Art reviews: Jacqueline Donachie, Fruitmarket, Edinburgh | Amanda Ross-Ho, Tramway, Glasgow

In 1995, when Jackie Donachie was studying for an MFA in New York, she set up an Advice Bar. Having observed the pop-up clinics and services set up on the streets to help the casualties of that economic era, she created an installation from which she dispensed drinks and advice (one drink and one problem per person). Preparing for her solo show at the Fruitmarket, Donachie felt the time was right to bring back the Advice Bar and expand it. With right-wing governments on both sides of the Atlantic, tax breaks for the rich, food banks for the poor, and the idea of community (European and otherwise) disintegrating, it seems entirely prescient, both a provocation about the difficulty of accessing real help and advice and a friendly response to difficult times.


Video: 15 photographs showcasing Scotland’s winter scenery

The weather outside might well be frightful, but a little snow effortlessly turns Scotland into a winter wonderland.

A 16.8 million overhaul of the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh was due for completion in 2018.

National Gallery revamp going over budget despite being cut back

A long-awaited overhaul of Scotland’s flagship art gallery is set to go millions of pounds over budget - despite being dramatically scaled back in a bid to keep its cost down.
Scottish finance secretary Derek Mackay will unveil his budget plans next week.

Open letter warns of 'severe impact' on economy if arts cuts are imposed

More than 120 arts, heritage and business organisations have joined forces to warn the Scottish Government of the “severe impacts” if its culture budget is cut next week.
Edinburgh, Fife & Lothians
Paisley was the only Scottish entry to be shortlisted for the UK City of Culture 2021. Picture: John Devlin/TSPL

Paisley arts quarter vision wins 2017 FutureTown design award

The continuing regeneration of Paisley has received a further boost as an ambitious proposal to transform waste ground into a new cultural quarter was named the winner of a prestigious urban renewal competition.

Tech 3
The Sou'Westers, Arbroath, c.1957 by Morris Grassie, part of the Hidden Gems exhibition at the City Art Centre in Edinburgh. PIC: Courtesy of the artist. Photo by Antonia Reeve

Art reviews: Hidden Gems at Edinburgh City Art Centre | The Scottish Portrait Awards 2017

The Scottish Modern Art Association was set up in 1906 to support living artists. The Association bought carefully and well until 1959 when the dream of a dedicated gallery of modern art was finally about to be realised. Feeling it would now be redundant, the association dissolved itself and offered its remarkable collection, mostly of Sottish art, to the new Gallery of Modern Art. Apart from one Irish painting, inexcusably this remarkable offer was declined. The rejected collection was offered to the City and was accepted. In parallel and perhaps prompted by the National Gallery’s bizarre refusal, a remarkable Edinburgh lady, Jean F Watson, first gave and then in 1961 bequeathed a significant sum to the City of Edinburgh to fund a collection of Scottish art. The Edinburgh City Art Centre was later created to be its home. Since then, careful use of this bequest by successive directors has built up a major collection of Scottish art.

Art 3
Vertigo Sea by John Akomfrah at Talbot Rice

Art reviews: John Akomfrah at Talbot Rice | Zanele Muholi at GSA

Plenty of ink has been spilled about the sea in art, and yet it remains a rich repository of inspiration, imagery, metaphor and memory. John Akomfrah’s ambitious triple-screen film, Vertigo Sea, shown at the Venice Biennale in 2015 and now at Talbot Rice in Edinburgh, collages all these elements into an immersive (no pun intended) 48 minutes.


VIDEO & REVIEW: Sneak peek first look as Christmas At The Botanics opens at Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

HARK! The herald conifer trees really do sing at Christmas At The Botanics - a spectacular new festive light and sound trail which has magically transformed the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.

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Frozen unicorn in George Street. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

Scotland’s history to be told in stunning ice sculpture display

This stunning unicorn sculpture is part of an ice installation to go on display in Edinburgh.

Edinburgh, Fife & Lothians
The restored Irvine Town House stands next to the newly opened Portal, which brings together heritage, culture and sport in the Ayrshire town centre. Picture: Andrew Lee

Where are Scotland’s most improved neighbourhoods?

