Category Archives: Art

Art in Europe, from street art to art museums.

Kirkcubright Galleries

Kirkcubright Galleries opened in June 2018. I was keen to visit, as Kirkcubright has a reputation as an artists’ town.

I liked the wrought iron work on the gate in front of the the main entrance door.

My first impression positive. The staircase was beautiful and there was a feeling of light and space.

The first floor cafe had views over to the church opposite.

As I have a National Art Pass, I didn’t have to pay the £4 adult admission fee to see the Stars of Scotland temporary exhibition. My favourite piece was by the Scottish colourist J D Fergusson. Unfortunately, photography was not permitted in the exhibition.

The permanent collection is housed on the ground floor.

I really liked the decorated chairs by William Miles Johnstone, a bird and animal artist.

There were some gorgeous ceramics.

Peploe’s depiction of Kirkcubright is more colourful that reality.

Jessie M King, who lived in Kirkcubright, was best known for her book and magazine illustrations, but she also designed fabrics (for Liberty), jewellery and painted pottery.

Below are greetings card designed by King.

Below are two of her illustrations for Wynken, Blyken & Nod by poet Eugene Field.

There were sculptures of animals and their young by Phyllis M Bone.

Below are some photos of other exhibitions at Kirkcubright Galleries.

Kirkcubright Galleries is open on Monday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm. On a Sunday it’s noon to 5pm. It’s free to enter, except for some temporary exhibitions. There’s plenty of free parking in Kirkcubright.

Spring Fling Art Open Studios in Dumfries and Galloway

Spring Fling is an annual art and craft open studios event in Dumfries and Galloway, in south west Scotland. I attended the event in late May 2018.

The studios are dispersed over a wide geographic location. The event organisers suggest six colour coded routes to follow. However, I decided to draw up my own itineraries, based on visiting the studios which were of the most interest to me.

This was a complex task, especially as I am not familiar with that area. I also had to factor in different opening hours and the travel time between venues.

Below are photos from a few of the Spring Fling studios which I visited.

Peter Wareing

Andrew Adair

Annie Cooney

Christime Hester Smith

Jo Gallant

Penny Lilley

Phil Mcmenemy

Wendy Kershaw

Ir you’re interested in arts and crafts, I recommend a visit to Spring Fling. It’s a great opportunity to meet the artists, see them at work and purchase their pieces.

Rozelle House Galleries & The Maclaurin Gallery in Ayr

I did an online search for art galleries in Ayrshire, when planning my drive south to Dumfries and Galloway for the Arts and Crafts Trail in Kirkcubright. My search brought up the Rozelle House Galleries and the Maclaurin Gallery in Ayr.

Initially, I was a bit confused wondering if the two galleries located in different places. But they are adjacent.

Rozelle House is a former mansion house which was gifted the Royal Burgh of Ayr in the late 1960s. It then became an art gallery. In the mid 1970s, the stable block and servants quarters and became the Maclaurin Gallery.

There were plenty of parking spaces in the free car park when I arrived early on a Thursday afternoon.

I started off in the Maclaurin Gallery, which is accessed through the courtyard.

I really liked William Dick’s The Paper Works  exhibition.

As it was raining, I had a  rather quick look around the Sculpture Park.

Then it was back inside to the Rozelle Galleries.

There’s a Henry Moore sculpture at the bottom of the staircase.

I thought that some of the pieces by the Ayr College students in their HND Art & Design exhibition were wonderful. The young woman portrayed on the left below is constructed with jigsaw pieces.

The man on the right below was made by painting on a tapestry.

Below are photos of some of the other exhibits.

Upstairs at Rozelle, there was an exhibition of Alexander Goudie’s painting depicting Robert Burns’ Tam o’Shanter. Most didn’t appeal to me, being too dark coloured. The one I liked was of Brig o’Doon.

The basement walls outside the toilets had been painted by local young people.

I highly recommend a visit to the Rozelle Galleries and the Maclaurin Gallery in Ayr. It was free to get in and the galleries are open Monday to Saturday 10am to 5pm and noon to 5pm on Sundays. But do check before you visit as many museums and galleries opening hours have been reduced and charges introduced to see some exhibitions, due to spending cutbacks by local authorities.

Harbour Arts Centre Irvine

When I stopped in Irvine, on the Ayrshire coast of Scotland, to visit the Scottish Maritime Museum. I decided to take a walk along the harbour road. It was a pretty dull day, but thankfully dry after earlier rain. I had a quick look in Harbour Arts Centre. I really liked the sculpture opposite the centre.

Inside, there was a painting of Harbour Street.

When I visited in August, I saw the Futureproof 2018 exhibition by Street Level Photography. It was the tenth exhibition of work by emerging artists who graduated from Scottish Fine Art and photography courses.

There’s a cafe in the Harbour Arts Centre. It’s wise to check opening hours before visiting, as it’s closed on Mondays and may be closed at the weekend. It’s generally open Tuesday to Friday 9.30 to 16.30.

