Jim Lambie at GoMA

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‘Forever Changes’, Jim Lambie

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As well as visiting Kelvingrove at the weekend, we also visited the Gallery of Modern Art – or as it’s known in art slang – GoMA. There was an interesting collection of work on display, some that appealed to me, some that did not. The mix included well known art world names such as Karla Black, David Shrigley, Claire Barclay and of course Jim Lambie to name but a few. Yet a name is not everything as I felt some pieces really did not belong or were misplaced within this gallery setting. Particularly when set against the backdrop of another work. Frankly, anything alongside this exciting piece by Lambie took a backseat for me! I have a real thing for colour at the moment. I don’t know if it’s all the Colour Talks I’ve been attending in uni which are led by my friend and course mate, or if it’s just that I haven’t properly painted in so long I’m starting to yearn for physical colour again. Probably a mix of the two.

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Either way, the colour and apparent clumsiness of this piece instantly appealed to me. What appears as a cluttered and chaotic arrangement of useless half-chairs, is in fact a highly considered and contemplated arrangement. As Eva Hesse would say, “it’s chaos structured as non-chaos”. It’s almost like something Alice would find in Wonderland. There is no sense of guidance for the eye to travel over, it is merely left to its own devices in registering and comprehending the work.

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I thought the mirrored handbags were a fantastic addition to what was already a very exciting work. I have not researched the work, but I wonder if they are a commentary on our commercial and self-absorbed society. After all, women (and men) spend hundreds on an item used simply to carry other items. Then there is the addition of mosaic mirrors which allow us as viewers to view our own reflections. I am simply contemplating here but this was my interpretation of the piece. I may be entirely wrong and be taking far too obvious a reading from it. Either way however, Lambie is an artist I will definitely be looking into more following this absorbing experience!

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Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow

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So over the weekend I was in Glasgow, which was fantastic. The trip was a mix of partying, seeing friends, seeing Deadpool and seeing Glasgow. A lovely trip away! We were really lucky with the weather on the Sunday when we went to Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. There was even some Scottish sunshine to be seen! It made the Kelvingrove building look even more stunning with the red brick against the backdrop of a beautiful blue sky. It really reminded me of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam – oh to go back there!

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The architecture of Kelvingrove could not have been more intricate and visually captivating. I couldn’t help but gasp as I walked in. The space and size of it all was incredible and the way the light fell through the windows only heightened my sense of awe. The building underwent a £27.9million refurbishment a few years back, as it has been in existence and open to the public as a Museum since 1901. So obviously a bit of an update was necessary and wow, what a good job they did!

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As well as being totally blown away by the building, I was also amazed by the breadth of  items on display. There are 22 themed galleries with 8000 objects. The collections are extensive and a real mix ranging from Ancient Egypt, to Arms and Armour, to Scottish History and Archeology, to Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the Glasgow Style, to Scottish Art, to Dutch Masters including Van Gogh and Rembrandt – the list goes on forever!

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There was just so much to see, once you got to the end of one section, a whole new one began. I traveled through Egyptian objects and dinosaur bones and animal fossils to arrive at what was unsurprisingly my favourite section; the art. There was a Salvador Dali piece, Van Gogh work, Monet – it was like being in Amsterdam again and admiring all the renowned masters. Like meeting the true artistic celebrities. There was also a collection of the Scottish Colourists, another favourite art movement of mine. Samuel J. Peploe is to me the father of the Scottish Colourists, so much so that I even have a calendar of his work (yes, I am a super art nerd!)

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As well as art there was also music, with an organ recital at 3pm which reverberated through the entire space. As it was Valentines Day there were a lot of people there and it was such a beautiful moment when the organ began and everybody stopped. It was as if time stood still for a moment before people carried on drinking their tea of looking at the map of the floor plan. The music just silenced everyone, especially in that initial moment, as if a spell of amazement had been cast on us all.

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As if there wasn’t already enough to be seen, there was also this sculpture composed of floating heads with varying facial expressions hanging from the ceiling. Light was directed at the heads to make them change colour periodically. This added a sense of serene to what were in some cases very distressed countenances. Despite this is truly was a powerful piece that captured the attention of everyone. 

On the whole this was a brilliant way to spend a day, I would absolutely recommend it to anyone visiting or in Glasgow. If you want a good day of culture, look no further than Kelvingrove!