Friday, 21 November 2014

BBC Radio 4 documentary: "Glasgow School of Art: Rising from the Ashes" to be broadcast today

Glasgow School of Art: Rising from the Ashes

At 11am today BBC Radio 4 will broadcast a documentary covering the six months since the fire in the Mackintosh Building. The programme will then be available to listen to on the BBC iplayer.


A look at the recovery of Glasgow School of Art since the May 2014 fire, which destroyed students' work and damaged one of Charles Rennie Mackintosh's finest buildings. The GSA is looking to the future and has offered affected students a `phoenix bursary', while plans are being considered for a renovation that will preserve and retain the character of the Scottish architect's original design. The establishment is of international importance, and its future is hotly debated at a conference in Venice as part of the Architecture Biennale.

GSA Media enquiries:
Lesley Booth
0779 941 4474

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Forensic Archaeologists begin work in The Mackintosh Library

Specialists from Kirkdale Archaeology have today begun the painstaking work of excavating the remains of the Mackintosh Library at The Glasgow School of Art. This investigative work is part of the GSA’s research and documentation of the building after the fire and will help inform the restoration process. Similar work was undertaken after the major fire at Windsor Castle in the 1990s and provided invaluable information to the restoration and archives teams.

“Immediately after the fire, with support from Historic Scotland, the GSA was able to remove substantial amounts of material from the Mackintosh Building,” says Alison Stevenson Head of Libraries, Archives and Collections at the GSA. “We have recently begun sifting this for items which could be restored or conserved and added to our Archives and Collections.”

A conservator with Mackintosh lamps found in material retrieved
from the west wing of The Mackintosh Building after the fire
One of a number of enamel broaches found in material retrieved from the west wing and part of a table from The Library

“We are also turning to what is at once the most complex and potentially most revealing project in terms of conservation. Although the library was destroyed in the fire there are significant remains which we hope will retain artefacts or fragments that will prove invaluable both in terms of our archival records and our restoration plans.”

The work is being led by Gordon Ewart Director of Kirkdale Archaeology, whose portfolio of high profile projects includes recent archaeological excavations at Stirling Castle, Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Place and Linlithgow Palace.

“Over the next few weeks we will work through the remains of the library excavating layer by layer though the ash checking carefully for any artefacts that have survived the fire or fragments that can be conserved.

Throughout the process we will keep a archaeological record which will remain as a detailed document of where salvageable material was found and we hope will help inform the GSA’s restoration programme.”

“Historic Scotland is pleased that the GSA committed to undertake this detailed forensic survey,” adds Ranald McInnes, Head of Heritage Management at Historic Scotland who has worked closely with the GSA on the conservation of the Mackintosh Building for many years. “This investigation of The Library will be invaluable both to the current restoration plan and for future generations studying the Mackintosh Building.”

The excavation work is expected to take several weeks.

·         The forensic archaeologists will work through the library in 1m x 1m columns excavating the layers of ash in c.25cm increments or ‘spits’.
·         Each new exposed surface/horizon will be photographed and recorded in plan @ 1:10  and each of the 2 - 3 exposed full sections will be photographed and drawn @ 1:10.
·         Each layer will then be transferred to the Mackintosh Museum where a team from AOC Archaeology Group Ltd will sift through the remains to identify salvageable items. Each excavated item and deposit will be logged in terms of its archaeological context, before removal for either suitable storage and treatment or disposal.

The Glasgow School of Art has meanwhile drawn up a list of which items should be kept for conservation.
·         All coloured glass will be retained along with the best examples of exterior window glass, interior window glass, library office glass and bookcase glass.
·         All modern metal fittings will be disposed of with only original fittings being retained. The best examples of lead work from the doors, locks, hinges and one radiator will be retained along with all air vents.
·         All pieces of wooden furniture and decorative/coloured wood will be retained along with the best examples of internal window frames and original boards from the wall lined panels.
·         Large-scale identifiable samples of general books will be retained for assessment along with all fragments of books from the special collections list.
·         Plaster casts from the windows and ceramics will be retained along with some carpet samples.

A series of measured and photographed plans and sections through the entire deposit will be produced, which can be combined to illustrate the deposition sequence at a series of discrete intervals both across and through the debris field.  A written report on the quantity and types of material disposed of as well as detail photographs and written description of anything retained will be produced by the GSA.

The results of the project in terms of all excavated and evidence, historic documentation and any other specialist input, will them be combined in a single project archive and the GSA aims to create an online digital resource that is capable of integrating a wide variety of multimedia components as they emerge during each stage of the restoration project. This would then be made available as a rich resource within the School’s Archives and Collections.

Ends                                                                                                                18 November 2014

For further information:
Lesley Booth
0779 941 4474

Friday, 7 November 2014

NEU/NOW, Glasgow to host showcase of work by recent graduates from Europe’s arts schools

Glasgow to host showcase of work by recent graduates from Europe’s arts schools

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS) and The Glasgow School of Art (the GSA) will host a programme of performances, films and an exhibition of work by recent graduates from Europe’s arts schools from 12 – 16 November 2014 coinciding with the European League of Institutes of the Arts (ELIA) conference, which will be held in Glasgow from 13 -15 November. The sixth edition of NEU/NOW features work by 40 artists, filmmakers, designers and performers from 13 countries. Performances will be staged in the New Atheneum Theatre and Chandler Studio at the RCS, and an exhibition will be staged in the Reid Building at the GSA. The film screenings will take place in the Reid Auditorium and Glasgow Film Theatre.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Young designers from The Glasgow School of Art unveil giant MTV logos

Second and Third Year Communication Design students with their MTV logos

Second and Third year Communication Design students from The Glasgow School of Art today unveiled their designs for six giant MTV logos. The groups used a wide range of materials from fur to plasticine in their designs which will now go on show in venues across Glasgow ahead of next weekend’s the 2014 MTV EMA Awards. People are invited to send selfies with the logos and upload them to Instagram with #iwantmyEMAtix to win a pair of VIP tickets to the event, which will be broadcast live from The SSE Hydro on 9 November.

