Tuesday, 27 January 2015

The Glasgow School of Art puts Mackintosh furniture saved from fire back on display

Visit to a newly created furniture gallery in the Reid Building will form part of the GSA’s Mackintosh Tours from Sunday 1 February 2015

The Glasgow School of Art is to put some of its Mackintosh furniture back on display it was announced today, Tuesday 27 January 2015. The pieces, which were previously on show in the Mackintosh Room and furniture gallery in the east wing of in the Mackintosh Building, were saved from the building by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, and have been in storage for the last seven months.

Now 20 pieces, including chairs, a linen press, a bookcase, a master and slave clock and two rarely seen panels by Margaret Macdonald, will go on display in a new furniture gallery created in the Reid Building. The public will be able to visit this new furniture gallery as part of an organised tour led by one of the GSA’s expert student guides from this coming Sunday, 1 February 2015.

“The Mackintosh Room and furniture gallery were always highlights of the GSA Mackintosh Building tours,” explains Juliet Fellows-Smith, Tours Co-ordinator for The Glasgow School of Art. “Although it has not been possible to visit the building since last May we have still been able to offer special Mackintosh tours and are delighted that from this weekend we will also include a visit to this new furniture gallery.”

Among the works on show in the new gallery are the master and one of the slave clocks from the innovative system which was installed in the Mackintosh Building in 1910.

It is widely recognised that Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s design for The Glasgow School of Art was unique and innovative; not only the physical building but the fixtures, fittings and furniture as well, says Peter Trowles, GSA Mackintosh Curator.

In 1910 Mackintosh provided designs for a series of simple, wooden, wall-mounted clocks to be used in the studios and in the more public areas of the building. This was to be one of his last ever designs for the School. Significantly, the wall ‘slave’ clocks were electrically run from a central ‘master’ clock which relied upon the very latest technology of the day: a pulse-operated or ‘synchronome’ mechanism manufactured by the important Glasgow firm of Dykes Brothers.”

Regrettably, a number of the slave clocks were lost in the in the fire last May, but the majority were saved including examples in both the east and west wings of the building. Specialist horologist Nick Sanders will re-connect the master with one of the slaves so that visitors can see how the system, which was ground-breaking in its time, worked.

“What's special about the system is that before its installation all the clocks had to be wound up and adjusted every week,” adds Peter Trowles. “As every clock would have to be wound by hand, some by key, they could have been as much as ten minutes out. With this state of the art system all the clocks moved together meaning that they were all accurate.”
Visitors will be also able to see two embroidered panels by Mackintosh’s wife, Margaret Macdonald, which are rarely exhibited. The last time they were on public display was when they were loaned out for the Klimt exhibition in Japan in 2012
“Margaret Macdonald’s Heart of the Rose gesso panel was a very popular piece in the original furniture gallery,” explains Fellows-Smith. “However, as this piece needed some conservation work which was unrelated to the impact of the fire we decided to include others of her works in the new gallery whilst this work was being undertaken. Macdonald was an important Glasgow Style designer in her own right as well as working in partnership with Mackintosh.”
For full details of the pieces that will be on show in the new furniture gallery see Notes for Editors.

A visit to the furniture gallery will be included in the GSA’s Mackintosh tours from 1 February 2015. The tours, priced £9.75 (with a range of concessions) are led by expert student guides and take place at 11am, 1pm and 3pm in February with 10am and 4pm tours added in March. Tours depart half hourly over the summer. For further information and to book a tour visit: www.gsa.ac.uk/visit-gsa/mackintosh-at-the-gsa-tour/timetables-tickets


Further information:
Lesley Booth
GSA Press and Media
0779 941 4474

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Exhibition of specially commissioned cover art marks 50th edition of The Drouth magazine

Drouth Five-Oh

     Images: Drouth covers with artwork by Alasdair Gray and Ciara Philips

An exhibition of cover art by leading artists and designers will open in the Reid Building at The Glasgow School of Art on 17 January 2015. The covers were all commissioned for The Drouth (The Thirst), and the exhibition marks the 50th edition of the magazine. Drouth Five-Oh runs on the first floor of the Reid Building at the GSA until 15 February 2015. Entry is free.

