ART & EXHIBITIONS LIST
Paintings no bigger than 9in by 7in and some as small as 2in by 2in 1 (official miniature size) in an ! exhibition of contemporary British 5 artists. Ceramics will also be on 3 display. ' Perpetua Pope (paintings) and Peter - Fishley Holland (ceramics) 4—23 Jan. 0 PORTRAIT GALLERY Queen Street, 556 8921. Mon—Sat 10am—5pm. Sun ' 2-5pm. Concert Viewing Mon 16 Dec. The Alexander Ensemble celebrate in concert, the unveiling ofa new portrait of Sir Alexander Gibson by Edinburgh artist John Houston. This is the latest in the Portrait Gallery’s series of commissioned portraits of eminent Scots. The display will include preliminary drawings and paintings by Houston. Tickets for this unique event at which both the artist and sitter will be present are on sale at the Usher Hall Box Office, price £3 (£2 for Friends of the SNO). (See Classical page). a PRINTMAKERS' WORKSHOP GALLERY 23 Union Street, 557 2479. Mon—Sat 10am—6pm. Closed 25. 26 and 27 Dec and 1, 2, 3 Jan. Little and Large Until Tue 24 Dec. Tailormade to fit all requirements this show has prints of all sizes by Scottish artists. Print Sale Dates as above. A number of prints from the workshop will be on sale at drastically reduced prices. 0 RIAS GALLERY 15 Rutland Square, 229 7205. Mon—Fri 9am—5pm. Exhibition closed between 24 Dec and 6 Jan. Architects as Artists Until 10 J an. The work of 5 architects who have taken time from the drawing board to paint. A newly opened bookshop carries specialist and popular architectural books. 0 ROYAL MUSEUM OF SCOTLAND Queen Street, 556 8921. Mon-Sat 10am—5pm. Sun 2—5pm. ‘I am come home’ Treasures of Prince Charles Edward Stuart. Until 30 April. Young Museum workshops Sat 30 Nov and Sat 21 Dec. See Kids section for details. 0 ROYAL MUSEUM OF SCOTLAND ' Chambers Street, 225 7534. Z Mon—Sat 10am—5pm. Sun 2—5pm. 1 Costumes and Textiles of Kuwait : Indefinite. 7 French Connections: Scotland and the 2 Arts at France Until 2 Feb. The Auld ‘ Alliance is celebrated in this 5 exhibition of French art and artefacts from Scottish collections. About Face Small display of make-up ; and hair ornaments from tribal j beginnings to present day punk. Competition Closes 31 Dec. The museum is looking for young Scottish designers, final year design students or senior pupils of art and ' design to design an outfit and body ornaments stimulated by any museum in Scotland. You could win up to £500. For more details and an application form contact Mary Bryden. Made the recreation of an Ancient Egyptian Burial complete with hieroglyphs and tomb paintings made by 30 budding archeologists as part of the Young Museum Programme (see KIDS page).
40 The List 13 Dec 3353'“
A SLICE OF DE OUINCEY ‘
It’s not every day that the National Library gives top billing to a drug addict, but Thomas de Oulncey was diflerent. His extraordinary story is told in a splendidly-researched exhibition to commemorate the 200th anniversary of his birth.
The origin of his addiction can be traced precisely to a wet and cheerless Sunday afternoon in 1804. Having impulsively tried to alleviate toothache by dousing his throbbing head in a basin oi icy water he succeeded only in contracting a severe bout oi rheumatics. A college friend prescribed opium, then available across the counter from London druggists, which proved efficacious. Not only was de Quincey restored, he was convinced that he had ‘a panacea lor all human woes’.
Already he was under Wordsworth’s spell and though he had sent fan letters he had not yet summoned up the courage to visit the lamous poet. Eventually he did, taking up residence in Dove Cottage, and making himself agreeable to the little Wordsworths. An inveterate cadger (he penned some of the best begging letters ever written), he managed at first to survive on his patrimony but loans to Wordsworth and fellow opium addict Coleridge and the financing of his own uncontrollable habit soon depleted that. Now with a family to support he took the editorship of the Westmoreland Gazette, to which he contributed brilliantly but proved managerially inept.
By necessity he turned to joumallsm, offering his pen to anyone foolish enough to give him an advance. Almost all his best work was done for ioumals lilte lllacltwood’s and the London Magazine, including the celebrated Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, and manuscripts in the exhibition reveal a neat and legible
script, fastidioust revised and presented. In spite of his prodigious, well-padded output he could not keep his creditors at bay and in 1830 he moved permanently to Enlightenment Edinburgh. At first things were no better and he spent much time in the debtors’ sanctuary at Holyrood where he was free from harrassment by his creditors. ln1846 his mother died and at last he had some financial security. But his most creative days were over and while he continued to write he spent more time revising and editing previous work. lie died at Lasswade, a ridiculously venerable 73 year old. Whether de Quincey might have become a better writer had he not succumbed to opium is unclear. Certainly, he felt ambivalent about its effect on his creativity. What this exhibition does demonstrate is that his was no unique indulgence. In a pertinent digression from the narrative it places opium in the lath century context and identifies other addicts. But only de Coincey had the courage to confess all. (Thomas de Ouincey: An English 0plum-Eater1785—1859 is at the National Library of Scotland from now until 16 January. Viewing times are Mon—Fri 9.30am—5pm; Sat 9.30am—1 pm.) (Alan Taylor)
0 ROYAL SCOTTISH ACADEMY The Mound, 225 6671.
Scottish Society of Women Artists Until 21 Dec.
