Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Don’t miss – Mackintosh: Glasgow’s Neglected Genius

I don’t often recommend things, but now that I’ve had a chance to watch this new documentary about Charles Rennie Mackintosh, I think it’s worth a mention.

It’s presented by artist Lachlan Goudie, who clearly has studied his subject.

While I’ve poked around various accounts and visited some locations, I’ve never carried out anything like a deep study, and this documentary adds considerably to the more well-known details I’ve come across (and probably forgotten by virtue of my sieve-like memory). I’m sure I’ve never come across the account of Mackintosh and his wife being run out of town (or village) as their strange behaviour led the locals and police to believe they were spies during World War I.

There’s also the gorgeous and detailed imagery we can now enjoy thanks to digital television and HDTV, which allow the full depth of his, and his wife’s (Margaret McDonald) work to be shown. Having tried to produce video records of artefacts since the days of VHS video, I appreciate the stunning difference we have available today when producing digital images.

This means Goudie’s visits to Mackintosh buildings, features, and significant places enjoy the same detail.

The documentary also includes an update and info on the Glasgow School of Art Mackintosh Building after the 2014 fire.

Recommended… (At the time of writing, this page shows ’20 days remaining’ to watch this documentary on iPlayer)…

Mackintosh: Glasgow’s Neglected Genius

Glasgow artist Lachlan Goudie examines the life, work and legacy of Scotland’s most celebrated architect and designer, Charles Rennie Mackintosh – the man Lachlan Goudie calls “The greatest genius in the history of Scottish art”.

The film examines Mackintosh’s iconic buildings, notably the Glasgow School of Art. Interwoven with his architecture, design and watercolours is the personal story of Mackintosh. Little known at home, his work found favour on the continent. In later years he struggled for work, and came to endure real poverty, but continued to create remarkable pieces of art.

See also: Programme website

There was also: Charles Rennie Mackintosh would have been ‘disappointed’, claims artist

After my glowing review of his documentary, I’m going to stick my neck out and say I disagree with Goudie’s claim.

They may be ‘modern’ and not in Mackintosh style, but Glasgow has gained a number of buildings in recent years, and I’d have to say that while not all are perfect, they are of their time, similar to Mackintosh’s offerings, and like by some, and disliked by others.

Probably more notable today is that the sheer volume of new work (plus mass-production and speed of construction) means that we see very few iconic buildings going up.

Can you think of any significant building that have featured in recent years?

Few private houses get a mention, while most city centre office blocks or accommodation are lost in their surroundings.

Offhand, I can only think of the Science Centre, infamous Glasgow Tower (the little IMAX theatre near them has gone almost unnoticed), and Riverside (our transport museum).

The numerous bridges we have gained across the River Clyde in recent years have probably had more media coverage, and some other buildings I have noticed have actually been restoration and return to use of a few abandoned examples from around 1900.

BBC documentary from 1996

I didn’t go looking for this, and found it while looking for another (recent) documentary regarding Mackintosh, but coming from 1996 it makes for an interesting ‘compare and contrast’ opportunity when viewed against the newer production given above.

It’s also interesting to note that it gives the reason for the preponderance of yellow in the Basset Lowke house, not noted in Goudie’s presentation.

I had been trying to find another documentary I caught by chance, possibly within the past year or two, which had looked at some lesser known interior design in Glasgow houses by Mackintosh, but I failed to find anything, probably because I couldn’t be specific enough. However, this one is worth watching for, as the owners of the homes concerned have been able to (afford to) restore them to the original style.

15/06/2018 Posted by | Civilian | , | Leave a comment

Dali returns to Kelvingrove, but…

I should be happy, but I’m sad.

Dali’s Christ of St John of the Cross was on loan to the Royal Academy of Arts in London, and the Dalí Museum in St Petersburg, Florida.

It left back in August 2017, and I was able to go see it.

It’s now back on display in its purpose-built gallery in Kelvingrove.

But I can’t go see it.

That’s all.

Salvador Dali painting returns to Kelvingrove

Oh. I should add, it’s due for another holiday next year, when it will then go on loan to Auckland Castle in County Durham from autumn 2019 until spring 2020.

Dali Christ of St John of the Cross

Dali Christ of St John of the Cross

15/06/2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , | Leave a comment

Cat shot twice. Turn these dangerous cowards in!

Seriously, if you ever come across these types, just turn them in – there are now enough easy ways to pass on the info anonymously, and they are mentally unfit to be free, so there should be none of the ‘grassing’ nonsense thought of.

The Scottish SPCA is now appealing for information as it investigates the attack.

Inspector Robyn Gray said: “Owning an air rifle without a licence has been illegal since December 2016.

“The society was a huge supporter of restrictions around air rifle ownership because of incidents like this.

“This incident has been deliberate, calculated, and entirely cruel.

“Poor Oreo, the cat, was targeted on two separate occasions.

“In the first instance the wound looked like a scratch and the pellet wasn’t visible, it was only when Oreo received the injury to his eye that it became clear this was a deliberate attack.”

Anyone with information is being urged to contact the Scottish SPCA animal helpline on 03000 999 999.

The only flaw with this story is the Scottish SPCA inspector’s attempt to blame this incident on airgun ownership – a dangerous error as the problem lies not with the airguns, but the people behind them, and licencing has, and will, make little or no difference to these incidents.

Firearms and hand guns have always been subject to licencing, but a look at the news (especially regarding Glasgow at the moment) will show that these are still being used freely by those who have no interest in the law, or having a licence for the guns they are using.

Pointing at the weapon used is a dangerous mistake (but easy choice of soft-target), as it diverts attention from the real problem – the people carrying out these attacks.

Via Cat loses eye after being deliberately shot by air rifle

Wounded Cat Oreo Pic Via Scottish SPCA

Wounded Cat Oreo Pic Via Scottish SPCA

15/06/2018 Posted by | Civilian | | Leave a comment

Joe Blooms lost shutter mural and sign

Looking through the archives, I was sorry to see the loss of another bit of ‘old’ Glasgow.

Collected simply as one of a number of painted shutter I noticed when I spent a lot of time passing closed shops, this example has gone, and the shop front is now just painted plain white (so we don’t need a pic of that).

Looking closer, I noticed the sign above the door had also been dumped.

Joe Blooms Shutter Mural

Joe Blooms Shutter Mural

Not obvious in the small image, this was made of individual, solid letters, rather than simply being a flat, painted sign.

Joe Blooms 3D

Joe Blooms 3D

I wonder if they went into the nearest skip – probably from the 1960s, they could fetch around £40 apiece nowadays.

£300 would have paid for that tin of white paint (and a brush).


15/06/2018 Posted by | Civilian, Lost, photography | , | Leave a comment


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