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.
The only thing missing at the moment is an ice cold mojito. Lying by the Riba Roja d'Ebre local outdoor swimming pool (in the shade) I am trying to contemplate the words for this blog entry my Rui d'Art project adventure. I have had a full day of welding already, starting at 7.30am to get the coolest part of the day. Have managed to get the tail and most of the torso together. Albert gave me a good refresher and tips throughout. He tells me he has been welding since a small boy. When all the other kids were out playing he was welding and soldering so he is a master of the art. My welds have been fairly successful. As I have only had some weeks of an evening class welding experience, I knew I probably wouldn't find it too easy at first but, as Albert says, once I've done 300 I'll be perfect. I do hope so. I'll lose some welding time to the weekend so that gives me 5 complete days to finish. However that also includes the installation. Once I get to head (the most intricate part) I'm sure I'll be storming through it.
I have been known to be impulsive on occasion, not often but sometimes. It's at times like these that I start to think, why on Earth have I decided to do a time limited big project, in a country I don't know the language, making something using a technique and materials I'm barely familiar with? But then I think it's because I love it. Making things has always been me. I've always loved learning new things too. So what if I'm not sure what I'm doing, I'll make damn sure I produce something. Something I'm proud of and learn a lot along the way. That's the thing about art and creation. Unless you're producing something that has a specific function that requires precision and expertise like a building; art is organic, changeable, it can also be functional but it doesn't need to be. So as the artist, I can produce anything I like. If it's different to what I set out do, well, that's my prerogative. So many people are good at bullshitting and selling the audience the idea that that was what they wanted all along. Me, I'm no good at bullshitting, I'll apologise for something before it's happened (very Scottish) but the working with and adapting with how a project moves is the only way to avoid insanity. I have a split in myself between perfection, precision and the aforementioned spontaneity that includes going with the flow. It definitely helps with any frustrations. In saying all this, I am planning to get the project done as I had intended. This is just my disclaimer. A must for everyone.
But back to the pool. It's not very busy but there are a bunch of kids playing in the pool and there are some adults sunbathing and chilling. There is a mixture of Spanish/ Catalan and English voices. There is a steady amount of English ex-pats here and they all seem fairly well integrated. It will be interesting to see what the next episode of the Brexit saga holds for them.
I haven't been in the pool yet but wanting to leave the inticing cool waters until I am thoroughly drenched in sweat on this sun lounger. The sun is moving round making the edge of the shade inch closer to my ever so pale body. Sweating is part of the deal here. Rehydrating is a must so I constantly have a big bottle of water wherever I go. I sweated so much this morning the dye of my headscarf that was acting as a sweat soaker upper stained my forehead blue. I think I got it all off.
So meeting Oliver, the next artist to arrive, this evening, then dinner and the Devils. Quite a full day.
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.
FLASH SALE by name, FLASH SALE by nature.
I've still got too many pictures that I can't fit on my walls...who wants a bargain? Just in time for Xmas....
I'm going to put up a few drawings and paintings that need a good home. I will have a reserve price on each but make me an offer. I'll put work up every couple of days. Collection or delivery available within Glasgow otherwise courier charge for further afield.
Happy bidding. Give an artist a happy xmas.
Click on the image below to go to the FB page image and post an offer below the work or send me a direct message.
Please feel free to share.
"Definitive answer", pencil on paper, 50 x 70cm - framed
Starting bid of £50 (original price £200.00)
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.