This year has gone so fast and a helluva lot has happened. A mixture of good and bad but got through it mostly in one piece. Kinda glad it is nearly over and looking forward to a new year and new opportunities.
After the madness of Mother's Ruin and making giant cardboard constructions in Glasgow Green on one of my other jobs with UZ Arts, I got commissioned to build a box. Not just any old box but a travelling exhibition box that would celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Touring Network, Highlands and Islands. The brief was to create a durable, interactive box or case that would illustrate stories collected over the previous months. Two film makers, Beth Chalmers and Jassy Earl, filmed folk sharing their own memories of shows, exhibitions and live events across the Highlands and Islands. After a bit of contemplation and inspiration from illustrations from the birthday card by Rosie Cunningham, I came up with this...
A big black and blue and wallpapered box with story doors, magnetic map and chess pieces. The films Beth and Jassy made are showing in the iPad mounted in the white case. The reviews so far have come in favourably and it's started its first gig of the tour circling Skye. Not sure where else it's going but it will be touring over the coming months.
Otherwise I've just returned from 2 weeks in Abu Dhabi doing more LED props. A great experience and met some brilliant people. Here's the video of the show, our stuff is about 17 mins in.
Been back all of half a day and I knew I would get bored so I had booked myself some blacksmithing lessons. Always one to take a notion to do something random but practical, I googled "Blacksmithing Glasgow" and up popped The Vanguard Centre. Right in the centre of town, nestled in amongst the railway arches in Tradeston, they are a club where they do medieval sword fighting; HEMA, to give it its official abbreviation...and blacksmithing. With their little forge and workshop space they do an intro course as well as pendant classes and leather working amongst other things. Check them out if you have an interest in messing about with metal and the lovely Sam will sort you out. The excellent teaching of Paul has seen me making a coat hook, toasting fork and a bottle opener so far. Got one more session next Monday where I'll be making a letter opener. I've got coats, I have bottles, I get letters (occasionally), just need to get an open fire or a BBQ (and a garden to put it in) to use my toasting fork!
And so onward to the next exciting adventures. 2018 has been varied; devastating, exasperating, fantastic, educational and utterly exhausting but I'm looking forward to a new life in 2019 where hopefully doors will be opened, opportunities taken and things will be made!
Best of the season to every one of you and best of luck for the coming new year.
Back home now and finally putting my feet up. It's been an intense and wonderful two weeks with the brilliant folk in Riba Roja, Catalonia, Spain. The project for me began when I was visiting my friends Sarah and Chris back in April this year. They were telling me about an art project they were involved in with the local town hall; Riu d'Art. It was to be its second year calling out for public art proposals for the village. Having never written an art proposal or created any public art in my life, I really wasn't sure how to go about it but I'm so glad I did. If you ever get the opportunity to do something like this, grab it with both hands, it's a truly great experience.
My proposal was to develop my newly acquired welding skills and so I decided to create a steel sculpture. After a bit of research I found out Catalonia and Scotland share an equine national animal as well as desire to be an independent country by part of their populations. Combining these ideas, I created a chimeralike creature composed of a donkey and a unicorn. The title to the work is in Catalan, "La Sumera i l'Unicorn" (The Donkey and the Unicorn) signifying parts of the Catalan and Spanish feminine noun of both "sculpture" - "l'escultura/la escultura" and female donkey "la sumera" as well as the masculine unicorn - "l'unicorn/el unicornio". The sculpture was formed as a steel rod frame and found objects from the village, including from a recent demolition site of two houses in the village. After a good rummage I found various wheels, wire mesh and even a coffee pot that I used to fill out the sculpture. I felt in some way it will keep a part of those houses alive as part of the village. As a side note, during the demolition of the houses, they found a secret cavern. It may have been an underground cellar but they are gong to investigate it further so it will be interesting to see what history they can find in there.
A wee pictorial synopsis of the work going on during the project and the inauguration below.
