Monday, 13 December 2010

Art in the Granite city

For the last of my blogs about my delay in Aberdeen I'm popping into a couple of the city's art galleries. It's actually very rare on a visit of any length to Aberdeen  that I don't pop into the main art gallery to see what's going on. This month they've got the winning pictures from the BP Portrait competition on display. I've managed to catch them somewhere for the last couple of years as they tour the country after the judging. Oh I can't say that I like the winning picture much - you can surf it up yourself if you want but it's not appearing here. At least it's not in the photographically realistic category - I'm really not a fan of pictures who's main attribute seems to be that you can't tell it's a painting even when you have your nose almost in the paint. There were several paintings well worth a look so do catch it if you can.  I rather liked the picture that they chose for the front of the current gallery pamphlet (left) which is Blue Coco by Shaun Downey and the delightful painting below called Clare with Claire by Brian Shields (I managed to find a decent sized copy of that on the net)



While buying a cuppa on Sunday in a Sandwich Bar I spotted the postcard you see on the right there advertising an exhibition of prints by John Byrne at the Peacock Visual Arts centre which I didn't know existed till I saw the card. John Byrne has been an important Scottish painter since the 60s and, to me, most of his paintings seem to be of himself - I suppose he's very paintogenic. He also wrote Tutti Frutti for the telly some years ago and I once bumped into him in the street in Edinburgh and he seemed very nice.

No wonder I'd never seen the Peacock Art Centre before, it's hidden away down an alley of the sort you'd think twice about going into at night. I was though impressed at how inexpensive the prints were (if not quite cheap), some were under £1000 and the rest not all that much more, which for something from someone of Mr Byrne's standing doesn't seem all that bad.

The picture on the card on the right is The Cat Burglar and below is King for a Day.


There was a second exhibition in the Peacock Visual Arts centre which bore no resemblance to the picture on the leaflet that went with it, but seem to go along with the words in the leaflet (with only a moderate "hmm"). So I assume these are photos of Me~Idea by Philip Thompson, but don't be surprised if it's something completely different.


There were tinted glasses provided that made one of the words disappear depending on which pair you picked. I'm getting it so far but.......


.......I had a bit of head scratching with this one. It didn't strike me until later that maybe if I'd looked at this one through the glasses too some of the lines might have disappeared.

9 comments:

Becky said...

I really enjoyed your art witterings.

Poppy Daydreams said...

Just popping in to catch up on your blogs, great to see your still getting out and about in these cold winter months, i tend to stay indoors as much as possible in the winter, so its good to see the world through other folks eyes.

Crafty Green Poet said...

I really like the portrait of the bird covered woman! I have often not liked the winning painting in the BP portrait competition

Sandy's witterings said...

Thanks Becky.

I had little choice in this particular out and about Poppy as I was going to work but it was an enjoyable couple of days anyway. Have a long cool beer for me if you're with his Billyness out in the sun for Crimble.

Juliet. There's quite a few that I like this year. They must have been or are going to Edinburgh at some point, but I don't know where since the Portait Gallery is closed just now. I think the judges in these competitions like to chose something just a little contoversial just to get people going a bit

Rachel Hoyt said...

I'm not sure I would've thought to use the glasses on that string art display either! I hope your time in Aburdeen provided a nice breather. :o)

Rhyme Me a Smile

Sandy's witterings said...

Thanks Rachel - the string things a curio (Hmm). Aberdeen was an nice wee breather this time.

Zia Wolf-Sun said...

What unusual artwork...the birdwoman one was fascinating whilist some of the others were...intriguing! lol ;)

Sandy's witterings said...

Wolfie, Am I to guess that you're using intriguing where I might use Hmmm.

lepeep said...

fit like Sandy!... thanks for writing about my installation!... I've just stumbled upon it! (preparing for my NEOS show, I'm looking for old posts about my work)...

the image on the invite was taken before I'd made the installation - but did pertain to my show (it was actually a pin with threads running off to important CDs in my collection (one's that have influenced how I think / act) - like Napalm Death for example!))

I "was" a graphic designer - and often "surface read" art - before I did an MFA, which made me explore deeper meanings, not just "what I see", I'm not going to tell you what "everything was" in the show, but I do hope it made you think!

much appreciated, yours, Phil.