Founded in 2001 by Johnny Rodger, Professor of Urban Literature at the GSA, and Mitch Miller who is currently completing his PhD in the School, The Drouth’s remit has always been to give space to writers and artists to stimulate debate on and through literature, film politics, reportage, visual culture, music and architecture. Every issue of the magazine has had a particular theme and often a guest cover artist and a guest editor.

Our contributors are artists, scholars and commentators who engage with prevalent political and social concerns through their respective disciplines,” explains Rodger. “While we provide a theme and some initial ideas, we offer contributors freedom to explore new ideas and unfamiliar territories.”

Artists and designers who have created covers for The Drouth include: Graham Fagen, Alasdair Gray, Roderick Buchanan, Pat Donald, Ross Sinclair, Stuart Murray, Artemis Manouki, Niels Bugge, Chris Leslie, Andrew Lee, Chris Dooks, Dhivya Kate Chetty, Mariusz Tarkawian, Marc Baines, Toby Paterson, Bill Breckenridge, David Shrigley and Craig Richardson. The fiftieth cover is by Turner Prize nominated artist, Ciara Phillips. Guest editors include Edwin Morgan, Stephen Davismoon, Ruairidh Nicoll, Mark Cousins, Rosemary Goring and Hannah McGill. For full list of guest artists and editors see Notes for Editors.

Read articles in past issues of The Drouth at www.thedrouth.org


Further information, images and interviews:
Lesley Booth
0779 941 4474

Notes for Editors

Issue No
Guest Artist
Guest Editor
Frank Kuppner
Lotta Djupsund
Edwin Morgan
Jenni Calder
Stephen Davismoon
Pat Donald
Miles Glendinning
Pat Donald
Gowan Calder
Murray Grigor
Christopher Harvie
David Shrigley
Ruairidh Nicoll
Sarah Dunnigan
Andreas Kaiser
Muhammad Idrees Ahmad
Toby Paterson
Elke Weissmann
Ken Currie
Willy Maley
Mark Neville
Carol Baraniuk
Alasdair Gray
John Calcutt
Aaron Valdez
Jonny Murray
Stephen Otto-Klenner
Sheila Dickson
Louise Galea
Mark Cousins
Craig Richardson
Robert Davidson
Euan Sutherland
Andrew Lee
Rosemary Goring
John Kay
Emily Munro
Stuart Murray
Molly Maguire
The Steve Ovett Effect
Ian S Wood
Bill Breckenridge
Ashley Shelby
Alexandra Demankova
John Knox
Stephen Healy
Jen Birks
Chris Dooks
Ian McCulloch
Rhona Brown
Roderick Buchanan
Simon Kövesi
Graham Fagen
Miriam Ross
Ross Sinclair
Emma Lennox
Chris Leslie
Alan E. Williams
Artemis Manouki
Alasdair Gray
Graphical House
Frances Robertson
Viktor Koen
Stuart McAdam
Neil Clements
Mariusz Tarkawian
Charles Darwin
Tara Beall
James Clegg
Marc Baines
Niels Bugge
Peter Geoghegan
Dhivya Kate Chetty
Hannah McGill
Ciara Phillips

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Mackintosh Building shortlist announced

Award-winning specialists whose portfolios include historic buildings in UK, Haiti and Hong Kong, in the frame for GSA project.

The Glasgow School of Art has announced the names of the architects’ practices shortlisted to lead the restoration of the Mackintosh Building. The five-strong shortlist, which follows completion of the PQQ process, comprises Avanti Architects, John McAslan + Partners, LDN Architects LLP, Page \ Park Architects and Purcell.

“All of the shortlisted practices have a strong record in undertaking major restoration and work in historic buildings together with an impressive commitment to the use of new technology and the finest craftsmanship,” says Liz Davidson, Mackintosh Restoration Project Director at The Glasgow School of Art. “They each bring the level of experience and expertise that is vital to the restoration of Mackintosh’s masterpiece. We are now looking forward to hearing more about their proposed approaches.”

