I may have already mentioned that the Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art seemed a bit opaque to me – I kept reading descriptions of shows and events and not actually understanding what they were! Art is not really my thing, knowledge-wise.
So I was glad to join a SPIN-off tour on Monday that took me round several of the venues, made sure I didn’t get lost and gave me some explanations. It was a rather substantial walking tour, lasting 4 hours!
We started at the Common Guild with a really interesting photographic exhibition by Wolfgang Tillmans. It’s on till 23rd June, and the Common Guild is also a great space (and you can use their library, and they’ll make you a cuppa if you ask nicely). I particularly liked the giant photo at the top of the stairwell, and a lovely small picture of layers of urban decay.
At Kelvingrove, we didn’t have much time to see the exhibition of Richard Wright’s work on paper. It’s also on for a while, but even though time was really short I’d have preferred to look around more rather than have the talk that we had.
Then on to the space at SkyPark, which I would definitely have struggled to find by myself (although my dad works there sometimes so I might have got some hints.) I really loved the industrial space and it was very interesting to find out about the challenges of a space where you’re not allowed to use the walls! This was a joint exhibition between Scottish and Greek artists, with quite a variety of work.
The Art Lending Library at the Mitchell Library is an amazing idea and I’m really hoping it might come somewhere local to me one day! The idea is simple – you can borrow works of art to have in your home for a couple of days. The higgledy-piggledy display space (which also works as boxes for dispatching the works) is fabulous.
Again, not much time at the Rob Kennedy at the CCA, but it’s there for a while. I did like the video of the man falling up the stairs. And the ping-pong table. And the Sickert.
And the highlight for me was the Folkert de Jong exhibition at the School of Art. I’d seen some photos of the sculptures but I didn’t really understand what they were. Turns out the sculptor had used pictures of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Margaret MacDonald Mackintosh and their crowd – lovely, casual photographs – to capture their style and then transformed them into something thoroughly modern with the use of modern materials (polyurethane foam) and extraordinary colours. I absolutely loved them.
I wish I had taken more and better photos, but there’s a great Flickr set available here.
It was a long tour, and probably an hour shorter would have worked well for me and the people I went with (although my dad was only embarrassing once, which might be a record for 4 hours of anything, let alone modern art!) However, I’m glad that I did manage to see something of this year’s festival!