   The centre piece shows St Peter’s Square, […]

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Friend of Peter:  Andrew Cranston

Friend of Peter: Andrew Cranston

The Hawick painter Andrew Cranston, 50, was for twenty years a lecturer at Gray’s art college in Aberdeen, until 2017.    Three or four years ago dealer Richard Ingleby visited his Glasgow studio and was stunned by what he found.     A book on him has got glowing words from Peter Doig, the Scots […]

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Double Uppers  on the Fringe

Double Uppers on the Fringe

Leafing through the Edinburgh Fringe programme as one does I got interested by the numbers of performers  running two or even more shows in the festival – comedians, in particular. One develops a nerdy appetite for possible phenomena like these – are there more of these double-uppers?  Is it something forced on performers by rising […]

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Black Burns

Black Burns

It is the premise of conceptual art, presumably, that artists conceive of a project they can then get others to do. Looking across the Great Hall of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery at John Flaxman’s white marbled statue of Scotland’s bard, glorifying Robert Burns as something heroic and pure, one feels Douglas Gordon’s vision of […]

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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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Brexiting Colourists

Brexiting Colourists

Two major works by the Scottish Colourist painter SJ Peploe go under the hammer this  week in a new test of foreign buyers’ post-Brexit appetite for classic British and Scottish works. Peploe’s  still-life Red and pink roses, oranges and fan, with a price estimated at up to £1,000,000 – no Colourist work has yet broken the million […]

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Visual art of Iran

Visual art of Iran

I got to visit Iran in March, on a whistle-stop tour pegged to the exhibition by the artist Wim Delvoye at the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art.  

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Ya Bass!

Ya Bass!

The Bass Rock, at the mouth of the Firth of Forth,  lurks at every corner in North Berwick, and steals the eye even from Arthur’s Seat.   Ya Bass! at Fidra Fine Art takes on the rock and plays with this “timeless muse”. Fidra Fine Art was founded by novice gallerist Alan Rae four years ago; it’s developing in […]

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Protected: The Bench Project

Protected: The Bench Project

There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

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The First Edinburgh Festival

The First Edinburgh Festival

“For some time previous to the Festival, the concourse of strangers towards Edinburgh was unexampled.”   The year was 1815. “From England, and the remotest parts of Scotland, individuals and whole families poured into the city.   Every house and every room that could be obtained was occupied by persons of all ranks and ages…” […]

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