he Britpack - the bright young
things of contemporary art —
an‘ive in force early in the year with The British Art Show (24 Feb—28 Apr). More than twenty artists. all first- timers on the Edinburgh exhibition circuit. take over seven venues in the city (City Art Centre. Collective. Fruitrnarket. Royal Botanic Garden. Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. Stills and Talbot Rice). lncluded in the line-up is Damien Hirst. the man who made formaldehyde a 90s buzz word. with his pickled deadstock Away front the F lock.
The year undoubtedly sees big things
happening in Glasgow with the Festival of Visual Arts. a year long
multi-event. multi-venue treat. A bright red-letter day in the arty world will be the opening of the Gallery of Modern Art in March. Already stirring curiosity with its four element named galleries: Fire. Earth. Water and Air. GOMA (get used to the acronym) is definitely set to be an interesting space. and the director has shown the snifﬁer elements of the art establishment his colours. lie is to show paintings of curvy. comely good- time women by oft-put-down artist Beryl Cook. The forever durable . Charles Rennie Mackintosh. also gets his biggest exhibition to date during the festival (McLellan Galleries. 25 May—3O Sept).
All things magical and miraculous plus those things that go bump in the night. get day-time coverage in CCA‘s cross-the-media show. Phenomenal (CCA. Glasgow, 3 Feb—9 Mar). On offer is Simon Grennan and Christopher Sperandio‘s paranormal- inspired. computer-generated work. All Round Awesome; while at Transmission a clutch of Euro and American artists tackle what is billed as ‘the darker side of life‘ in 21 Days of Darkness (27 Jan— 24 Feb).
Following on from fun-for-all-the- family hit. the Star Trek show of 1995. Edinburgh's City Art Centre lets in the buccaneers of the ocean wave with Quest for a Pirate (3 Feb-ll May) — a global premiere for this treasure trove of an exhibition. A watery theme also
10 The List l2-25 Jan 1996
I! ..n“ s _ i" a.
hits Glasgow in March with Mark Dawes' Aquarium — a video projection onto Charing Cross Tower Hotel of life-size images of swimmers. Moving to ground level and also in March. Borrowed Light sees the illumination of glass pavements by Peter McCaughey and Stephen Skrynka. Back to the gallery. Torn McKendrick's multi- media installation. Iron. will see visitors encouraged to dig for ‘archaeological' remains (Collins Gallery. Glasgow. 28 Sept~l9 Dec).
Looking east to Edinburgh's Fruitmarket there is a continuing focus on contemporary art scenes that frequently don't get enough of a look- in in the West. Last year it was Korea. this year it's China with Chinese Contemporary Art (3 Aug—28 Sept) and with an eye on the future the City Art Centre hosts Hong Kong - City of Tomorrow (25 Oct—l I Jan).
As to photography. the John Kobal Photographic Portrait Award (National Portrait Gallery. Edinburgh 2 Feb—3| Mar). taking in shots of subjects frotn Oasis to cosmetic sellers. should be worth a look as will contrasting views of South Africa by photographers lien Botha and Santa Motokeng (Portfolio. Edinburgh 24 Feb—30 Mar). For subterranean viewing catch Anne Elliot’s images of the US. on show throughout the summer in Glasgow‘s Underground. Here‘s to a good any year. (Susanna Beaumont)
f 1995 was a good year for lrvine
Welsh, l 996 promises to keep his
name up in lights. As the hugely successful Trainspotting leaps from page to stage and onto the big screen, his new collection of short stories is to be published in May. Ecstasy: Three Chemical Romances (Jonathan Cape) is three tales of love. punctuated in true W'lsh style by gambling. prostitution and necrophilia. Charm isn‘t in it — bestselling status could well be.
()ther Scottish writers due to make an impact this year include Jeff Tot'rington. returning after the 1992 Whitbrcad Prize-winning Swing Hammer Siting! with The Devil’s Carousel (Seeker And Warburg. Apr). The Gorhals-bom writer's long- awaited second novel traces the lives of assembly line workers in a car factory. promising the fusion of wit and grit that made his name.
Other Scots displaying a creative urge in 1996 are Alasdair Gray with a collection of short stories Mavis Beltrage (Bloomsbury). Carl MacDougall with a novel The Casanova Papers (Seeker And Warburg. May) and Janice Galloway with Where You Find it (Jonathan Cape. May). a collection of short stories. William Macllvanney is concemed with dramatic changes in Britain in his novel The Kiln (Sceptre. May).
lntemational bestseller John Grisham could have another moneyspinner on his hands with his novel The Runaway Jury (Century. Mar). The Mississippi— bascd ex-lawyer made his name with The Firm. The Pelit'an Briefand The Client v- all novels made it to the big screen.
Other biggies include Milan Kundera. publishing his first novel for five years, Slowness (Faber And Faber. Apr) — a tale of seduction. Fans of The Unbearable Lightness Of Being can start dribbling. After her recent foray into the world of comic books with the illustrated tale Playing The (Jame. Doris Lessing publishes love, Again (Flamingo. Feb). her first novel
Seamus Heaney: Nobel Prize winner
since 1988's The Fifth Child. Author of the hugely successful Sap/ties World. Jostein Gaarder returns with a. novel of mysteries and philosophical conundrums. The Solitaire Mystery (Phoenix House. June).
Booker Prize-winners are out in force in 1996. Dangerous love (Phoenix llotise. Apr). is Ben Okri's tale of love against a background of post-civil war Nigeria. Author ofthe all-time bestselling Booker novel Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha. Roddy Doyle makes a welcome comeback with The Woman Who Walked Into Doors (Jonathan Cape. Apr). A. S. Byatt publishes Babel Tower (Chatto And Windus. May). a novel set against the turbulent 1960s.
Nobel Prize-winning poet Seamus lleaney ends a five-year silence with The Spirit Level (Faber And Faber. May). a timely collection of work confronting the political situation in his native Northern Ireland. in September. the award-winning young Scottish poet Don l’aterson follows up his collection Nil. Nil with God’s Gift To Women (Faber And Faber. Sept).
Edinburgh-based publisher Canongate widens its Payback Press catalogue with Omnibus: A Rage In Harlem Cycle Vol I. including Chester l-lines's A Rage In Harlem (Apr). Putting black writers in the spotlight. the series will include ex~pimp iceberg Slim's novels Trick Baby and Pimp (May).(Kathleen Morgan)
lrvine Welsh: ecstatic
PHOTO: PETER ROSS