Art in the most unexpected of places…
I pop into Trongate 103 during my lunch break for some cultural sustenance and discover Blueprint 2013. The exhibition makes links between the alternative photographic processes and fine art photographic printmaking.
I’m not entirely sure what’s going on but I explore anyhow, freely roaming from the foyer into the Glasgow Print Studio (top floor) and on to Streetlevel Photoworks.
It feels quite luxurious being able to journey from one place to the next, discovering different layers of Blueprint’s seven different exhibitions.
There are technical drawings giving insight into how photos and prints are constructed, traditional blueprints revealing the inner workings of everything from locomotives to dressmaker dummies – and other images that deconstruct nature, people and objects.
Not so ordinary
Colin Gray’s scanned images are definitely my favourite. His images delve beneath the surface of- in some cases – some pretty ordinary objects that are transformed through this new view.
Alexander Hamilton’s camera-less photography is also pretty fab, taking inspiration from the natural world – plants meet sunlight. True to name, I was totally absorbed in his ‘contemplative work of art’.
Blueprint reaches out beyond Trongate 103 to lectures, demos and exhibitions also happening at locations across Glasgow like the Glasgow Museum Resource Centre, Riverside Museum and the Hidden Lane Gallery.
It’s only on till the end of February – so be quick and enjoy this captivating experience for yourself.
Even though Glasgow enjoys a good blether, it sometimes keeps a few secrets. Good secrets. Wonderful hideaways appearing where you least expect them. Revelations like Brutti Compadres tucked away off Virginia Street – a hidden gem reminiscent of the perfect holiday bar, minus any sand between the toes.
Small, chic and inviting
Like its sister bar – the Brunswick Hotel’s bustling Brutti Ma Buoni – Compadres boasts good food and fabulous friendly staff.
It’s small, chic, inviting and just happens to offer a tasty tapas-inspired dishes along with a slew of other hearty choices. Mixing and matching is a must, so bring a few friends.
Prawns of all dispositions
Their charming name suggests these ‘ugly mates’ have a good sense of humour. And whether you like your prawns peaceful or angry, their eclectic menu has it covered. Their many varieties of Brutti bread are definitely one of my favourite treats. Really it’s all good and exceptionally reasonable; some small plates start at a mere £2.45.
The sun’s finally returned to Glasgow and the days are getting longer, making Compadres’ fantastic courtyard the ideal place to catch up with friends (ugly or otherwise) and soak up any sunshine. And if the rain returns, enjoy the warm glow of the cosy bar inside.
The secret is officially out – so get yourself to the little escape on Virginia Court and enjoy holiday-inspired fun quite literally in your back yard. Sun optional, prosecco a must.
Delish is the order of the day at Delizique…
Admittedly winter blahs make me feel blue. But I manage to shake it all off with a shot of Indigo – a wonderful boutique hotel in the city-centre.
Fluffy bathrobe bliss
Indigo’s vibrant surroundings instantly pick-me-up and their friendly, welcoming staff make the entire experience that much more perfect. But sometimes it’s the little things that impress the most – and the slippers and fluffy bathrobes awaiting us in our room are quite simply divine.
Cheaper than a full-blown sun holiday abroad, but still able to brighten my day – it’s the perfect winter reviver.
Changing my surroundings (even slightly) works wonders – particularly if those walls are decked out in the most beautiful wallpaper and that room just happens to have a stocked complimentary mini-bar.
Be my blue valentine
And Indigo obviously like a romantic because their V-day (£149) deal includes champagne on arrival in your room and a three-course meal in their Limelight Bar & Grill, conveniently located downstairs.
Winter is cold. Nights are long. So go on, banish those blues and treat yourself!
Enjoy a little West End wonder…
The Glasgow youth film festival surpassed itself this year; its energetic and electric 2013 programme is fantastic. In fact, unmissible.
