Category Archives: Exhibitions

Escape the rain and step back in time

I’m wandering through Glasgow Green on my lunch break when the sky opens up a flood so I take shelter in the People’s Palace.

Admittedly I haven’t been in years and I’ve forgotten about what a great museum it is. Up the grand wooden stairs,  I’m greeted by the Ten Commandments in pure Glaswegian.  Brilliant!

Living history, breathing life

The spirit of Glasgow dwells here.  History from 1750 to the end of the 20th century comes to life through installations, objects and voice recordings.

I wander in-and-out of different pockets of time like the Buttercup Dairy and the Anderson Bomb Shelter.   I discover  the various possessions of  the city’s most famous – Billy Connolly’s banana boots are a definite favourite.

A must-see

Refreshingly there’s no shushing curators or hands-off signs.  Kids run freely from room-to-room, pushing buttons and having fun.  In fact, they’re encouraged to test their curiosity and try things out.

People's palace tenement room, GlasgowAnd that’s what this big kid does.  My favourite installation has to be the tenement room – a tiny space that the entire family crammed into – sleeping, bathing, eating and living.   I’m suddenly very appreciative of the luxury of space in my own life.

Down pour avoided and lunch break over, I reluctantly return to the present.

Rain or shine the People’s Palace is a must-see museum.  Give it a go and discover the different areas of Glasgow life – old and new; their latest exhibition is a collection of souvenirs from the Olympic Games.

Explore and enjoy.  And do touch!

– B

Glasgow opens its doors – have a look!

What to do?  So much choice and it’s all free!  This weekend Glasgow throws open its doors and invites you to have nosy to find out what’s inside.

See what's inside the Citizens Theatre in GlasgowNow in its 23rd year, Doors Open Day (DOD)  lets you walk through the cordoned off areas of all those interesting buildings in Glasgow and discover what really happens behind the scenes.

There’s over 100 buildings to choose from – 41 walks, tours, talks and events.

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Explore GSA, discover Govanhill Baths and more

Why not take a tour of the Glasgow School of Art, normally £8.75, but totally free for DOD.  This Charles Rennie Mackintosh beauty is a working building full of unusual detail. Look out for the glass eyes on the wooden door.   To avoid disappointment, be sure to book sooner than later as spaces are limited.

Discover the Govanhill Baths – a labour of love that has been brought back to life by the strength of the community.  Local folks fought and fundraised for years to secure money to refurbish the building and restore it as a vital part of the community.  And exciting things are happening here,  in October the National Theatre of Scotland is set to perform their show Lifeguard – check it out.

At the top of my DOD list is a tour of the Glasgow Museum Resource Centre (GMRC), hugely popular, booking is essential for this one. Even though there are nine museums across Glasgow, they only house a tiny fraction of the objects in the city, the rest are stored at GMRC.  On DOD I’ll get to discover these other gems from across the globe and through centuries.  Fantastic!

Citizens theatre, GlasgowAnd there’s plenty more to explore, wander through the backstage corridors at the Citizen Theatre,  join Glasgow Women’s Library on an East End Women’s Heritage Walk and discover the stories of the women who worked in the Templeton Factory or the Suffragettes held in Duke Street Prison.

But if trekking around old buildings doesn’t appeal, why not take a 12-75 North Glasgow Arts Bus Route a unique tour of public art from the comfort of the No.75 bus.

Glasgow opens its doors  15 -16 September, so go explore.

– B

Silent Sunday – 1 July

Escape the rain and lift your spirits at the GoMA

Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow

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