Monday, 3 November 2014

100 artists…..15 countries…..3 continents

Phoenix Bursary programme spans the globe
Special exhibition in spring 2015 confirmed

100 artists who were impacted by the fire in the Mackintosh Building at The Glasgow School of Art earlier this year have been awarded a Phoenix Bursary it was revealed today, 3 November 2014, and been enabled to go to art schools from the Americas through Europe to Asia as well as in the UK.

The Phoenix Bursary programme was established by The Glasgow School of Art in the immediate aftermath of the fire to ensure that all the artists were able to develop their practice and create a new body of work. The programme has been supported by a £750,000 grant from the Scottish Government. Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs joined over 40 artists who selected to stay in Glasgow at The Whisky Bond where the GSA has created special studio space for them.

Artist Francis Caballero with Fiona Hyslop at the Phoenix Bursary launch - photocredit Alan McAteer

Fiona Hyslop and Tom Inns with artist Reginald MacDonald - photocredit Alan McAteer

Sula Grigg at work in studio in Mongolia

Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said: “The fire at Glasgow School of Art saw Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s iconic building making the headlines for all the wrong reasons, and for those talented students whose work was destroyed, it was a truly heartbreaking moment. “The Scottish Government was keen to assist final year students, and it is fantastic to see new works in progress in the studio spaces facilitated by the Phoenix Bursaries scheme.

“Incredibly heartening too has been the response from institutions around the globe, in opening up their doors to welcome graduates from Glasgow School of Art.”

Twenty one universities and art schools from Massacusetts to Mongolia are also supporting the Phoenix Bursary programme with studio space and academic support for the artists. For full list of institutions see Notes for Editors.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

The Glasgow School of Art Digital Design Studio to create 3D Digital Models of Forth Bridges

The Glasgow School of Art Digital Design Studio is to create 3D Digital Models of Forth Bridges working in partnership with Historic Scotland it was announced today, 29 October 2014. Scotland’s First Minister made the announcement on a visit to the Forth Bridges Visitor Centre.

The portfolio of previous projects has provided the DDS with the necessary experience and capability to undertake the digital documentation of extremely complex structures such as the Forth Bridge

Alex Salmond said:  “The Forth bridges represent Scotland’s industrial past, creative present and our dynamic and innovative future. They are the pinnacle of world leading design and engineering. Therefore it is only right that we do all that we can to conserve and protect them for future generations.

“This exciting new project will not only help to create an extremely accurate record for the conservation and management of the bridges but will also provide digital content from which it will be possible to provide animations, fly-throughs and basic education materials that will help inspire our next generation of Scottish engineers.

“The bridges are iconic landmarks in Scotland and these digital images will no doubt help to showcase their magnificence and attract tourists from across the globe.”

“The Digital Design Studio at The Glasgow School of Art is proud to be part of this exciting and challenging project,” says Dr Paul Chapman, deputy director of the Digital Design Studio. “Our previous portfolio of projects, including many joint ventures with our long term partner Historic Scotland, has provided us with the necessary experience and capability to undertake the digital documentation of these extremely complex structures using laser scanning and other cutting edge technologies.”

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Professor Tom Inns appointed to the governing body of the Arts and Humanities Research Council

Professor Tom Inns
Greg Clark, Minister for Universities and Science, has appointed four new members, to the AHRC’s governing body, the Council. Professor Svenja Adolphs, Mr Robert Dufton, Professor Tom Inns, and Professor Fiona Macpherson have been appointed from 22 September 2014 for four years. The Minister has also reappointed Council members Professor Andrew Thompson and Mr Trevor Spires until 2018. Council members are appointed by the Minister for Universities and Science and are responsible for the overall strategic direction of the AHRC including its key objectives and targets, and key decisions about the research direction of the AHRC.

Chairman of the AHRC Professor Sir Drummond Bone welcomed the appointments: “It is my great pleasure to welcome these four enterprising and influential individuals to the AHRC Council. They will bring new perspectives from their extensive experience in their respective fields to complement our current membership. I look forward to working with them to support the AHRC in driving forward the aims of our strategy throughout our tenth anniversary year and beyond.”

“I am delighted to have been appointed to the AHRC Council,” says Professor Inns. “The UK research landscape is critical to the success of research in all HEIs, within this, the AHRC plays a key role in supporting research across the Arts & Humanities. The appointment provides a great opportunity to play a part in ensuring the UK maintains its research excellence in these areas at a time of great change.”

Professor Tom Inns is the Director of The Glasgow School of Art, Scotland’s Specialist Institution for Art, Design & Architecture. In 1990 he co-founded the Design Research Centre at Brunel University, becoming Director in 1996. In 2000 he moved to the University of Dundee becoming Head of Design at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, and was later Dean. Between 2005-2010 he was Programme Director for the AHRC/EPSRC funded Designing for the 21st Century Initiative. Tom has an active interest in how strategic design can apply principles of traditional design to society’s systemic challenges. He studied Engineering at the University of Bristol and Design at the Royal College of Art, and his PhD explored the impact of design on innovation in small companies.