I'd just like to thank all the people of the village of Riba Roja, for their welcome, kindness and enthusiasm. Thank you to Fransesc and all at the ajuntiment for all their hard work and everything they did for us. Thank you to Albert for letting me in to his workshop, letting me abuse his tools, time and space and for all his help. To Josep, Miguel and Pepe Lu for your kindness and efforts. To all at Potas and Pizza Art, thank you for feeding us so well. To the beautiful Anna and Phil who always make the world seem so light and bring so much colour, it was great getting to know you better. To the lovely Olly Hall, who brought nonsense, fun and slight danger when climbing pylons, it was wonderful meeting and getting to know you. And special thanks to Sarah and Chris who always bring such amazing happenings together. I'm so glad I know you and have experienced all these wonderful things with you. You're beautiful people.
Was pretty exhausted when I got home late on Monday night but no rest for the wicked as I had an exhibition to put up on Wednesday. Just a small one in the 13th Note, entitled "Goddesses". Thanks to Tom, wonderful framer, for giving me a hand in with frames and Hazel for helping me hang. Had a wee soft opening last night and a good catch up with loads of mates who I haven't seen in a while. Was just lovely. The exhibition is on until the end of July so plenty of time for people to go have a gander.
So that is it. All done and dusted. Sculpture in place, workshop tidied up, flown home, exhibition up and opened and now sitting on my arse doing nothing. Think I'll do this for a little while...
As I type, the rain is lashing down outside on this August afternoon and I've given up contemplating camping at a deepest, darkest Ayrshire wedding this weekend. Sleeping in the car it is... Even though it's been a pretty rubbish summer (again), I've been very busy dotting about the country in a Highland Coovan, at a summer job working for Visit Scotland, enjoying the brief sunshines we have had. It's been great seeing more of my home country and has made me want see more. Buzz word of the year is "staycations" and I think we should all do more of that.
Otherwise the other things that have taken over my life recently was a wee exhibition I organised, with the help of my pal Marcus Hislop, called Bowie at Mohair. It started as an idea to do a tribute to my favourite pop star who sadly died this year, David Bowie. We had the most amazing preview night for a pop-up weekend exhibition above Mohair barbers in Glasgow on the 5th Aug. It really couldn't have gone better. We had live music, sold a bunch of artwork, made a over £2600 for two charities (Beatson Cancer Charity and New Rhythms for Glasgow) and everyone had a brilliant time. I still keep getting compliments on how good a night it was and how much everyone thought of the exhibition. AND when are we doing the next one? Um, maybe wait a bit until I'm fully recovered.
It was blooming hard work but I'm so glad I did it; for Bowie, for the charities, for myself and for my painting as I have had a bit of a hiatus on that front recently because of everything else I've been up to. And I even sold one of my pieces at Bowie at Mohair so I'm dead chuffed with that.
The exhibition is now showing in the 13th Note (Bowie at Mohair at 13th Note) until 28th Aug so if you haven't had a chance to see this brilliant exhibition, get yourselves along now!
I'll be hanging up my Coo wrangling reins at the end of the month to start a new college course. In September, I'm embarking on a two year HND in Model making for the Creative Industries to really hit this prop making thing head on. It'll take a bit of getting used to being a student again but I fully intend to take advantage of my student discount wherever I go! So, be prepared for more model making nonsense from now on.
Ooft, its been a busy last 6 months! Between doing the day job (booooo!), prop making, scenery building, zombie movie set dressing, course preparing, mural painting and exhibition organising I don't know quite how I'm still alive. It's all a blast really and wouldn't want it any other way.
Yes, so we got the 4 murals finished at the Princes Royal Maternity Transitional Care Unit. All the staff, patients and visitors thought it was all brilliant which was exactly what we had hoped for. So chuffed to be a part of it and to make a little difference in people's lives, especially when they are going through a stressful time. These rooms are designated for use by parents and the siblings of premature babies who are on the last stop before home. They used to be your regular sterile looking hospital rooms but thanks to Cheryl at Team Lewis and artist Karen Bonella, together with Rebecca Scott, Linzi Fergusson and Annmarie Devlin, we made them just the little bit cosier. Glad to be a part of the project.
