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.
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.
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.
The opening night for my 13th Note show is coming soon. Next Monday in fact. So if you'd like to join me for a wee tipple from 8.30pm on the 1st September, I'd be most joyous to see you. The Note is situated in King Street, Glasgow for those not in the know. I have a natty little Facebook event that you can invite yourselves to if you're not already there. It won't be a late one for me though as I'll be getting up at silly o'clock on Tuesday morning to get to the Prestwick airport because I'm off to the wilds of Catalonia.
My pals Sarah and Chris, who I met during my art adventure in Cyprus in 2006/7, have settled in a little valley near Riba Roja d'Ebre in Catalonia, Spain. Catalonia is fiercely proud of its heritage and has been campaigning, much like Scotland, for independence from the rest of Spain so it will be interesting to see if I get questions about our Referendum. However, I'm not going over there to talk politics, I'm going over to help out and take photos for their wee music and arts festival Riba Rocks happening 5-7th Sept. I missed their inaugural year last year so I was determined not to miss this one. There will be musicians and artists coming from the UK as well as local bands and DJs. I just hope I can do it justice, photographically speaking.
Well, enough of this blethering, better go walk the dog. She's giving me the look. Hasta la vista baby!
I'm going to be hawking my wares on Sauchiehall Street tomorrow (Tuesday 29th July) at Art on Scotland's art stalls opposite the Tesco. I'm selling framed and mounted prints and greetings cards of my paintings and drawings so come and visit me between 10 am and 7pm. Bringing me coffee and cake is optional but highly appreciated.
It's official, all my pals will be bored of me saying this but, did you know I have an exhibition coming up from next week? Well why yes, yes I do indeed. Starting with the jolly little gathering of an opening on Wednesday 2nd July (7-9pm), my work will be exhibited at the Good Spirits Co. in Bath Street, Glasgow until the 9th August.
It will encompass basically most things I have to show from drawings from my "Drawing a Day" project I did for a whole year from February 2011 to January 2012 to my paintings of portraits, figures and my weird illustrative imagery. The show will be open to the public every day. I would highly recommend you have a good perusal around the Good Spirits Co. shop, they hold just about every spirit you can think of and they sure know a thing or two about it. I would like to give big thanks to Mark, Matt and Shane for giving me the opportunity to show my work in their premises.
I'm really looking forward to the opening and hope you can join me for a chat and a wee look-see. There will even be a glass of wine in it for you. All originals will be available for purchase as well as mounted prints. If you can't make the opening, dinae fret, it'll be on for 6 weeks.
You can check out the FB event here for more details.
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.