0 SALTIRE GALLERY 13 Atholl Crescent 228 6621. Mon—Fri 10am-1pm and 2—4pm.
Housing Awards Exhibition Mon 9 Dec-Fri 20 Dec. The winning and commended entries of this annual architectural competition.
0 SCOTTISH CRAFT CENTRE 140 Canongate, 5568136. Mon—Sat 10am—5.30pm. Normally closed Sun but open 15, 22 Dec for Christmas. Closed 25 Dec—J an 12.
Crafts at Christmas Until Tue 24 Dec. A selection of crafts for unique Christmas presents.
0 THE SCOTTISH GALLERY 94 George Street, 225 5955. Mon-Fri 9am—5.30pm. Sat 9.30am-1pm. Christmas Exhibition Until 31 Dec. A Christmas selection of paintings, sculpture, ceramics, glass, silks, jewellery.
0 SCOTTISH POETRY LIBRARY Tweeddale Court, 14 High Street, 557 2876.
The Double Knotand the Peeny: Scottish Women Poets Until 28 Dec. An exhibition of books, pamphlets,
tapes and other material.
0 THE SHORE GALLERY 59 Bernard Street, 225 6753. Mon—Fri, 11am—4pm. Closed Sat and Sun. Phone before 10am or after 5pm. Closed over Christmas and New Year. The Shore regrets that for the time being the ‘painting studio‘ classes are cancelled. Next year there will be a new exhibitions programme and perhaps one
evening class per week. Details will be announced in future issues of The List.
0 STILLS GALLERY 105 High Street. 557 1140. Tues—Sat 12—6pm.
Ron O’Donnell -Colour Photographs Until Sat 4 Jan. A stuffed trout in a box by the stream and a little skeleton in a naked forest are just some of the bizarre juxtapositions O’Donnell gets up to in his colour photographs. Working in Edinburgh, he constructs scenes which have the quality of ‘a surreal pantomime’. An entertaining exhibition, which will include some of his ‘models’.
a TALBOT RICE ART GALLERY Old College, University of Edinburgh, 667 1011 ext 4308. Mon—Sat, 10am-5pm.
Closed 22 Dec-5 Jan. John McLean Until Fri 20 Dec. John McLean is Edinburgh University’s first artist-in-residence , a 6—month post set up jointly by a panel from the University and the Scottish Arts Council. The work on show at Talbot Rice has been made during the past few months in Edinburgh. Being paintings of light and colour it is best to visit them when daylight is still strong enough to penetrate the gallery. Honing his shapes right back to that shape is determined by his often used tool, a ‘Squeegee mop’, McLean’s colour dominates the composition unfettered by complex lines or shapes. Pinks, yellows and forest green hover and vibrate in the light, giving the pictures a musical, poetic quality. Permanent Collection on display continuously during all opening hours. 0 THEATRE WORKSHOP 34 Hamilton Place , 225 7942. Mon-Sat 9.30am—Iate. Stockbridge Until end Jan. A photographic exhibition of Stockbridge past and present (see panel). 0 TORRANCE GALLERY 29b Dundas Street, 556 6366. Mon-Fri 11am—6pm, Sat 10.30am—4pm. Closed 25, 26 Dec and 1, 2 Jan. Chistmas Exhibition Until Sat 21 Dec. Watercolours and Jewellery. 0 369 GALLERY 209 Cowgate , 225 3013. Mon-Sat 12.30—5.30pm. Small Pictures for Christmas Until 21 Dec. 0 TRAVERSE THEATRE 112 West Bow, Grassmarket. Tue, Wed, Thurs, 10am-12pm. Fri, Sat 10am—2am. Sun 12.30pm—2am. Closed 25, 26 Dec and 1, 2 Jan. Mummers’ Day New Works on paper ‘of the Philadelphia New Year’s Festival by Gwynneth Leech. Until 22 Dec. From her exhibition of chickens at the Corners Gallery in Glasgow Gwynneth Leech exhibits creatures of a more exotic kind at the Traverse. Revellers in birds of paradise and extravagant tent-like costumes, masked jesters and strolling musicians strut through her paintings in a show of bravado in keeping with the festive event. Unique to Philadelphia, the Mummers’ New Year’s Day Parade has its roots in pre-colonial times and resulted from a blend of European, British and Black American heritages. Today there are 57 Mummers’ Associations which meet throughout the year to plan and raise money for the elaborate costumes. The parade lasts from 8am until midnight though carousing and merry-making precedes and follows the official times. 0 TRIANGLE COFFEE HOUSE GALLERY 7 Randolph Place. Mon-Fri, 9.30am—4.30pm. Closed 25, 26, 27 Decand l, 2, 3 Jan. Mixed Show Until end Jan. Work by Dave McClure, Jim Howie, John Bellamy, David Hutton, Reinhard Behrans, Alice Bold and Alphonse Bytantas. 0 WEST REGISTER HOUSE Charlotte Square, 556 6585. Mon-Fri IOam—4pm. History on the Move The records of transport. Until end Dec.