Next up is all my set building, prop making and light installing. Sure been busy but I've help out on making a puppet show, made Voodoo skull headdress for a trumpet player, a glittering snake for a sousaphone, a 6m high cardboard clock tower, some fish fins and soon to make giant beard for Mohair the Barbers. Phew! Exciting times. Long may they continue!
And you'll be finally up to date with this ridiculous idea I had to put on an art and music extravaganza in tribute to my favourite rock star after he died earlier this year, David Bowie.
A long time ago I was mesmerised by the ethereal creature I saw on the big screen on my 11th birthday. It turned out to be Mr David Bowie playing Jareth, the Goblin King, in the best film ever (yes, it is, shut up), Jim Henson's Labyrinth Movie. That film has a lot to answer for but it mostly started my big love for the Starman and when I realised that David Bowie was a rock star too, after hearing Ziggy Stardust on the radio, I was hooked. His death to me, and to many others, was understandably an incredibly sad day.
On that day, I decided I wanted to do something to celebrate the one constant in my life. So up came the idea of getting my artist friends to make Bowie Art and for my music friends to make Bowie Music. Together with my fellow artist and friend, Marcus Hislop (AKA The Notorious Gasoline Company) we set to work to make Bowie at Mohair a reality and after Tony at Mohair Barbers generously offered his upstairs as a venue, we knew this was really going to happen.
It's not only about the art and music though. I've got two charities involved, the Beatson Cancer Charity and local community music charity New Rhythms for Glasgow who both do amazing work of the people of Glasgow and beyond. 50% of all sales as well as donations and raffle proceeds, will go to the charities.
Preview night Friday 5th Aug, exhibition 5th-7th Aug
We have over a dozen artists showing their Bowie inspired work, 6 bands playing Bowie tunes, Bowie face painting and a raffle that will even have some Bowie inspired prizes. All in one night! The exhibition will run over the weekend and any unsold works will be hung at the nearby 13th Note for the rest of the month. It's going to a cracker of a night and a cracker of a show. So get your red shoes on and get dancing'!!!
You can get more details here on the FB event page.
A big weird one is called for on this very chilly Sunday night.
Who wants a bargain? Just in time for Xmas....artwork auction sale.
Collection or delivery available within Glasgow otherwise courier charge for further afield. Happy bidding. Give an artist a happy xmas.
Post an offer on my FB event page or send me a direct message.
Please feel free to share.
"In these arms", acrylic on canvas, 30" x 58" triptych - framed
Starting bid of £400.00 (original price £700.00)
Yes, there's going to be a new gallery space in town. Specifically, in Renfield Street right round the Drury Street Bar & Kitchen and owned by the same folks. It's a great, bright split-level space in the centre of Glasgow. The Opening Show, curated by artists Jeff Edwards and Jenny Robertson, will have a great mix of painting, photography, drawing as well as sculpture and glass. I personally have three pieces that will be on show and hope you can come along for the opening night reception on Friday 2nd October, 6-10pm. If you can't make it Friday, don't worry, it's on for the whole month of October with a planned liberal sprinkling of artist talks and music events throughout the month.
I'll be doing my wee share of invigilating so do drop in and say hello. Also contemplating doing a talk so I better get my thinking cap on for what to say if I decide to do it and the slots haven't been all taken up!
Here's the link to Facebook event with all the details you could possibly desire...
Ah well, no rudeness really but hopefully the title got you intrigued, haha! The collaboration I speak of is the latest arty adventure I've been up to, "AUTOMISTIC". In the last few weeks I joined forces with my friend and textile designer Lynsey Cosham, in a drawing frenzy. We decided to make some site specific work, inspired by our own existing works, for the wall of the 13th Note's exhibition area and have produced 3 large drawings. The exhibition will show these works as well as some smaller ones.
