Products, fashion and style
Design of the times
Contemporary Scottish art is given a new shop window. WOrds: Maureen Ellis
dinhtrrgh has had its fair share of arts performances taking place in
unlikely venues. There was the play in the toilets of a shopping
centre. music in an elevator and sit-down comedy in a taxi. So when a new gallery springs up in an architect‘s office the concept comes as less of a surprise. 'l‘-Squarc Contemporary Scottish An opened in early August in the offices of (‘airns lord and Yuill architects. Strictly a selling gallery. it aims to showcase the work of local artists with international aspirations.
When (‘airns lord and Yuill moved from being a drawing board- bascd office to computer-based design. it reduced its floorspace considerably. Partner (‘olin (iilmour envisaged the remaining space as a gallery. ‘When I was at university I was involved with art and architecture] says (iilmour. 'I know a lot of artists so I thought it would he good to see if a gallery space would actually work.‘
Situated in a converted stable block in the Mortonhall listate on lidinhurgh‘s Southside. the space will be used. in the short term. for a series of temporary exhibitions. The opening exhibition featured the work of l3 local artists who produce work under the umbrella organisation of design-lil). (iilmour selected the abstract jewellery by 'I‘eena Ramsay as a particular highlight. ‘She did one piece which is a wall-hanging so it‘s more of a conceptual piece. There are a range of things here. some of which are sales-oriented and some a bit more experimental.’
The next exhibition Quint-Iisswu'r' promotes the work of ll)A(i()S contemporary glass by lnge l’anneels. who set up her operation live years ago. It will show her kiln-based. contemporary glasswork. The display will include the Scottish premiere of a new body of delicate sculptural work which was previously only shown in Belgium. in addition to architectural glass. sculptural glass and functional pieces. Prices will be in the region of £l()—£l()().
Response from the public and artists involved has been positive. although the word ‘Scottish‘ attracts some vague artistic associations. As (iilmour explains: ‘ ’e‘ve had some people expecting to see paintings of Scottish landscapes on the walls. It‘s not necessarily a money-making scheme for us — we're paying for the space anyway — so we’re keen to maintain it as a contemporary gallery. which maybe limits our market.‘
And as for the architects themselves. how does selling gallery space complement day-to-day office life‘.’ ‘lt's given the whole office a hit of a lift. actually. And it's been good fun: it’s working really well.’
T-Square, 44 Mortonhall Gate, Edinburgh, 0131 672 2345. Quint-Essence runs until Sun 19 Oct, Mon-Fri 10am-6pm; Sat & Sun noon-5pm.
INDEPENDENT STORE ALLIA
Not just cool clothes
Over the past year, fashion-conscious consumers in Glasgow have been able to buy exclusive imports from New York, LA and Japan at streetwear store Alliance. The independent outlet stocks labels including Invisible Man, Staple Design, Stacks, Obey, Mook, M1-11, Addict, Ladysoul, Pretty Heavy, Trainer Spotter and JB Collectables.
Selling high-end streetwear aimed at everyone from students to 25-40 year- old shoppers, Alliance is more about lifestyle than just cool clothes. You can purchase graffiti art and prints, along with vinyl from Rub-a-Dub Records.
‘Most of the labels we do are probably exclusive to us,’ explains owner Stephen Gildea. ‘We source many of the labels ourselves and try to stock them before places like Urban Outfitters do.’
Alliance's opening hours may seem bizarre (daily noon-8pm) but Gildea can reveal the logic. “There’s a lot of cool bars around this area. And most of our customers don't get out of their beds until noon.’ (Carolyn Rae)
I All/ance. 7 7 76 Argyle Street. Finn/eston, Glasgow, 0747 564 7093. www. wearea/liance. COm
1 12 THE LIST 18 Sop—'2 Oct 2003