Category Archives: Exhibitions

Join in the Virginia Gallery Jubilation

Virginia gallery, GlasgowGlasgow is a maze of side streets and hidden gems – and the Virginia Gallery is a real find.

Under the exotic boutique Luke & Jack  the 18+ venue specialises in and celebrates erotic art.   But if you’re thinking smut – don’t be so prudish.

This wonderful little gallery showcases  intriguing and interesting works that other galleries might shy away from – and has thankfully taken root and flourished.

Regal, raunchy, wonderful queens

Whatever you think about Queen Elizabeth II, Virginia’s latest exhibit 60 years, 60 Artists is definitely worth a look.  It showcases the  talents and interpretations of 60 artists for the Queen’s 60 year reign.  Themed on ‘queen’ in all its many facets – works are daring and dynamic.  Some like the much-hyped crowned nude porn star Le Majestié d’Issac Jones stirs obvious controversy – but there’s others that create a much deeper impression.

A stitch in time for Queen Quentin

Julie Robertson's Quentin Crisp cross-stitchThe queen theme has inspired a variety of eclectic images of the flamboyant  writer Quentin Crisp, portrayed with flair and depth in cross-stitch by artist Julie Robertson – icecream delight without a single calorie.

Another favourite is artist Yiannis Roussakis’ life size image of a regal Edwardian looking Queen (history’s not my strong point) in a London Underground tunnel for the Jubilee Line.  The contrast between the two worlds is truly memorable – a perfect fusion of the Matrix and Doctor Who.

Go on, be amused

This imaginative and inspiring exhibition looks at queens from a variety of thought provoking angles – some that just might make you smile.  On until the 30 June, it’s is not to be missed.

The Virginia Gallery is a wonderful space with an ever growing programme of events.   I can’t wait to see what they’ll have in store for the Merchant City Festival and Glasgay. Watch that space.

– B

February 29 – seize the (extra) day

Celebrate the people in your life, not fanfare and fandangos but time together – that’s what I’ll do with my precious extra day on 29 February.

Leap into something new

I’ll explore places I wouldn’t normally be drawn to like A1 Comics , a cavernous shop on Parnie Street full-to-the-brim with poseable action figures whose names I can’t pronounce and comics boasting  impossible, impractical busty women. My sons will check out the merchandise and admire the helpful staff who are old and cool enough to impress my eight and 11 year old.

Eat to your heart’s delight

Delicious cakes at Carluccio'sThen I’ll slip away from the dusty comic cavern to the fresh, bright lights of the recently opened Carluccios for lunch with friends.

There I’ll rejuvenate my soul with a glass or two of prosecco and choose from a fantastic selection of Italian dishes prepared to perfection.  Not forgetting to wander round the delicatessen to buy enormous, delicious cakes for later on.

Savour time with those you love most

Camera at Merchant City Camera ShopThe afternoon will leisurely unfold in the comforts of the company of my wonderful man and an exhibition at GoMA – followed by a poke around the Merchant City Camera shop . This wonderful wee shop has an impressive collection of camera equipment and beautiful vintage cameras, some that need a little coaxing to create pictures – but magical none-the-less.

Whatever you do – don’t cook!

The evening will bring friends and family together over food, memories and drink.  And Mother India take-away means fuss-free flavourful delights in the cosy comforts of home.

An extra day to savour and enjoy time with the people you love; there is nothing better.  The 29 February only comes once every four years so make the most of it  and do something different, delicious and delightful.

– B

Silent Sunday – 19 February

See paper in a new light at the Print Studio

Resonance - Jacki Parry at Print studio, Glasgow

Sharmanka: a unique vision worth seeing

Enter if you dare….

The lights are dim, haunting music plays;  I’m surrounded by machines and consumed by a slightly uneasy feeling of eeriness.

Horned creature at SharmankaI have no idea what to expect at Sharmanka Kinetic Theatre at Trongate 103.   The exhibition is a  mixture of sculptures that combine bizarre carvings of animals and distorted human figures with pieces of scrap.

Frankenstein meets Bambi

Monkeys, rats and skulls nestle amongst kitchen utensils, assorted wheels and sewing machines.  Unusual – creepy even.  But the end result is hugely intriguing – especially when you consider when and how the sculptures were built.

Living under the Communist Regime – the work was created by Russian Eduard Bersudksy.  In his one room apartment he crafted a unique and bold vision that bravely fell outside the realms of art at that time.

Do stay for the show!

Sharmanka  at Trongate 103You can wander around the exhibits for free – or for a mere £5 you can experience Sharmanka in all its glory by watching the incredible 40 minute show (free for kids with accompanying adult).

