While I was in the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow I came across ‘The River Runs Through It’ exhibition which was set up to raise money for the new Riverside Museum down by the Clydeside area. It invited the work of several of Scotland’s most established painters as well as some recent graduates and (fund)raised the notion that once the artist sold their painting half the fee went to the Riverside Museum Appeal. Great idea.
|Anna with some of her work|
For me one painting stood out and I was impressed by the raw simplicity of the work of Anna King. It was very understated and muted compared to the other works on display but it spoke most to me about the decay of Glasgow’s rich industrial past. This whole area was now a museum dedicated to what once was one of the most vibrant areas in the UK. Like Harland and Wolff in Belfast, Clydeside had been synonymous with shipbuilding and was now little more than a dinosaurian relic, a has-been that was now only fit for high rise office accommodation, apartment blocks and museums.
|a typical rundown painting by Anna|
I discovered she was only in her 20s, a recent graduate from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee. A landscape artist her work is not known for its colour and pretty subject matter, rather she points us to bleak, empty spaces, derelict rundown buildings and weed-infested, abandoned wasteland. She paints sparingly in oils and her trademark deft pencil line suggests so much with so little.
|A sparse interior|
|Life in the mundane|
I wonder if I will look back at this exhibition in the Kelvingrove some day and say that’s what inspired and motivated me to go where I had not gone before. We’ll see.