London-based Avanti Architects’ past portfolio of heritage building work includes the project to bring back into use Alfred Waterhouse’s 1887 Victoria Building at Liverpool University and the restoration of the iconic Art Deco Midland Hotel in Morecambe. The practice is currently working with international arts practice NVA on its St Peter’s Seminary, Cardross project.

In 2007 Edinburgh, London and Manchester-based John McAslan + Partners undertook the restoration of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s re-design of 78 Derngate in Northampton. The practice also led the restoration of Erich Mendelsohn and Serge Chermayeff’s Grade I listed De La Warr Pavilion and of the iconic Marché en Fer in Haiti. One of the McAslan’s most recent projects is the development of London’s King’s Cross Station.

Edinburgh and Forres-based LDN Architects LLP have undertaken a range of heritage projects, particularly in Scotland. These include Sir Walter Scott’s Abbotsford House, Strathpeffer Spa Pavilion and the A Listed Fort Augustus Abbey on Loch Ness.

Among the projects in Glasgow-based Page \ Park ‘s historic buildings portfolio are the redevelopment of Glasgow’s Centre for Contemporary Art, the recent refurbishment of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery and the conversion of Mackintosh’s Herald Building into The Lighthouse architecture and design centre. The practice has recently completed the extension to Glasgow’s historic Theatre Royal.

UK and Hong Kong-based Purcell’s historic building projects have ranged from the redevelopment of Hong Kong’s 1841 Central Police Station to work at Kew Palace, Knowle House, The School of Arts in Chatham and the National Mining Museum in Scotland.

The five practices have now been invited to present more detailed proposals on their approach to the restoration of the A Listed Mackintosh Building as a fully functioning architecture, art and design school. The presentations will take place in mid March 2015 with the appointment made later in the month.


Further information
Lesley Booth
0779 941 4474

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Enterprise agency and art school reveal major investment plan in Highlands and Islands

One of Scotland’s leading higher education institutions is to expand its presence in the Highlands and Islands it was confirmed today (Wednesday 7 January).

The Glasgow School of Art (GSA) is joining forces with development agency Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) to make a wide range of teaching and research opportunities available to students, businesses and communities from across the region.

The move will strengthen the region’s growing reputation for creativity, innovation and expanding use of digital technology; crucial factors that HIE believes will underpin sustainable economic and community development in the coming years.

The two organisations are already partners in GSA’s Institute of Design Innovation (InDI) at the Enterprise Park Forres.  Set up with HIE support in 2010, InDI has been particularly active in the field of digital health research.
Now HIE and GSA plan to expand on the present model with anticipated investment of up to £10 million over the next four years. This will create a wide-ranging programme providing new opportunities for students and will help deliver HIE’s economic and community development priorities.

The partnership will directly support an estimated 20 new jobs and sustain a further 10 existing posts to deliver the new research and teaching programmes and services to businesses, social enterprises and communities throughout the region.

The expansion of collaboration between Scotland’s leading architectural, art and design school and HIE has been welcomed by the Scottish Government.  John Swinney, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Constitution and Economy, said:
“The Glasgow School of Art has an incredible international reputation, and this latest joint venture with Highlands and Islands Enterprise will build on an already successful partnership that has delivered employment and learning opportunities in the Highlands through the Institute of Design Innovation. 

“Not only will this substantial investment open up new opportunities for students in the Highlands and Islands, it will also allow local businesses and social enterprises to draw on the GSA’s substantial expertise, thereby contributing to economic growth in the region.”
Highlands and Islands Enterprise chief executive Alex Paterson said the initiative underlined the importance of creativity, innovation and design as drivers of Scotland’s economic development.

He added: “Universities make a huge contribution to the success of major economies throughout the world, and this expansion of the GSA’s activities will deliver a number of valuable outcomes for our region.