Trust me and stay for the show; it brings the sculptures to life; the magical story unfolds before your eyes.  Light and sound stir your emotions as the glaring red eyes of a miniature cheetah swinging on trapeze holds your gaze.  It will certainly stay with me a while.

The Nickodym and the Forget Me Not Russian Troika are among my favourite sculptures.  But you must see it to believe it.

Words are not enough.

-B

Resolve to discover the new, not abandon the old

It’s dark, it’s cold and the last of your festive cheer has possibly disappeared with your hangover.

2012 quickly approaches and the time has come to make resolutions to be abandoned with gusto.  But this New Years instead of giving up supposed bad habits, why don’t you choose a new year’s resolution of discovery.

Glasgow is overflowing with culture and entertainment – and even better, much of it is free. So even if Christmas has left you waiting for your next pay, there’s no excuse not to see what’s on in Glasgow in 2012.

Trongate 103

Sharmanka Kinetic Theatre at Trongate 103A lively arts hub in the city centre, Trongate 103 holds free events on the first Thursday of every month.  Ranging from film screenings to exhibitions, drama to music from professionals to community members, there’s something for everyone.

Earlier this month I went to the amazing Project Ability exhibition where I was lucky enough to meet the artist and saw a performance of GIRL taking place in a photographic gallery.  It’s a wonderful adventure, you don’t know what the event is going to be like until you are in it, so take a risk and discover something sensational.

GoMA

If you fancy something more highbrow, then the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) hosts a Creative Exchange on the last Thursday of the month. Of course you can be daring an do both.

Explore Glasgow’s museums for free!

Alternatively Glasgow offers loads of free museums, great for adults and kids.  There’s the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, architectural magnificence with storytelling for children on a Saturday morning.

And don’t underestimate the attraction of modern art for kids, at the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) my boys could stare at things for far longer than me.  The apparent lack of rules of interpretation work and fascinate.

Check out the newly opened Riverside Museum of Transport and Travel featuring the fantastic Flying Scotsman with his specially designed bikes – may look a little bizarre but world records can’t be wrong.

The Southside’s impressive Burrell Collection is set in beautiful grounds with a great play park. And inside there’s hours of exploring to discover with over 1200  collections, 3000 images and a wonderful café to rest tired feet and refuel in.

Discover the People’s Palace on Glasgow Green boasting Billy Connolly’s banana shoes and the best park nearby with enclosed tubular slides.

So bundle yourself up and make grabbing a bit of free culture your New Year’s resolution.  You’ll be glad you did.

– B

AC/DC Factor

My sons have recently started to become interested in music.  And from the time they could talk, X Factor has been a viable path to fame.  But it’s time to counteract this fabricated notion of music.  And so we set off for the AC/DC  exhibition at the Kelvingrove.

It seems appropriate that Brian, Malcolm, Angus and the boys are taking up residence in the dark basement – their posters, programmes, album covers and personal letters cover the walls.  And yet this vault of memorabilia isn’t dark at all.  It’s buzzing with activity – their essence so strong you can almost smell them.  My boys are instantly transfixed by interviews and music glaring back from various TV screens, headphones clamped firmly to their ears. 

AC/DC Banner at KelvingroveAround us long-haired fans with leather jackets enjoy moments of their own.  A tribute wall covered in red messages: “ACDC shared my 40th birthday before I got MS, best day of my life”, “Highway to Glasgow” and “ACDC rock” to name but a few.  More than three decades onward, these rockers still evoke such passion from their fans.  The difference between legends and fleeting celebrity I suppose.

Music rocking and screaming its way into existence

Mouths ajar my boys watch the screen as AC/DC belts out Highway to Hell  from a 10 foot high wall to thousands.  The sound blasts out – and there’s nothing contrived here.  There is only raw energy, long hair, rangy bodies and passion stomping across the stage.  This music comes from people, not produced, styled and groomed but rocking and screaming its way into existence.

We leave the exhibition returning to the reality of the outdoors, eyes blinking in the light.  The boys loved it –  and so did I.  I remember when music meant something to me, and how I lived life through the songs I listened to.  I hope my boys will do the same.  

Admittedly they aren’t rock fans (yet) but the point is you don’t have to be to appreciate this amazing tribute to a group that have been raising hell and wowing the world for over three decades. 

Not to be missed!

And although AC/DC don’t have plans to stop anytime soon – the exhibit eventually will and is around till 12 February 2012.  It’s well worth the 2 quid ticket – so make sure you welcome your comrades home – AC/DC were of course formed by the Young brothers, Glasgow-born Australians.

– B