As Light Falls Through

DSC00585

Sadly I have not been near this blog in a while – it’s been far too long and I have really missed it. It’s funny, ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’ is something I was always skeptical of, but then I have moments like this. I miss writing and reflecting on things as for me that is my quiet time; that is the time where I allow my creativity to solidify into something I can understand and convey to both myself and others through text. However, preparations and the heavy workload that comes with putting on not only a Degree Show, but also publishing the catalogue that goes alongside it have taken over for the time being. So I’ve started thinking back and reminiscing about holiday time. Over Easter I had a lovely trip with my boyfriend and his family which involved Hadrians Wall, Alnwick Gardens and the little museum town of Beamish. A perfect little getaway with some really interesting and beautiful sights! 

DSC00579

In the town of Beamish, not only was I delighted by the running trams and bustling little places such as the bakery which transported you back in time, but I was particularly taken by the colourful stained glass. Now, I think one of the reasons I love stained glass so much is because it is an art form I know very little about – the techniques and timing aspects of the process are something I have never touched on myself. This is coming from someone who has tried everything from analogue photography, to performance art, to video art, to batik ink, to oils, acrylics, watercolours, you name it! I have tested out a lot of different mediums but I am always particularly fascinated by the ones I’ve never tried. Such as marble and bronze sculpting (not that I think I have the arm strength for such techniques). I think one of the reasons glass appeals so much to me though is because there is an element of danger; that risk when manipulating molten hot glass.

DSC00578

When I was younger, I used to do ballet lessons (I hated every single one of them – tutus are not for me!) But what I did like about my lessons was they were next to the glass blowers workshop, so my mum would use that as bait to lure me to ballet class. I still remember being mesmerised by the molten glass as I nibbled on a rice cake. As a youngster I could hardly believe that a solid could become a liquid in such a beautiful but dangerous way. So when I saw these windows inside the little cottages of Beamish, I was instantly drawn in. The way light falls through and illuminates what is essentially a drawing is utterly beautiful. The contrasts between the colours and their vibrancy cast colourful shadows across the room. 

DSC00577

For me it’s inevitable that I always think of Rennie Mackintosh in relation to stained glass; the bold blocks of colour, the simplicity yet elegance of design. There’s also a kind of melancholy to the pictures, as if the depictions are a lost world trapped inside a solid frame. Working with glass is something I have always wanted to try, but I feel it’s the kind of thing you need a workshop for – and especially with my clumsiness levels a lot of protective gear too! Pottery is also something I’ve been thinking a lot about recently and I’m realising that having worked in contemporary art for almost three years now, I’m ready to take a break and maybe study or take up a new and more traditional art form. 

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow

DSC00488

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!

DSC00500

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!

DSC00503

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!

DSC00501

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!)

DSC00504

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.

DSC00508

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!