Scottish Maritime Museum

The Scottish Maritime Museum is located in Irvine on the Ayrshire coast. It’s not a state run museum, so there is an entry charge of £7.50 for adults (aged over 16), the concessionary price is £5.50. Up to three children enter free with one adult (full price or concession).

I decided to visit the Scottish Martime Museum for two reasons. It on my way to Dumfries and Galloway for the Arts and Crafts Trail in Kirkcubright and I wanted to see the Maritime Perspectives art exhibition, which was on at that time.

As I have an National Art Pass, I didn’t have to pay the entry charge. There’s a free car park in front of the museum.

There were some exhibits in the grounds of the museum.

I spent most time in the Maritime Perspectives art exhibition, in which you weren’t permitted to take photos.

The art theme continued in the museum. The ‘Propping Through Riverside’ architectural installation, a collaboration between an artist and an architect, illustrates the processes, techniques and construction methods used on the River Clyde.

I was interested to ready about George Wyllie’s ‘QM’ installation. His 80 foot long paper boat, lamenting the loss of heavy industry in the west of Scotland, toured the world for seven years, before being dismantled.

The last remaining piece of the installation is displayed in the Scottish Maritime Museum in Irvine.

Tom McKendrick’s ‘Hole Borer’ installation is a altar dedicated to the trades and mythologies of the shipbuilding industry.

I liked the posters for ferry trips.

The museum in Irvine is housed in the Victorian glass roofed Linthouse, the former Engine Shop of Alexander Stephen and Sons shipyard in Govan in Glasgow. The building was dismantled and rebuilt in Irvine. This vast building is very appropriate for the large industrial exhibits.

The Scottish Maritime Museum in Irvine makes a good effort to engage young visitors. There is a wardrobe full of clothes for dressing up in period custume.

You can also try your hand at various nautical knots.

The models of ships were very intricate.

I believe that visitors interested in engineering, seafaring and industrial heritage would get a lot out of the Scottish Maritime Museum than me.

Making the Most of the Glasgow International Festival

The Glasgow International is Scotland’s largest festival for contemporary art. In 2018 it ran from 20 April to 7 May. The festival runs every second year.

With 268 artists work on show at 90 exhibitions and more than 80 events over 78 venues. I found it really hard to decide what to attend and then to organise an itinerary.

The Glasgow Internation 2018 website was very user friendly. It allowed you to search by dates, geographic location, artist, exhibition, event or date.

Part of my quandary was on several days, there were events which I fancied on at the same time. Then the dispersed venues meant that I might not have time to travel between venues if an event end time was close to another event’s start time.

In order to make the most of the Glasgow International you do have to be super organised. You need to double check the opening hours and days of venues. I thought that I had done this, but I still managed to arrive at the Glasgow Sculpture Workshop around 11am, when it didn’t open until noon.

Then work out the best way to get between the venues. I did a mix, taking the train from Stirling to Glasgow Queen Street and then walking around the city centre and Southside one day. On another day, I drove to Glasgow, parked at our son’s flat and then walked around the West End.

The other four days, mainly weekends, I took the car to drive around dispersed venues. I managed to be in the East End on a day when Celtic were playing at home, when the roads were jam packed and it was hard to find a space to park. I was on my way to see Carla Scott’s Stretch/Pulled/Inked exhibition at Impact Arts. I am so glad that I persevered in looking for a parking space, as I loved Carla’s work pictured below.

I wanted to achieve a balance of seeing several events and exhibitions per day, without dashing around like a headless chicken. You should also beware of sensory overload. You might get more out of doing less.

The Pipe Factory exhibition was spread over four floors. I arrived there with only 45 minutes until closing time at 6pm. I wish that I’d spent a lot longer there. The annoying thing was that I had spent around 40 minutes getting to and from another exhibition in the East End which I didn’t appeal to me. But then how long should you allow to see each exhibition? It’s so hard to know until you get there.

There were several exhibitions at SWG3. My favourite was Judy Blame’s.

I liked the rope sculpture at the Briggate, formerly Glasgow’s fish market.

There were some interesting pieces at the Savoy Tower.

I really liked the ceramics at the nearby Savoy Centre.

The dome in The Savings Bank was beautiful I went there to see Michelle perform Keener, but unfortunately she had to cancel the performance due to vocal cord issues.

I visited Lauriston Arches on the first day of the Glasgow International. Some artists were still in the middle of setting up their work. I didn’t have time to return to that venue to see all the exhibitions.

It would be fab to live in such a colourful house as portrayed Duggie Field’s show at the Modern Institute in Osborne Street.

The multitude of coloured loaves at the David Dale Gallery was eye catching.

I enjoyed Linder’s talk at the Glasgow Women’s Library. Linder was commissioned to create a flag and a short film for Glasgow Women’s Library.

One of the highlights of the Glasgow International was Necroplis Action performed by XSexcentenary.

