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Art aficionados will have more than enough to keep themselves busy during Mayfest. In anticipation, Miranda France plucks out some of the highlights.

The biggest and brightest thing to be said about Mayfest is that it heralds the return of the much missed, erstwhile Third Eye Centre. Now it is called the Centre for Contemporary Arts and the exhibitions programme for the next few months looks promising. But red carpets should be rolled out only tentatively— after Mayfest the CCA still has to prove its viablility to the money-bearing powers that be. Which means that people who want to see the centre continue should flock to their Mayfest shows by Tracey Moffatt and Narelle Jubelln.

Moffatt’s work is colourfully kinky, ‘David Lynch meets Steven Spielberg‘, in the words of the CCA’s Artistic Director, Andrew Nairne. Something More looks like a series of film stills, in which Moffatt is always the central figure, and addresses issues of race and gender pertinent to Australia Aborigines, immigrants, stereotypical ‘Sheilas'. In Per Thang a naked Moffatt cavorts in blurred, dream-like close-up with several woolly sheep (themselves often the victims of cruel stereotyping).

J ubelin’s Dead Slow is the end result of months of work and two research trips to Glasgow. She works in petit-point, using a genteel, perhaps archaic artform to debate issues which seem to chafe against their medium in this case the historical baggage carried by contemporary Scotland and Australia, and the cultural links between the two countries.

Tramway’s contribution to the Columbus quincentenary debate comes courtesy of David McMillan and Matthew Dalzlel. Six vast banners, or sails, hang between a set of steel posts whose other important function is holding up the building. The sails will be lit from below and, if the wind machine does its stuff, will billow, as sails should. Each of the sails is painted with a gold symbol, progressively more complex as you come to them. The first bears a crusader‘s cross simple enough the second a globe split into two tenuously-linked hemispheres. The third is three gold circles, the symbol of a pawnbroker’s shop, and so it goes on. McMillan feels more cynical than celebratory about the quincentenary, but he has shied away from making statements. ‘I don’t feel that we have the right to speculate one way or another about it, or to become defenders of the third world because that would be reverse capitalism, cultural capitalism’, he says. ‘I didn’t want to go into the 500 years of resistance thing people must read




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into this what they want.’ Matthew Dalziel’s still-to-be-installed installation will also evoke Columbus’s actual voyage.

‘in Edinburgh when they talk about ‘the Ads’ they mean going to see something. In Glasgow they mean doing something.’

Scotland Street School Museum is not officially part of Mayfest, but its present show goes on until 10 May and is well worth a visit. West and Working

Reclining Nude by Benjamin Creme

From the ‘Something More' series by Tracy Moffatt

is a selection of works by artists who have studied art at Strathclyde schools and are now working in the region. There are three works by Joseph Davie, whose elegant, mysterious images recall the highbrow quirkiness of Glen Baxter, as well as submissions by several artists associated with Transmission Gallery. Craig Richardson’s contribution is a collection of photographs taken from a book of bigwigs involved in criminal law Chiefs of Police, Professors of Anatomy or Jurisprudence. Across these smart gentlemen‘s portraits, Richardson has drawn thick lines of varying lengths which asked to be interpreted as codes of some sort. Paul Simmon’s textile is one of the most engaging pieces: at first glance it is a classic William Morris design. Look again and you _ see that the motif is a huge iguana, curled in and out ofsinister, prickly vegetation.

The exhibition is a potent example of the vitality of Glasgow‘s art scene, compared to Edinburgh. Dorothy Stewart, curator at Scotland Street, says that ‘in Edinburgh when they talk about ’the Arts‘ they mean going to see something. In Glasgow they mean doing something.‘ And you can see what she means.

So much for youth. At Cyril Gerber Fine Art a 70-year-old artist is about to receive his first one-man show in his home town. Benjamin Creme has not lived in Glasgow since the 1940s. Then he was one of the youngest members of the New Scottish Group, influenced by J. D. Fergusson and the Colourists newly returned from France, and by the Expressionist ideas imported by refugees Herman and Adler. Later he moved to the continent and, later still, became involved in new-age philosophy. The works in this show are from his early career brightly coloured and touching on Cubism. If you like Picasso and Matisse, Creme could be for you.

48 The List 2-1 April 7 May 1992