oPE'N' EYE/I2 GALLERY New look gallery space for Open Eye
Moving house is stressful at the best of times. and moving to a new gallery must be a nightmare. After 22 years in its Cumberland Street home, the Open Eye Gallery and its sister gallery, I2. are joining forces and upping sticks to Abercromby Place. Right in the heart of Edinburgh‘s commercial gallery land, on the corner of Dundas Street, the new gallery benefits from a more central position. But does this mean added competition for the Dundas Street galleries?
“People are always saying there's a lot of competition down here but it's complete nonsense,‘ says Open Eye director. Tom Wilson. ‘We have been dealing with these galleries for years. When people come here they can visit five or six galleries and make their own mind up about what they like and don‘t like. We all have to sell paintings to survive and we can all work hand in hand.‘
In the new space (formerly the Caledonian Club), the grandiose entrance leads to two similar rooms facing each other, which will house the Open Eye Gallery. The ornate ceiling rose and cornices remain,
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National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh. until Sun 4 Jan
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Le Corbusier at l2
but due to hanging needs. the original Georgian panelling has been hidden behind white plasterboard. Large windows flood both rooms with light. In l2. there's a much more contemporary feel, with the lowered ceilings and crisp. white
paint. The main room. with
adjoining space to the back.
offers more flexibility than the previous premises.
On the programme Side of things. they will continue to show contemporary and fine art by established and young up-and- coming artists. printmakers and applied artists. And to launch the new space. Open Eye will be showing A Scottish Trilogy. celebrating the work of David Donaldson. Alberto Morrocco and Sir Robin Philipson. while l2 will show a series of original lithographs by architect. artist and thinker, Charles-Edouard Le Corbusier.
So what have been the best moments over the last 22 years? ‘The highlight is when we take young artists on and watch them grow with the gallery.‘ says Wilson. ‘There are a couple of artists. Chris Bushe and Matthew Draper. who have recently gone from being completely unknown to well established. When you take someone from scratch and when it works. it‘s a great feeling.‘ (Helen Monaghan)
Still from Read‘s digital animation
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