Thursday, 15 February 2018

Inner City

On the 15th February, members of the FoGM executive attended Glasgow’s Gallery of Modern Art at the opening of Inner City, a group exhibition by Los Angeles-based artist Michael C McMillen and Glasgow-based artists Alberta Whittle and Mitch Miller.  
Inner City explores questions about the modern city, hidden communities and cultural identity. The exhibition takes its name from its centrepiece, a multimedia installation by Michael C McMillen – an amazingly detailed and atmospheric fictional depiction of a Los Angeles slum, which is on display for the first time in 15 years. Works by Alberta Whittle and Mitch Miller bring a local context to the dialogue. The exhibition is accompanied by a programme of related artist films.  
Born in Los Angeles, Michael C McMillen is a visual artist in the very widest sense. Often overlapping, his work involves sculpture, installation, printmaking and cultural anthropology. While building his reputation as an artist McMillen created props and special effects for the film industry, with his work featuring in movies including ‘Blade Runner’ and ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’. 
Reflecting the artist’s concerns about the lack of investment in infrastructure and social care in the United States in the 1970s, Inner City is a hyperreal model of an imagined rundown area of Los Angeles. The installation, first shown at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1978, allows viewers to become immersed in the nightscape of a derelict neighbourhood, altering their sense of personal scale as they look at the miniature dystopian world. It was purchased by Glasgow Museums in 1996.  
 © CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection
Local artist Mitch Miller’s publically engaged artworks also explore hidden or forgotten communities in an attempt to make them more discernible. As a social researcher he has created an art form he named dialectogram. Often pen and ink on mounted board, Miller’s work is the process that goes into the drawing after an extended period of time working with a community. It is the relationship and connections he develops that dictate the content of the drawing. Three dialectograms depicting a community flat in Edinburgh, Clydebank Library and a bar on the Red Road Housing Estate in Glasgow feature alongside an unfinished work portraying Britain’s longest student occupation at   the University of Glasgow.  

Whittle’s practice is grounded in her Scottish-Caribbean heritage and her works reflect her interest in migrating cultures and how the culture of a multi-stranded society develops. Her videos and collage works questions postcolonial power as articulated through memory and history. Often gathering documentation from private and public performances in different site-specific locations, Whittle has developed an archive of images to transform into her collage and film work. The artist’s pieces often respond to the sea as site of labour, capitalism, surveillance and death, but also survival and the possibility for rebirth and transformation. Two digital films, three digital prints and a bronze cast are on show as part of Inner City.
Alberta Whittle and Mitch Miller will be GoMA’s Associate Artists throughout 2018. The Associate Artist programme has been made possible by generous support from the Friends of Glasgow Museums (FoGM).
Gareth James
Museum Manager ,Gallery of Modern Art and Kelvin Hall


Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Maggie Hamilton-A Forgotten Glasgow Girl

Our lecture in January 2018, was given by Joanna Meacock, Curator of British Art. She gave us a fascinating talk about this Glasgow Girl which covered not only her life as an artist  but also how she overcame the difficulties she faced in furthering her career as a female artist in the late 19th century.
An accomplished artist and embroiderer, she was the sister of an artist, James Whitelaw  Hamilton, and married an architect, A.N.Paterson ,brother of James Paterson. She was well known to the Glasgow Boys and was painted by Guthrie. Despite the demands of family life, she continued to paint and embroider and her exhibits were well received in Glasgow, Helensburgh and Edinburgh. It is thought that much of her art is in private collections.

Monday, 11 December 2017

Christmas Party

The friends Christmas party was held in the Restaurant at Kelvingrove on 11th December. As ever, we had an excellent meal in good company. Every guest went home with a present and we had the additional bonus of a discount in the shops.

Courtesy of Frances Dryburgh
Thanks to the staff in the restaurant and in the shops.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

The Wardian Case at GOMA

© CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection
If you are in Glasgow doing your Christmas Shopping, take time to visit gallery 1 at GOMA to see the work of Aaron Angell. He is a ceramicist and shows a variety of contemporary exhibits with a historical perspective. It is thought provoking.
Also on display and of interest to the Friends, is the Wardian case, a one hundred and fifty year old  fern case from the Glasgow Museums collection. Thanks to a donation from FOGM, it has been conserved and replanted.

Friday, 1 December 2017

Christmas Shopping at Hopetoun

Friday 1st December was the date for the annual FoGM trip to the Christmas Fair at Hopetoun House.  Blessed with beautiful weather, we were treated, en route, to a wonderful panorama of the three bridges spanning the Firth of Forth. On arrival at Hopetoun, the shopping commenced, with a huge variety of stalls making purchases a test of willpower and stamina! 
Thanks are due to our organiser, Anne Ritchie, who was uniquely responsible for the day’s success.

Morna  Mathers