The creation of these large drawings was influenced by the Surrealist automatic drawing technique where the artist's chosen medium is moved by the "spirit" (or whatever else affecting!) in an unconscious manner. The resultant drawing is essentially a large squiggle but eventually forms and shapes come about. These shapes are recognised in a much more conscious state of course but it makes for a very exciting process as there is no way of knowing what will be the result. Automatic drawing (Automatism) was pioneered by French artist Andre Masson who said that his "'automatic' imagery involved a two-fold process of unconscious and conscious activity...". We also took inspiration from Catalan Surrealist artist Joan Miró as well as a healthy amount of humour and tongue in cheek.
It's pretty different to my normal fare so you can judge for yourselves what to make of it; we certainly had fun producing it. We hope you can join us for our opening on Monday 16th March from 7.30pm. The exhibition will be up for two weeks until the 29th March. Facebook event to check out here.øo
Well, the Curves exhibition at The Thistle Gallery went extremely well for me. I am delighted to say that I sold all four paintings I had on show with major thanks to Carol Dunbar and her team. The Thistle Gallery is a lovely space and I'm looking forward to showing there again.
Next month I'll be showing work at the 13th Note again and planning to collaborate on some work with my good friend Lynsey Cosham so expect something a little bit different. Stay tuned for that, more details to follow.
Also been doing the 28 Drawings Later: February Drawing Challenge again this year. It's a Facebook happening where loads of people draw something every day of February and post it up on the group. I did it in 2012 and at the end we had an exhibition of all the works in the Old Hairdressers in Glasgow. People from all over the UK and even quite a few internationals have taken part over the last few years. It's a great way to get you drawing and to see all the wonderful works everyone posts. It's open to absolutely anyone regardless of ability, it's a great project and run entirely by volunteers. Not sure whether there will be an exhibition for this year but I'll let you know as soon as I do. You can see my album of drawings here.
Thanks to everyone who has shown me support, encouragement and interest in my work. Couldn't do it without you.
Latest offerings from our regular Glasgow group of artists hanging in Broadcast will be on the walls from Thursday night this week from 7pm. Come and join us for a wee drink to celebrate the opening. I've got two paintings and a drawing in. Curated by excellent photographer, Jeff Edwards, the theme this time is "Through the Looking Glass" (click here for more info) so expect some weird and wonderful things.
If you can't make the opening, never fear, as ever it's on for 2 months so plenty of time to pop in, grab a beer and maybe a lovely burger or pizza from Broadcast's great menu. Hope to see you there.
New exhibition opening in Broadcast on Friday night. It's going to be all photography this time. Entitled "Glasgow Obscura", we have the photographic talents of the Toon joining forces to illustrate the place in our own special way. Me, I rifled through a few old negs and set out and about the city with my trusty old D50. Not my usual subject matter but safe to say I got some snaps of some burds and they totally have no clothes on. So if you want a bit of titillation of the photographic senses get yourself to Broadcast in Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow. Curated as always by the marvellous Mrs Bones. Opening night is Friday 10th Oct from 8pm, on for two months.
Other things happening is that I am going to leave my wee studio in West Regent Street this weekend. It's been great having the space but as my flatmate is away for a while I thought I'd take the opportunity to take over the place and in turn save some pennies. So though I'll be without an outside studio premises I'll still be available for commissions and all sorts (within reason, I'm a respectable girl y'know...well most of the time). You can still see the nonsense I'm up to on here and on my Facebook art page. That's assuming you're on FB and have 'liked' it....what am I saying?? of course you have.... *arched eyebrow..... You know what to do.
Jennifer Kilgour is an artist and maker specialising in model making, sculpture, painting and drawing.
She also loves making other things like wee animations (trained in that and everything), small coffee tables (singular) and walking the family dog in the woods.