I also had a great time at a workshop offered by the Glasgow Open Dance School (GODS) at the Old Barn in Pollok Park.

I’m looking forward to Glasgow International 2020.

Broughton House and Garden Kirkcubright

Broughton House and Garden is located in the town of Kirkcubright in Dumfries and Galloway, in the south west of Scotland. It is managed by the National Trust for Scotland.

It’s usually fairly easy to find free parking the Kirkcubright, either on the street or in the car park by the river.

I was keen to visit as Broughton House as it was the home of E A Hornel, one of the ‘Glasgow Boys’ group of artists, in the early 20th century. There are lots of his paintings on display in the rooms of the house.

 

Hornel’s studio was an extension to the original Broughton House.

There’s a lovely view of the garden from the dining room.

The garden at Broughton House is so beautiful.

The seating area was surrounded by tulips.

There are views over the tidal River Dee from the bottom of the garden.

I wish that I could have spent more time at Broughton House and Garden, but I’d arrived around 3.40pm and closing time was 5pm.

Hospitalfield Open Weekend

Hospitalfield is a centre for contemporary art located in the Angus coastal town of Arbroath. It’s somewhere that I’d been wanting to visit for ages. My opportunity presented itself during the Summer Festival Open Weekend in 2018.

I was attracted to the Free Drawing School and the free garden and house tours. I also wanted to see the two pieces of work commissioned for the event.

I decided to go to Arbroath on the Friday, as there was a free drawing workshop from 2-4pm, and then the Opening Reception from 5.30-8pm.

Hospitalfield is a grand building, perhaps even a little more imposing on a rather grey day.

There were a couple of carved seats by white climbing roses.


As soon as I walked into Hospitalfield, I was impressed by the grandeur of the entrance hall and the lovely flower arrangement.

The drawing workshop was led by Fergus Tibbs. It was really good, we made collages with dried flowers and leaves from the garden which had been pressed by Fergus. The class took place in a converted shed in the garden.

At the Reception, I had a good look around the garden and the recent art works.

The garden was really beautiful.  Although, I believe it is going to be redesigned in the near future.

The installation ;The Venny, the Jumps’ in the garden by Mary Redmond, which had been commissioned for an Open Weekend earlier in the year, didn’t appeal to me.

The polished silver corrugated steel, orange and yellow blocks and purple painted bamboo sticks, looked alien in the garden.

I wasn’t that keen on the ‘Extensa suite’ mural by France-Lise McGurn either.

But I did love Zoe Paul’s ‘wild work, man and fish’ installation in the Studio. The first room was laid out in restaurant style, with lots of floral arrangements. The walls were adorned with drawings of figures and ceramics plates.

The second room had a head fountain, two black ceramic whippets and various ceramics pots, which, to me, appeared more like sculptures than pots.

The following day, I went on a house tour, which was really interesting. My favourite room was the one with various botanic wood carvings on the ceiling.

In the afternoon, I attended another of Fergus’ art workshops. As it was a better day weather wise, it took place in the garden. The workshop was again on a botanic theme. Fergus had brought home made charcoal, which was like lumps of coal. It was very different to draw with, compared to commercial sticks of charcoal. There’s a photo of Fergus below.

I really enjoyed my visit to Hospitalfield. I found the garden enchanting and the free art workshops were great.

There are several open weekends at Hospitalfield throughout the year, so if you’d like to visit check out the next one on their website.

Raqib Shaw | Reinventing the Old Masters at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

Raqib Shaw’s Reinventing the Old Masters exhibition is on at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art until 28 October 2018.

Much of Shaw’s art is inspired by the Old Masters. In the photo below, you can see Lucas Cranach’s An Allegory of Melancholy on the left, and Raqib Shaw’s take in his Allegory of Melancholy.

I have to say that I was  really impressed with intricacy of the work, and colours of the enamel paints used to create the works. To illustrate this, there are two close-ups of the work below under the photo of the whole work.

The golden light streaming into the top of Kashmir Danae is dazzling.

I attending the June Drawing Room art workshop which was held in the Raqib Shaw exhibition rooms. I was so transfixed by the art, that I didn’t really concentrate of trying to create my own piece inspired by the exhibition.

The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art is open daily from 10am to 5pam. It’s free to see Raqib Shaw| Reinventing the Old Masters exhibition.

 

Liberty Art Fabric & Fashion exhibition at Dovecoat Studios

The Liberty Art Fabric & Fashion exhibition at the Dovecoat Studios runs until 12 January 2019.

I love fabrics, which is one of the reasons that I enjoying creating collages. I was really looking forward to seeing the Liberty Art Fabric & Fashion exhibition, and I was not disappointed.

I loved the Liberty fabric shoes.

The embroidery on the Art Nouveau style dresses was beautiful.

Admission prices are £9 for adults, £7 for students and unwaged, under 16s are free (but must be accompanied by an adult). Dovecoat Studios is open daily from 10.30 to 5.30pm during August. For the rest of the exhibition, the studios are closed on Sundays.