“As well as introducing local access to a range of academic subjects which complement those being delivered by the other universities operating here, the GSA’s key strengths in innovation, digital technology and applying creativity and cutting edge design will support the expansion of important growth sectors, including creative industries and life sciences.
“It also opens up opportunities for communities in our fragile areas to tap into the GSA’s expertise to help develop creative ideas to improve rural resilience – for instance through developing traditional and cultural assets.”

Professor Tom Inns, director of The Glasgow School of Art, said: “The Glasgow School of Art is looking forward to developing its relationship with Highlands and Islands Enterprise through this new joint initiative. The new campus will build on the work that has been done through our Institute of Design Innovation in Forres, including the Digital Health Institute, and will open up further opportunities for students and businesses in the Highlands.”

Professor Irene McAra-McWilliam, who has led the development for The Glasgow School of Art, added: “We are delighted to be building on the success of our partnership with HIE. Our collaboration is a transformational activity for the Highlands and Islands.

“It is an opportunity to lead the way creatively in developing innovative and inclusive models of higher education, and cultivate the potential of the creative industries in the region especially the crucial role they play in realising the potential of digital technologies. In doing so, we will help to unlock and attract creative talent and support for businesses and communities enabling them to flourish across the region and globally.

“The Glasgow School of Art is recognised as one of Scotland’s greatest creative assets. We are delighted to be part of the fabric of the Highland and Islands, and collectively to make a difference to how we work, live and study.”


Further information:
Calum Macfarlane, HIE, 01463 244 244
Lesley Booth, the GSA, 0779 941 4474

Thursday, 18 December 2014

The Glasgow School of Art’s world-leading research recognised in 2014 REF results

Institution sees 11% rise in research classed as “world leading / internationally excellent” since 2008

The results of the 2014 REF (Research Excellence Framework), the UK-wide exercise to assess the quality of higher education research, which were published today, 18th December 2014, underline The Glasgow School of Art’s position as a world-leader in Art and Design research. 

 Images: Trial of the Envisage project, which aids post stroke rehabilitation and 3D visualisation of the head and neck, two of the ground breaking research projects in the GSA’s world-leading portfolio

The Glasgow School of Art has the largest Art and Design research base in Scotland, (the 6th largest in the UK), and assessment of its work saw much of it placed in the top categories.

The overall research environment, one of the three criteria against which the work is judged, was classed as being world-leading / internationally excellent, with 70% of the GSA’s work awarded the highest mark (4*). Meanwhile 61% of the work submitted for the impact assessment was also classed as world-leading/internationally excellent.

We are delighted to see the calibre of the research undertaken at the GSA gaining validation from this detailed independent assessment,” says Professor Ken Neil, Head of Research at The Glasgow School of Art. “This success in the 2014 REF offers a strong platform on which to build as the GSA moves forward with plans to strengthen its research quality and grow its graduate research base.”

Scotland as whole has seen a 29.3% rise in the number of submissions classed as “world-leading” since the last assessment in 2008, and the REF has also classed 47.6 per cent of research at universities in Scotland as "internationally excellent" compared to just 37 per cent six years ago.

Commenting on the results in Scotland, the Cabinet Secretary for Education, Angela Constance, said:

“Our universities have a strong track record of attracting funding from around the world and the Scottish Government will continue to support them to develop new ways of thinking that will further strengthen our economy and improve the lives of people in Scotland and around the world."

The UK REF2014 results are now published and publicly available at http://results.ref.ac.uk/


Lesley Booth
0779 941 4474

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

A card by a woman for a woman: Scotland’s First Minister unveils her 2014 Christmas card

Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon unveiled her 2014 Christmas card in the Window on Mackintosh at The Glasgow School of Art, today 16 December 2014. The card features an image by artist Phyllis Dodd created in the 1970s and is taken from Conrad McKenna’s collection of Christmas cards by GSA students and staff which is held in The Glasgow School of Art Archives and Collections. Ms Sturgeon also visited the Mackintosh Building to see the ongoing forensic archaeology in the library and met some of the artists who are benefitting from a Phoenix Bursary. Full details of the visit in the Scottish Government press release below.

