FEATURESTATE OF THE ARTS
between Glasgow’s Tron and Dundee Rep opening at Mayfest.
EVELYN GLEIIIE Evelyn Glennie’s story is surely the best known in current classical music.
and the percussionist‘s triumph over her
profound deafness is testimony to her spirit and immense determination. The award of Personality of the Year in the ﬁrst International Classical Music Awards in January. a category decided by popular votes. was further evidence of the way in which she has captured the imagination of the musical public. Given the glitzy. showbiz way in which her career is being marketed. that award seems particularly appropriate. and if the genuine depth of her artistry remains in question. there is no doubt about either her dazzling technical accomplishment, or her ability to communicate to a wide audience on an array of instruments which do not usually achieve star billing.
Goldsworthy’s unique artworks include ice sculptures made at the North Pole and ‘paintings’ made by allowing snowballs to melt onto paper, slowly releasing the juice of berries crushed within them. For Goldsworthy the ‘art‘ is in the process, rather than the end result. His works always involve the elements. but they are not necessarily executed in the countryside — recently he lay on a New York sidewalk in the rain, using his body to make different imprints on the ground. to the bemusement of passers-by. His next project is to make a new series of ’paintings’, in which Dumfriesshire snow will fuse with snow from Mount Fuji, for an exhibition in Japan.
The eternal nearly-man. lnitial high hopes and high-resolution bold pop/soul strokes dissolved as our bequiffed warbler was caught in a pincer movement of self-imposed lassitude and record company-confused vicissitudes. l99l’s Dogs In The Trafﬁc somehow shrugged off these pressures. the sound of a simpler. better. truer James Grant and Love & Money. Now they’ve said ta ta to Phonogram, bade farewell to million-plus debts and fractious wranglings. A new album is completed, perhaps initiating Grant’s retrieved conﬁdence in the art of his
12 The List 12—25 February 1993
own angst. His future‘s so bright he’s gotta wear cardis. We hope.
; ALASDAIR GRAY
: Glaswegian writer and painter. considered by many to have kick- ; started the current Scottish literary
renaissance with his ﬁrst novel Lanark. a sprawling. hugely inventive mix of
; autobiography, SF. urban realism and
r postmodern playfulness published in
l98l. It was followed by a an
i idiosyncratic mixed bag of ﬁction
' (I982 Janine. Unliker Stories Mostly. The Rise and Fall of Kelvin Walker) and . poetry (Old Negatives). displaying the . diversity ofGray’s quirkiness. Last
year's Poor Things. a marvellous
pastiche. signalled an exuberant return to form. winning both the Whitbread
f Novel Prize and the Guardian Fiction Prize.
One of the more contentious ﬁgures on British television in an age of creeping blandness. Gray’s presentation style. a mixture of archness. sarcasm and lumbering playfulness has changed little since her days as a tyro interviewer on The Tube. Her subject matter has. with the highly successful Munro Show for Scottish Television followed by the less so Snow Show for BBC Scotland. Both were produced by her Gallus Besom independent company. and perhaps her talents in the future could be best employed behind the camera rather than in front.
Emerging at Edinburgh's Traverse in the mid-80s, Hannan achieved national recognition when The Evil Doers earned him the plaudit of Most Promising Playwright in the Plays and Players Critics Poll after its production in London. He has since written for the National and the RSC and has had his work produced by the Tron and Winged Horse. A subtle and complex writer. Hannan swings from the heightened slum realism of Eizabeth Gordon
Quinn to the epic tragedy of The Baby and the urban comedy of The Evil Doers. Perhaps because of the lack of simpliﬁcation in his writing. his plays have not always been done full justice in production.
The former joint director of 7:84 Theatre Company (Scotland) is currently back on the Scottish stage. acting in Rain Dogs revival ofJohn Byme's Still Life. which he directed for its original run eleven years ago. While still heavily involved in television and theatre work. Hayman is one of the few Scots carving a name for himself behind the ﬁlm camera. He follows up the award-winning Silent Scream later this year with The Hawk. a BBC movie starring Helen Mirren. that has been earmarked for a cinema release.
The most distinctive Scottish playwrighting voice to emerge in recent years is also sadly one of the least proliﬁc. Making his mark with the Mobil Award-winning A Wholly Healthy Glasgow in 1985. Heggie consolidated his reputation for acerbic. bitingly comic and idiosyncratic west coast dialogue with American Bagpipes and C livde Nouveau. But apart from a smattering of ﬁne comic playlets. it‘s been over three years since a major work of his has been produced. We wait patiently for his libretto in a new Traverse opera this summer and for the promised commissions from several theatres. In the meantime. he‘s always good for a controversial line on the parlous state of British theatre.
He is the most famous ‘Glasgow Boy‘ and the only one to have a painting in the collection ofMadonna. Howson introduced a new character. or rather caricature. into art: the “noble dosser‘ or Glasgow meathead. often accompanied by a Rottweiler or a pint of heavy. Academics now claim him as the ﬁrst artist to show the seamy side of Glasgow. But Howson‘s irony was lost on others who saw these exaggerated thugs as a new brand of hero. And Howson has stuck with them for so long now. he must feel rather attached to them himself.
Hunter took up art in her 30s. after seeing an exhibition by the German abstract artist. Georg Baselitz. She is particularly inﬂuenced by German Expressionism and. after studying at Glasgow School of An. she was bold enough to leave her family and go to Berlin to study with Baselitz. Since 1985 she has divided her time between Scotland and Germany and her recent work has dealt with the social and
political implications of union in both countries. A central theme in her work is that of a body splitting. She is particularly inﬂuenced by German expressionists.
CALLUM "IRES lnnes sprang into the public eye in
1992 when an exhibition of his paintings at London's Institute of Contemporary Arts was followed by a solo show at the Scottish National Gallery of Modem An — praise indeed for an artist of only 30 years. lnnes represents the backlash against Glasgow anists‘ overwhelming move towards figuration. His canvases are minimalist compositions in which paint is applied and then partially dissolved with turpentine. to create ’natural’ marks. lnnes feels very strongly that an should give clues. but not answers.
KENNY IRELAND The big man of theatre directing returns in May to take over the reins at Edinburgh’s Royal Lyceum after the departure of [an Wooldridge. With a career that embraces the populist — he stars in TVs admittedly less-than- punchy Punch Drunk — and the artistically demanding — he has a long association with playwright Howard Barker — Ireland is expected to give a healthy kick to Edinburgh theatre. If he ﬁghts his corner. as he is surely intending to do, he should be able to introduce a productive long-term policy that will beneﬁt actors. writers and audiences alike. He's promising a summer season of tourist-friendly farces and then something more weighty in the autumn.
A further fifty of the rest of the best will be featured next issue, out on 25th February. #4]