Thursday 28 August 2014


When Dr Who lands his Tardis in Glasgow u know the city has arrived! But altho Glasgow has the limelight, this summer in Scotland u can find art near & far. 

The island of Bute & its historic Mount Stuart is home to Lorna MACINTYRE's new sculptural works, part of Generation.  The work is spare, sparse. She begins with solemn black sentinels. 3 ceramic sculptures on the stair window sills work well, reflecting the irredescent colours from the vast Marble Hall windows. Her pieces for the Conservatory are less considered - in fact look as tho she ran out of time. Till Oct 31st. 
Nearby the new 20 acre Caol Ruadh Sculpture Park (opened 2012) with breath-taking view over the Kyles of Bute contains a mix of pieces, many provided by Edinburgh Sculpture Studios. The location is superb. The good jostles with the downright bad, but one has to admire the scope & ambition of this welcoming, unpretentious enterprise. There is room for more sculptors to get involved.
In 2012 Rob Mulholland made a stand-out reflective piece using the water. This year Lorna Fraser's tiny ceramic stars embedded in a stone wall, Duncan Robertson's glass coping stones & Susan Nuttgens amazing conkers are for me memorable. 
The Argyle Art Map gives over 40 studios to visit in the area. Add in Arran & Bute & u get more artists than u can shake a stick at! 

While all eyes were on the Edinburgh Festival, a small space, The LINE Gallery in Linlithgow provides an outstanding show by 2 serious artists. This was one of the most interesting shows this summer. 
Jacki PARRY is well known for her volumes made from cast paper. Fragile, seemingly organic, they entice & repel. New grey "books" have an austere quality: open but reticent. 
Murray ROBERTSON takes printmaking to a new level. A technical virtuoso, he combines etching with digital media, & good old fashioned hand-drawn, hand-painted detail. A residency on the island of Lewis has resulted in his best work yet. These beautiful, subtle, detailed, complex compositions are his thoughtful response to the bogs & peatlands, their flora & fauna, & their ecological magic. Both artists share an interest in botany & natural history, revealed in different ways. 

Vicky CROWE, a similar vintage to Parry, also impresses. Her Festival show at the Scottish Gallery, all new paintings, includes hauntingly beautiful oils of twilight. As dusk falls the light catches trees & hills, setting tips of branches on fire. She captures the finest gradations of changing light seen thro her studio window. Sometimes mirrors act as reflector of luminous blue, or frosted silver. 

 Transient, glowing, dimming before our eyes, Crowe shows us beauty on the wind. Exquisite. 

Also in Edinburgh CALUM COLVIN aims to put the future home for Edinburgh Printmakers on the map with a public art installation of huge posters of his collaged photos filling 120 windows. Castle Mills in Fountainbridge dates from 1856, was the former headquarters of the North British Rubber Company. Long derelict, it is a vast building which should serve well.  

GLASGOW NEXT .........

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