And even if you did miss their preview of ‘Wreck it Ralph’ at their launched on 3 February, there’s still much more to discover. I’m looking forward to ‘Girl Walk All Day’– a feature length dance music video following three female dancers as they jump, leap and dance their way around New York City.
Dancers, DJs and Tigers – oh my
The final day of the GYFF ends with a bang with this amazing film on 13 February – but it’s no ordinary screening. For one, they’re taking it outside. At 6pm the River Clyde Embankment (by the tiger mural) will be transformed to an interactive extravaganza where dancers, DJ’s and projections of ‘Girl Walk All Day’ await you.
Something for every taste, every age
Anime fans will be thrilled by GYFF’s offering of films including the latest by Hayao Miyazaki ‘From Up On Poppy Hill’ and the premiere of a top-secret anime, still yet to be revealed.
And if anime isn’t your thing, there are heaps of other films to choose from – comedy classics like ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day off’ to the satirical Dutch film ‘The Deflowering of Eva Van End’. Or there’s still time check out some of the many shorts during the Glasgow Short Film Festival (7-10 February) covering heavy-hitting subjects like trafficking in Roadkill to the creativity of an inspirational 84-year-old graffiti artist.
And don’t forget to check out the Glasgow Film Festival’s extensive programme kicking off 14 February.
So much to see – so don’t miss out on this magical month of film.
In this baltic weather, it’s hard to imagine sweating profusely. But that’s exactly what I’m doing… at Bikram yoga.
And if you’re thinking calm, ease and stillness, you couldn’t be more wrong. This is serious stuff. This is mind sharpening, body strengthening yoga done in an oven at 42 c.
There’s no prolonged meditation, no mantras and no rest for the weary because over the course of the next hour-and-a-half it’s 26-postures in almost continual-flow. And once isn’t enough – we do each posture (asana) twice.
Stretch, pull and sweat – a lot
I stretch my mind, pull my body and sweat like never before. Because in this extreme heat even the most refined lotus flower is gonna to sweat uncontrollably. Fortunately no one cares – in fact we’re all in this encounter together.
It’s all-over good for you
And just why would you do this? Well, it’s good for you. In addition to an all-over body workout, Bikram also works your cardiovascular system and internal organs. Yes, it’s intense. It’s challenging. But it’s also extremely energising – in fact I feel great.
If I could bottle the utter joy, sense of accomplishment and well-being I feel at the end of each class, I would. But I can’t so I’ll be back to (literally) extend my bliss. Their 20 days unlimited classes for £20 introductory pass is a great way to try it out. Classes run throughout the day and are for all levels.
So go on, get out of the cold and into the heat – boost your body, mind and soul.
Take a wee moment. Appreciate and admire…
I’ve been wondering past the glass doors for months before I finally realise it’s the entrance to the Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery. And so I decide it’s time to take a peek.
Wandering and discovering
Inside I find an eclectic selection of art, but it’s the Nomadic Landmass drawing by Stevn Klint that initially charms me.
It’s a vast geological line drawing with so much detail – it’s almost difficult to imagine the work and energy that’s gone into this impressive large scale pencil sketch.
The striking portrait of Fraulein Engelhardt by Marie-Louise von Motesickzy is equally as mesmerising. Fraulein’s heavy lids can’t help but draw me in. In fact I’d like to meet this woman, hear her story – I bet it would be a good one.
If paintings aren’t your thing, the Hunterian also has ample collections of objects from the Bearsden’s shark to a Chinese map of the world… and then some. Whatever your taste, the family of china skulls decorated with blue sailing ships is a must-see.
Discover art across the eras
Impressively, the gallery houses the world’s largest permanent display of the work of James McNeill Whistler, the largest single holding of the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the Mackintosh House – including reassembled interiors from his Glasgow home. Impressive and unmissable.
Scottish Art from 1750 to 1960 is also on display – so you can pick your favourite era. Post-war artist Joan Eardley is definitely mine. Her love affair with Glasgow, captured in her words and paintings, is reason enough to pay this gallery a visit.
So get yourself through those glass doors and discover the magic.