To see more of the cards in the McKenna collection visit the GSA Archives and Collections new online catalogue at www.gsa.ac.uk/archives.

Further information on the GSA
Lesley Booth

Friday, 12 December 2014

The GSA unveils 2014 Christmas card by BAFTA Award-winning filmmaker, Ross Hogg

Inspired by the work of pioneering filmmaker Norman McLaren, the e-card references the GSA Archives and the fire in “The Mack”, and looks towards a brighter future for the building.

BAFTA Award-winning filmmaker and GSA graduate, Ross Hogg, has created The Glasgow School of Art’s Christmas card it was revealed today, 12 December 2014. The design, which takes the form of a short animated film, was unveiled in a screening in the Reid Building and will be projected on to the Mackintosh Building from 5pm this evening. The e-card was inspired by the pioneering animated film maker Norman McLaren, (a GSA graduate whose centenary is being celebrated this year), and features imagery which references both the Mackintosh Building and historic Christmas cards in the GSA’s Archives and Collections.

After an eventful year celebrating the centenary of Norman McLaren and coming to terms with the damage caused to The Glasgow School of Art’s Mackintosh Building by the fire in May, I wanted to make reference to both historic events in this year’s GSA Christmas e-card,” says Hogg, who earlier this year won the BAFTA Scotland New Talent Award for Animation.

Hogg’s film was produced by a painstaking process of painting and scratching directly on 16mm stock, using animation techniques pioneered by Norman McLaren. Meanwhile, the sound track by Robbie Gunn, which builds though the film, eventually culminating in a rendition of the popular carol, ‘Ding Dong Merrily on High’ was created by scratching on the optical waveform of 16mm film stock, recording as it played through a projector, and then rearranged digitally.  The film finishes with the words “Thank You” in the famous Mackintosh typeface as seen on Kenny Hunter’s Citizen Firefighter in the aftermath of the fire, offering a Christmas thanks to the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

“By working on 16mm film stock, the film inherently speaks to and evokes connotations of ‘archive’ and resembles something which could have existed in the archives and consequently survived the fire,” adds Hogg. The vibrancy, energy and colour towards the end of the film reflect the warmth and excitement of the festive period while hinting at a hopeful and bright future for the Mackintosh Building and The GSA as a whole,” adds Hogg

The Christmas e-card was unveiled in a week that also saw the launch of The Glasgow School of Art Archives and Collections online catalogue. Work on the project began earlier this year to enhance access to the School’s rich and wide-ranging archival materials. It has taken on a deeper significance since the fire in the Mackintosh Building with access to the physical archive currently not possible. A dynamic resource, the website will be expanded as all artworks and objects in the extensive collections are digitized, and it will also be a platform for the dissemination of the findings from the archaeological investigation in the Mackintosh library and ongoing conservation work.

“The initial aim of the project to create an online catalogue for our Archives and Collections was to make them more accessible for learning, teaching and research, and also to open them up more widely to the general public,” says Susannah Waters, Archivist at The Glasgow School of Art. “In the aftermath of the fire this project has taken on greater significance as our physical archive will be in storage for the foreseeable future.”

“In the coming months this dynamic resource will help us to make sure that people are kept up to date with developments in the forensic investigation of the Mackintosh Library and our ongoing conservation plans.”

The digitization of the catalogue was supported with a grant from Museums and Galleries Scotland.

Visit the GSA Archives and Collections online at www.gsa.ac.uk/archives


Further information
Lesley Booth
0779 941 4474

Notes for Editors

Ross Hogg graduated with a BA 1st class honours in Communication Design from The Glasgow School of Art, and was winner of the 2013 Newbery Medal, the highest accolade awarded to a graduating student. In 2013 he was nominated for the British Academy Scotland Award for Animation and this year won both the British Academy Scotland New Talent Award for Animation, 2014 and the Celtic Media Festival Award for Animation, 2014. He also received a nomination for the British Academy Scotland Award for Animation this year. Ross Hogg currently works from his studio space in Summerhall, Edinburgh. For further information on his current projects visit http://rosshogg.com/