Third Eye Centre under threat
‘It would be hard to imagine life in Glasgow without the Third Eye,‘ said The List in 1990. Now the unimaginable threatens to become reality. Alan Morrison looks at the latest casualty in the Scottish arts
’They said that their profits went up I because ofthe cold weather. It’s the
building in Sauchichall Street. The Centre‘s three floors now comprise two galleries. two l()()-seat performance spaces. a workshop area. shop. Ticketlink box office. bar and one ofonly two Scottish cafes to he starred in the Vegetarian Good Food Guide. The Third Eye is also one of Scotland‘s foremost specialist arts publishers. with over 100 titles since 1978. including catalogues relating to exhibitions of the local artists it has championed and major international works such as ’Polish Realities'. an assessment of the arts in Poland during the 1980s.
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A poll in a Doctor Who magazine concludes thatJoanna Lumley would be the best candidate to take on the famous role. narrowly beating Glenda Jackson.
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Tory MPAntony Beaumont-Dark on the Thatcher-Heath debacle.
g proving old politicians never die. they
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Elaine C. Smith reveals eye-opening casting plans for the hit comedy.
L_. .. .. ._ , 4The List28June--ll July 1991
Poblems at the Third Eye Centre
, A ZOO-strong meeting at Glasgow School at Art last week gave
cotland‘s leading cultural centre for the visual and performing arts. the Third Eye Centre in Sauchichall Street. placed itselfin administration last week as a budget overspend in the region ofsix figures became known to the Board. Following the resignation of the Centre‘s administrator Susan Stewart on grounds of ’maladministration’. Mr Douglas Jackson of insolvency specialists Stoy Hayward was appointed as administrator by the courts. thereby saving the Centre from immediate liquidation. Mr Jackson has three months to establish the Third Eye‘s financial position during which period no creditor can take any action against it.
Last week‘s events provide the latest chapter in the continuing saga offinancial turmoil in the Scottish contemporary arts world. Edinburgh‘s Fruitmarket Gallery is due to_ remain closed for most of 1991 . only [0 be leased as a space for temporary exhibitions. until its Scottish Arts Council grant pays off the gallery's debts. Should this approach be taken at the Third Eye Centre. it would deprive Glasgow of a vital organ that has made it possible for the city to begin to flourish once again and it would deprive Britain ofone of the leading exponents of innovative commissioned work.
The Third Eye Centre opened in 1975 in Alexander ‘Greek‘ Thompson‘s then neglected
It is this diversity that makes the continued operation of the Centre so vital. Its pioneering policy. particularly in bringing Eastern European and Russian artists and performers to Scotland. was an important factor in securing Glasgow‘s bid for European City ofCulture 1990. This was reflected in a 42 per cent rise in attendences last year. The Centre‘s success has continued into 1991 with an award at this year‘s Mayfest for a major retrospective ofwork by scul?tor George
‘ Wyllie. Public support has been encouraging, the
result of a policy that encourages public involvement. as Director. Christopher Carrell explains: ‘One ofthe key aspects ofour work is to create a dialogue between the performers, the work and the public. The commissions are placed in the context of workshops, meet the artist and work in progress. and that. I think. is a valuable contribution the Third Eye Centre makes.’
In the short term. the Third Eye is having to look to its major backers. the Scottish Arts Council and Glasgow District Council. for extra support. Its problems can. however. be seen on a wider level as a victim ofthe Government‘s insistence that arts organisations rely less on central funding and actively seek sponsorship from the business sector. While this policy is creating difficulties in these recessionary times even for such business favourites as opera. contemporary arts venues like the Third Eye suffer twice over when faced with the business community's reluctance to support pioneering new work. Whatever short term arrangements emerge from this current crisis. the special needs of a centre of the calibre of the Third Eye must be recognised so that its future can be secured.
_ Art workers
unanimous support to the formation ol a Union at Scottish Art Workers. The Union, established at a time when the visual arts in Scotland are in a state of crisis, aims to promote the interests and protect the rights ol artists, art administrators and others associated with the arts community across the
country. It also hopes to act as a forum for discussion on topics related to the
‘lt’s an historic moment,’ said Richard Demarco, gallery owner and member of the Union’s committee. ’The visual arts have been lartoo long the Cinderella ot the arts world.’
Sixteen members were elected to the that the Union will have an committee, although itwas subsequently decided to cut this to nine got to be making itselt ready for the at a forthcoming meeting in Edinburgh on 26 June. It is also expected that Hugh Collins— a prisoner in Shotts Prison currently on hunger strike in protest at having no provisional release date -will be proposed as an
5 honorary member of the Union as a
show of support and a plea to end his g protest. Collins recently had his
s sculpture work exhibited at the 369
Demarco, who made the opening
speech last week only hours after
1 international outlook. ‘Scotland has
challenge of Eastern Europe,’ he explains. ‘The teellng is at great hope in these countries that Scotland will
oi Europe, and l lor one retuse to let them down.’ (Alan Morrison)
! returning lrom Romania, also believes
play an important part in the rebuilding