Miscellaneous

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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Activists target 300 objections over Edinburgh’s Old Royal High School as October 2nd deadline looms

Developers intending to covert Edinburgh’s foremost neo-classical building into a luxury hotel “completely ignored” the advice of the watchdog body charged with overseeing the city’s status as a UNESCO World Heritage site, it is claimed. The director of Edinburgh World Heritage, Adam Wilkinson, told a public meeting held to help corral objections to the scheme that […]

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Leonardo’s Birthplace

Leonardo’s Birthplace

Leonardo da Vinci was not born at his official birthplace in the village of Anchiano, the leading da Vinci scholar Martin Kemp said yesterday. Professor Kemp, one of the top authorities on the artist, is working on a book on Da Vinci with the archive researcher Giuseppe Palanti. He told an audience at the Edinburgh International […]

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John Bellany’s Drawings

John Bellany’s Drawings

A Sign Manual of God  Duncan Thomson, former keeper of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, on disegno and Bellany. From the start of his student days in 1960 John Bellany was overwhelmingly aware of the role that drawing would play in the great range of figurative painting he would soon launch himself into. His fellow student Sandy […]

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Edinburgh Fringe – The Empire Builders

Edinburgh Fringe – The Empire Builders

In the bear pit of 2,500 shows at the Edinburgh Fringe,  this multi-award winning play from Istanbul may be making festival history,  but it’s just another production struggling for a bit of attention.   On the other hand, it has a bear of an actor at the heart of it. NOTE:  This was my review of the Empire Builders in […]

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The Feather Gods of Tahiti

The Feather Gods of Tahiti

  Shorn of its aura, the King of Tahiti’s personal family god,  Temeharo, lies in its glass case in the basement of a London gallery.   This once-powerful idol may have been venerated with human sacrifices.  Now  it seems an unprepossessing thing, a mostly featureless bundle of brown string, closely bound around a piece of wood, about a metre long. […]

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Swiss Cheese

Swiss Cheese

Collectors and collecting: the subtle joys of cheese labeling. This selection of vintage postcards below, on offer at just one of the many desks, stacks and shelves at the Royal National Hotel in Bloomsbury gives a flavour of the monthly anoraks’ paradise that is the Bloomsbury Ephemera Fair.  For anyone with an instinct for ‘collectibles’ […]

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