Friday, 30 September 2011

I love Wigtown Book Festival!

Wigtown Harbour. Aww, look at Antony's little white paws.

I love the Wigtown Book Festival! In an ideal world I would like to stay in Wigtown for the whole ten days but sadly this year I could only manage one day away. Jill and I went last weekend and took Antony for his first taste of the book festival.

It's always difficult to take dogs out and about as so few places welcome them but we were delighted that he was allowed to join us for tea and delicious gluten free almond cakes at Reading Lasses and also for lunch at the Bladnoch Inn.

We started the day with a great informal chat by Deirdre Nelson. She talked about her residency at last year's Book Festival where she collected over 700 favourite words from festival goers. It was fascinating to hear what happened to the words and all the projects and collaborations that have resulted. Author J P Flintoff was sitting next to us and he drew pictures and wrote down snippets as Deirdre chatted, resulting in a little paper book by the end of the talk. It's creativity like this that the festival attracts and cultivates. You see it everywhere during the ten days of the festival and it's very inspiring.

Antony at Bladnoch Inn

Our afternoon talk was by David Mach. I enjoyed his current show at the City Arts Centre in Edinburgh but a lot of his talk didn't really resonate with me. We came away with lots of interesting thoughts about public art and private galleries, and went home to have an interesting debate about it over dinner that evening.

Antony in Andy Priestman's Studio

Finally we went to Andy Priestman's beautiful studio to choose work for the gallery and buy some pots. Antony looked as if he was made to pose in Andy's grey and red studio and Jill was wearing exactly the colours of one of the paintings!

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Antony @ Wigtown Book Festival

Here's some photos of my dog and gallery companion, Antony, taken by J D Andrews, who we met at Wigtown Book Festival last Sunday. Thanks for the lovely photos J D! Antony is five and a half months old now and it's a while since I posted some photos of him.

We visited the Artist In Residence at the Wigtown Book Festival, Kim Ayres who is taking portraits of festival goers but Antony was too wriggly to sit still on my knee for a portrait. Take a look at Kim's blog and Facebook page though as he's gathering quite a collection of interesting faces.

Antony has a W for Whippet on his chest!

Friday, 16 September 2011

Vault Art and Edinburgh

A weekend off meant I went to Glasgow and Edinburgh to see what's going on in these two fabulous cities.

On Friday I attended Vault Art in Glasgow's Briggait. The open panel discussion called Art, Money and Value - Artists Talking About Making A Living was an interesting and engaging debate, very well chaired by Graham Jeffery from the University of The West Of Scotland. It was a shame that a discussion about money and art didn't have commercial gallery on the panel but I did manage to make a small contribution and I think some of the points raised were so interesting that the discussion will emerge again in some form!

It was great to catch up with the two Marions from Glasgow Print Studio and then we had to rush back for Gatsby the puppy as he'd had two hours on his own, which was long enough!

Then on Sunday I finally got to see two exhibitions in Edinburgh that I had been looking forward to all summer. David Mach at The City Arts Centre and The Queen: Art and Image at The National Gallery.

Gatsby, Leo and Inga
It was a bit of a family outing as I went to Edinburgh with my brother Leo, his girlfriend Inga and Gatsby the whippet puppy.

David Mach's exhibition, Precious Light: a celebration of the King James Bible 1611-2011, is dramatic, both in scale and subject. His collages are huge and you feel yourself being pulled into all the detail, and a sense of amazement when you step back and see the pieces as a whole. It also made us all want to get a bunch of magazines and start creating collages! Very inspiring.

The Queen: Art and Image is a fascinating exhibition - I'm glad I waited until after the Festival was over as I imagine the space would have been very crowded. The piece I specifically wanted to see was the tiny oil painting by Lucian Freud. It didn't disappoint.  I was lucky enough to see a huge retrospective of Freud's work at the Pompidou Centre in Paris last year. This small painting managed to capture an amazing sense of power and was just as striking as the large scale work which I'd seen in Paris. The three dimensional holographs of The Queen by Chris Levine were quite fascinating and the little holographic postcards in the gallery shop are pretty cool too.

There are only two days left to see this exhibition - if you're in Edinburgh, go!

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Dumfries Delineated

I've yet to make it to this two-venue exhibition 'Dumfries Delineated' but I've heard nothing but good reports.

I am looking forward to David Steel's talk at Gracefield on the 21st September.

Here's a link to an article written by Jim Henderson about his grandmother Christian J Fergusson (her work is featured in the Dumfries Delineated exhibition) and published in The Scottish Review.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Antony and Rollo

Rollo and Antony
Last week we had a visit from our good friend Rollo the lurcher. Last time he'd been to the gallery Antony hadn't arrived so this was their first meeting. How gorgeous do they look together? Rollo is an elderly chap so he didn't really feel like playing. But Vicky and Simon, who live with Rollo and tend to his every need, brought Antony a great monkey rope toy which he loves prancing round the gallery with.

Antony is really lucky because he has so many nice visitors all day long in the gallery, never a dull moment!

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

New Paintings by Winifred Hodge

WINIFRED HODGE Track Through The Beeches

The weather here is distinctly Autumnal but the gallery is looking very vibrant and uplifting with the work from our current exhibition.

We have new paintings in the gallery by Winifred Hodge and this atmospheric painting of beech trees couldn't be more appropriate for the start of Autumn.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

The Magnificent Seven!

This article about our forthcoming exhibition was published last Thursday (a bit early!) in The Galloway News. If you click on the article it will enlarge so you can read it.