Irvine, Shawlands in Glasgow and Middlefield in Aberdeen are vying for a major urban regeneration prize, writes Alison Campsie

Take Me With You, by Mary Golden

Dundee Mountain Film Festival starts a new debate with its art show

It hardly needs stating that the so-called “new nature writing” is a literary phenomenon – it has been putting broad smiles on publishers’ faces for about a decade now, and shows no sign of losing momentum. Spearheaded by the endlessly articulate Robert Macfarlane, whose 2007 book The Wild Places set the tone for much of what was to follow, this enormous wave of words has washed up all kinds of exotic treasures, ranging from the profoundly psychological (Helen Macdonald’s H is for Hawk, Amy Liptrot’s The Outrun) to the groundbreakingly experimental (Paul Kingsnorth’s Beast, Cynan Jones’s Cove). It has also had the beneficial side-effect of refocusing attention on some of the great nature writers of the past, notably Henry David Thoreau, John Muir, Edward Thomas and Nan Shepherd, who wouldn’t have found herself anywhere near a Scottish five pound note pre-2007.

Curator Adrienne Hynes with part of Bonnie Prince Charlie's travelling canteen, one of the star objects in the exhibition.

National Museum breaks two million visitor barrier for the first time

A blockbuster exhibition on Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites has helped propel visitor numbers at Scotland’s busiest ever visitor attraction through the two million barrier for the first time.
The Adoration of the Kings, early 1540s, by Jacopo Bassano  PIC: Antonia Reeve

Art review: Ages of Wonder: Scotland’s Art 1540 to Now, Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh

The Scottish Academy was founded in 1826, but the rival and better connected Royal Institution for the Promotion of the Fine Arts succeeded in blocking this bunch of mere artists in their quest for official status. It was not till 1838 that the Academy was granted its Royal Charter to become the Royal Scottish Academy. That was short-sighted of the Institution. It needed the artists and when they deserted it en bloc for the new Academy, it was doomed and the RSA soon took over the exhibition rooms in the building that is now called the RSA, but was then still called the Royal Institution. The Academy was an artists’ collective. Primarily an exhibiting society, it was also a teaching organisation, but sporadically. The long-established Trustees Academy – which continues in Edinburgh College of Art – already occupied the teaching role, so instead of focusing on it, the RSA began collecting to secure the best art of past and present as examples to the young.

In 1859 the Academy moved to share the new National Gallery building on the Mound to the south. Then in 1910, the northern building, completely remodelled, was given to the RSA for its exclusive use, dislodging the Trustees Academy, which became part of the new College of Art, the Society of Antiquaries and the Royal Society of Edinburgh, which had all lived there cosily together for most of a century.

Families will be mesmerised by the hypnotic beauty of a flickering, scented Fire Garden

WIN: Christmas At The Botanics family ticket - be first to see new Edinburgh festive lights spectacular

Christmas At The Botanics is the new Edinburgh festive lights spectacular set and we are giving YOUR family the chance to be amongst the first to see it.

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Above: Carey Lander. Right: the artwork by Chop Pop inspired by Camera Obscuras video for Lets Get Out Of This Country

Japanese fan of Glasgow band Camera Obscura creates artwork for cancer charity

It promises to be a coming together of one of Scotland’s most revered bands and one of its most distant fans, all for a good cause.

Neil Baxter has led the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland for the last 10 years.

Scottish architecture chief quits days after revolt was revealed

The figurehead for the architectural profession in Scotland has quit his job suddenly - days after a damning open letter calling for an overhaul of his historic organisation.
Edinburgh, Fife & Lothians
Leonardo da Vincis "Salvator Mundi" on display at Christie's in New York, TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images

Leonardo da Vinci painting of Christ sells for record $450m

A painting of Christ by the Renaissance master Leonardo da Vinci has sold for a record 450 million US dollars (£341 million) at auction, smashing previous records for artworks sold at auction or privately.

A view over Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis. One of the shortlisted FutureTown design envisages a new waterfront walkway built to encourage more leisure activities. Picture: TSPL

Scotland’s Towns Week 2017: FutureTown design shortlist unveiled

A shortlist of imaginative designs with the potential to transform 11 communities across Scotland has been revealed ahead of the third annual Scotland’s Towns Week.

Picture: TSPL

Win tickets to the Edinburgh Art Fair

The Edinburgh Evening News has teamed up with the Edinburgh Art Fair to offer our readers 25 pairs of tickets to this weekend's event.

Children playing in the snow at Eaglesham. The village in East Renfrewshire was the location of Scotland's first conservation area in 1968. Picture: Allan Milligan/TSPL

Conservation areas: 50 years of protecting Scotland’s built heritage

Eaglesham is today recognised as one of the finest examples of a planned village anywhere in Scotland. Its smart 18th century cottages were laid out on the orders of the Earl of Eglinton, a visionary local landowner, and remain in high demand among commuters working in nearby Glasgow.

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