I’ve been doing a bit of drawing lately, here’s a jakey sketch to give you a wee taste.
Some images taken recently onsite of Glasgow’s Red Road flats. The 1960’s development of flat blocks is in the process of being demolished. As of Spring 2014, with two of the buildings demolished, only Tower 2 (33 Petershill Drive) remains occupied; the deconstruction process now having begun on the remaining five.
The site visit was inline with a current body of work being developed alongside Alan Horsley. The proposed result incorporating glass, metal and concrete alongside sound installation.
The first thing that struck me during our time at the Red Road was the bleakness of the situation, the desolation and despondency of the site was stark. To observe the development in this state of dismay, condemned and partially demolished, with only a single forlorn tower block still occupied, its really quite harsh. We see the remnants of a community still existing in amongst ruin. There’s an undoubted poignancy in that these towerblocks were built with the best of intentions and in their inception were relatively sought after. Indeed to many inaugural residents they were considered luxury in comparison to the decaying tenements and slums which they replaced.
Now though, the wind can be heard rattling through the empty shells of the bare structures which have been stripped of their facing in preparation for scheduled demolition; the buildings’ barren frames groan and creak in the silent air. The scars are visible where the first blocks have already been brought down.
It really is overwhelming to think that these huge building which have dominated the Glasgow skyline for over five decades will soon be totally destroyed.
For more information, images and videos documenting the redevelopment of Glasgow I recommend you visit Chris Leslie’s ‘The Glasgow Renaissance’.
Also fascinating to look at is www.redroadflats.org.uk, which tells the human story of the development featuring accounts from former residents throughout the years. www.redroadunderground.co.uk is another interesting webpage with images and film from the Red Road well worth a visit.
Red Road flats, Glasgow - in the process of being prepared for demolition. Image taken on a site visit over the weekend to get the ball rolling on a new project.
Audio post - Played 87 times
Work-in-progress audio based on a site visit to Glasgow’s Red Road flats - due to be fully demolished by 2017.
Working in collaboration with Alan Horsley (http://alanhorsley.wordpress.com/about/).
Further developments soon.
'When The Bold Kindred in the Time Long Vanished' (1/3) will be exhibited in Edinburgh as part of the RSA Open 2013. The show will run from the 23rd of November 2013 until the 26th of January 2014.
Monday - Saturday 10-5pm, Sunday 12-5pm
Closed 25th & 26th December.
Open New Year’s Day 12-5pm
For further information visit http://www.royalscottishacademy.org/pages/exhibition_frame.asp?id=409
‘Bliadhna nan Caorach/ The Year of the Sheep’ will be exhibited as part of the 34th Annual Scottish Glass Society Exhibition at The Briggait in Glasgow. The exhibition runs from the 16th - 29th of November, opened daily from 10am until 5pm. This will show a variety of contemporary and traditional glass from makers currently practising in Scotland.
Some images of the work on display as part of ‘New Highland Graduates’ at Inverness Museum & Art Gallery.
‘Bliadhna nan Caorach/ The Year of the Sheep’
'When the Bold Kindred in the Time Long Vanished' - 1/3
I will be exhibiting as part of ‘New Highland Graduates’ at Inverness Museum & Art Gallery (IMAG). The show runs from the 14th of September to the 19th of October. If you’re in the Highlands during this time be sure to see the work on display, it promises to be an exceptional show with a broad spectrum of Highland artist’s exhibiting.
For further information and opening times please visit the website;
Here’s some images of new work being developed in Nova Scotia - surface impressions from tree bark, cast in glass with metal oxides and Cape Breton soil.
Much of the thought behind these pieces was sparked by the accounts of early Highland emigrants to Nova Scotia being completely dumbfounded by the sight of large trees upon their arrival in Canada, indeed many of these settlers, coming from treeless coastal Highland areas, had no experience of felling trees and found initial subsistence extremely difficult.
‘They were landed without the provisions promised them and without shelter of any kind, and were only able to erect camps of the rudest and most primitive description to shelter their wives and children from the elements […] Many of them sat down in the forest and wept bitterly; hardly any provisions were possessed by the few who went before them and what there was among them was soon devoured, making all old and newcomers - almost destitute.' (MacKinnon, This Unfriendly Soil, 57-66)
Perilous conditions during the first winter made conditions even more hostile for the initial settlers, resulting in many deaths and causing those who survived to resort to eating the bark from the trees in order to stay alive.
Its tales like these that put John Maclean’s ‘The Gloomy Woodland’ into perception.
This is of course, the beginnings of development for a future finished body of work and I hope to continue with this line of thought over the coming weeks.
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