ARTIST-LED REGENERATION WHERE THE HEART IS The Lighthouse, Glasgow, Fri 21 Jun-Sun 8 Sep
The Lighthouse’s latest exhibition documents the Royston Roads Park Project. This scheme brought together the local community, artists and landscape architects to create two parks at either end of the road that runs through Royston, Germistoun, Provanmill and Blackhill. While the end result of the project is two new public spaces for the Royston community, the exhibition homes in on the process that led to the creation of the parks and the artist residencies.
‘It all evolved from the Royston Road Project to save the spire of the church on Roystonhill,’ explains Lucy Byatt, who commissioned the artist programme. ‘It was clear that we had to look at the context of these parks, which is the people in the area, so there was a great deal of consultation and discussion. I was interested in creating working teams, that didn’t have a hierarchy.’ This three-year project involved artists Graham Fagen and Toby
SCOTS IN FILM: PORTRAITS BY DONALD
Paterson working with architect Greg White of Loci Design and the local community on the park design, and on individual projects within the parks. Fagen’s contribution is The Naming of the Rose, which named a new hybrid rose and has been planted in the parks and private gardens along the road.
Toby Paterson, meanwhile, has placed sculptural objects in the two parks. ‘The idea was to compliment the forms we’d come up with in the park with these objects,’ he says, ‘and make people wonder what they could be used for. They were
EXPERIMENTAL FILM JIGAR: FILMS BY ALIA SYED
Detail from the Royston Roads Project
designed for things like skateboarding or rollerblading, but they’re very simple geometric shapes, little wedges and blocks.’
In keeping with the community- led nature of the project, Paterson is adamant that his contribution can’t be considered his alone. ‘I wouldn’t want people to go up there and look for my work,’ he says. ‘lt’s part of the whole process that involved the community, the architects, the other artists, right down to the kids who would come and harass me while I was up at the site.’ (Jack Mottram)
Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow, until Sat 8 Sep .00
National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh, until Sun 13 Oct
Ach. it's the wee brave hearts of the film and television industiy lined up for our adulation amid Our mumbles of:
'Who?‘ Donald MacLellan has produced 30 black and white photographic portraits that capture some of the Scottish actors who have conquered the language barrier and become stars on the small and big screen.
The photographs are spartan. moody images that strip away the celebrity alter ego to reveal the true dour Scot underneath. Billy Connolly stares humourlessly at the camera. devoid of his comic persona. while Robbie Coltrane looks as though yOu have personally offended him. The only person who fails miserably at being scary is John Gordon Sinclair: it is virtually impossible not to see him as the hapless Gregory. especially when a coy Clare
Grogan occupies a nearby space.
MacLellan. possibly getting the actors to emote the
preSSures of fame. has created a gallery of deadpan photofits that are not as much fun as the actors' fictional
characters. So Ewan McGregor evokes Star Wars. Robert Carlyle recreates the psychotic bravado of Begbie and James Cosmo. hiding behind his moustache. induces
flashes of tartan and face painting.
In this small hall of fame. tvlacLellan's downbeat images possess a truthfulness that allows a glimpse of the person rather than the star before celebrity takes over.
Tilda Swinton photographed in lnvemess
Intense film works by Alia Syed
The word Jigar is derived from the Urdu for friend or lover. Fitting, for there is a visual tactility that rides through Syed's film work that you can explain only in terms of an intense
physical or emotional relationship.
The first film in the exhibition room is a bit of a let down. The Watershed suffers from a number of impediments. Firstly the room is flooded by light from the entrance so the
screen is barely visible (surely the gallery can stretch to a
black curtain). and secondly the visual flow of the film — napes. backs being massaged. austere high contrast black and white — is far too close to that of Derek Jarman's The Angelic Conversation.
The other two films are more satisfying. Swan is a lovely four-iiiinute film footising purely on a swan grooming himself. Set up on a square screen in the minimalist second room, it is a meditative joy. Spoken Diary is by far and away the strongest piece. This complex well structured 16mm film (later transferred onto DVD) is presented in a triptych form in colour. Pregnant bellies and children's hands are juxtaposed with atmospheric walking street shots. The scuridtrack weaves in snatches of English and Urdu and dives iii and out of musical forms from hip hop to bol and tabla compositions. This is a daring poetic that echoes the work of Phillippe Garrel and Michael Snow.
A fourth film Fat/ma's Letter shot entirely in London's Whitechapel tube station will be shown in the galleiy's library from July. (Paul Dale)
THE GREAT EASTERN HOTEL The Lighthouse, Glasgow, until Tue 30 Jul 000
Documenting the homeless
Situated in the brightest. glossiest space at the top of the Lighthouse. the second venue for this exhibition is in stark contrast to its original location. In October 2001. the main body was shown at the Great Eastern Hotel. which until recently, had been run as a hostel for homeless men. Kirsten Scheuerl‘s large. colour photographs were arranged within the private living spaces and communal areas of the hostel. making the exhibition a colossal installation rather than a wall-based photography exhibition.
The Long Gallery at the Lighthouse is essentially a walk-through space on the way to the cafe. with eight large works suspended in front of windows and an iMac alongside running a virtual tour of the hostel's interior. In October, entering a building usually closed to the public and walking into private bedrooms containing the personal possessions of the residents and large photographic pOrtraits of the former occupant evoked powerful and unsettling feelings of intrusion and invasion. At the Lighthouse. you get a similar sense of guilty 'peepholism'. but this time it's in relation to the (deliberate?) juxtaposition of images of poverty with the slick. corporate environs of a design and architecture gallery. Notably, a photograph of a run-down. sparse cafeteria directly overlooks the informal business meetings and latte- sipping cultural tourists of the Lighthouse cafe.
CommiSSioned by Loretto Housing Association. the exhibition fulfils its aim in documenting the lives of the men, who have all since been re-housed. but sadly lacking from the display is information regarding where the former residents have been re-housed. and what the future function of the building will be. (Susannah Thompson)
20 Jun—«l Jul 2002 THE LIST 87