Andrew Brown, founder of Edinburgh’s 369 Gallery, introduces the artists represented by the gallery in this second Summerhall exhibition featuring the men from 369. Andrew appraises the work of the women and men together in this extended interview.
Shiela Mullen is one of the women artists celebrated in the 369 Remembered exhibition running at Summerhall till the end of 2018.
Sheila Mullen is a Scottish painter who lives and works in Scotland. She was born on 24 January 1942 in Glasgow, Scotland. She grew up near Auchtermuchty, Fife, Scotland. She attended the Glasgow School of Art and started painting professionally in 1978. Her works are in the permanent collections of the Leeds Art Gallery and the Duke of Buccleuch among others. In 2010 she was the subject of a monograph by Ann Matheson: The Bairns O Adam: The Paintings of Sheila Mullen. In 2006 she collaborated with the group of Scottish writers called the Crichton Writers in a project called The Art of Ballads and Bards: An Anthology of Work by the Crichton Writers and Art by Sheila Mullen resulting in a published volume documenting the series of workshops and sessions between the writers and Mullen.
Pat Douthwaite, Lil Neilson, Carole Gibbons, Lys Hansen, Sheila Mullen, Rose Frain, Joyce Cairns, Fiona Robertson, Irina Zatulovskya, Caroline McNairn, Fionna Carlisle, Olivia Irvine
Sat 03 Nov 2018 – Sun 23 Dec 2018 11:00-18:00 (Wednesday-Sunday)
The 369 Gallery was founded by Andrew Brown in 1978. At the time, it was the only gallery exclusively dedicated to the promotion of young Scottish artists.
Immediately after leaving Edinburgh College of Art in 1977, Andrew curated a series of exhibitions at the Saltire Gallery in Gladstone’s Land in Edinburgh’s Lawnmarket and the following year, rented Alison Kinnaird’s glass studio in a medieval building at 369 High Street. Thus the 369 Gallery was born .
From the very start, without positive discrimination, the 369 Gallery showed equal numbers of male and female artists and this, the first of two memorial exhibitions to include a selection of memorabilia and paintings from Andrew Brown’s personal collection, is primarily devoted to paintings by the female artists who exhibited at the 369 Gallery during the 1980s.
These artists are now considered to be the “Grandes Dames” of Scottish art: Joyce Cairns, Pat Douthwaite, Carol Gibbons, Lil Neilson, Sheila Mullen, Margaret Hunter, June Redfern, Fionna Carlisle and Caroline McNairn.
In 1984, the 369 Gallery received Scottish Arts Council funding and, with the help of an enthusiastic board and fundraising committee, which included Diana Milne (Chairman), Roddy Martine, Annabel Younger, Arthur Watson, Sylvia Stevenson and Douglas Hall, the Gallery acquired a derelict three storey Georgian warehouse in the Cowgate. This building was renovated into two floors of gallery space, an education suite for art classes, artist studios, the Gilded Balloon Theatre, and a restaurant, starting the gentrification of the area.
The 369 Gallery always encouraged an international outlook, believing that modern Scottish art had only ever been truly appreciated at home after acclaim abroad and so, in 1982, it became the first British gallery to take part in the prestigious Chicago Art Fair. This led to a series of successful exhibitions in Chicago, New York and Santa Fe.
There followed exchange exhibitions in France, Germany and Scandinavia, as well as shows in Hong Kong, Malaysia, and China, culminating in an historic cultural exchange between Scotland and the former Soviet Union. An exhibition of Russian artists took place at the1988 Edinburgh International Festival and the following year, Scottish artists exhibited in Moscow, where a Caroline McNairn painting was acquired by the Pushkin Museum in Moscow, the first western painting to enter the collection of a major Soviet museum since the Russian revolution
In 1991, following a debacle with the Scottish Arts Council, Andrew Brown departed the gallery to paint and write in the Scottish Borders. Occasional exhibitions still took place in the Cowgate building and the artists’ studios continued to be occupied, but the primary tenant was the Gilded Balloon Theatre which became a notable festival venue until a disastrous fire destroyed the area and burnt the gallery to the ground in 2002.
However, as Andrew Brown said at the time, “the 369 Gallery was an idea, not a building” and the concept briefly rose from the flames in the noughties as the Phoenix 369 Gallery in Dundas Street, similarly promoting contemporary Scottish artists.
Actor and playwright Paul Brightwell introduces MERZSPIEL ahead of his performance that opened the MERZ exhibition ‘Kurt Schwitters has entered the room’. The performance was filmed to be shown throughout the exhibition which is open by arrangement, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Paul is currently touring MERZSPIEL throughout the UK.
‘A striking dream world… one of the most ambitious pieces we have ever presented’ (Anna Woo, The Getty Villa). California’s marijuana country: the still-Wild West. Annie conducts a forensic exploration of ‘the facts’ about her outlaw weed farmer brother as this genre-bending work slips into disputed territory: childhood memories.
On at Summerhall from the 1st to the 26th at 17.15 in the Upper Church.
Time: 17.25 Summerhall, Tech Cube O
In Finnish tradition, the sauna is a solemn place; a scene of cleansing, contemplation, birth and death. According to myth every sauna had its own spirit, whom visitors should care for and respect.
The Sauna is a story of an old woman whose intention to die is distracted by an irritating sauna spirit. This mythical creature evokes her physical memories and takes her through the chapters of her womanhood as she considers the end of her life.
The Sauna is a speechless mask and object theatre performance accompanied with live sound effects and original music.
Part documentary, part live performance, part parody, part desperate as f*ck, Claire does everything she can to entertain her online audience. While remaining 100% totally authentically real. See-Through is an edited, unedited, live, pre-recorded, reality show that invites you to see behind the camera.
On at Summerhall from the 14th to the 26th at 11.45 in the Red Lecture Theatre.
Forget Me Nots is a love story between a young Icelandic man and an English soldier. It’s about love, new priorities and the people that got hurt along the way. In a collaboration between Icelandic and British artists, it explores a little known story from our collective history.
On at Army @ the Fringe at 13.00 from the 12th to the 21st.
The story of a young woman soldier’s journey through post-traumatic stress. Following training, Joanna is deployed to Afghanistan and believes she is prepared for what lies ahead. What she is not prepared for is a visit from her past.
On at Army @ The Fringe at 14.30
Winner of the Best International Performance Award at the 2017 Amsterdam Fringe and hit of the 2018 Brighton Fringe. Performer and playwright Bastiaan Vandendriessche’s gripping new play invites his audience to step into a darkly woven and deceptive story about his time as a leader of the Seascouts in Ghent six years ago.
On at Summerhall from the 8th to the 26th at 15.00 and 19.45 in the Upper Church.
The Tetra-Decathlon is a gruelling 14-event athletics competition, requiring a unique combination of skills to complete. Having never set foot on a running track in her life, Lauren Hendry decided to sign up for the event, joining only a dozen other women in the World Championships.
On at Summerhall from the 14th to the 26th at 11.55 am in the Cairns Lecture Theatre.
A Belgian popstar moves to London to steal the job of British popstars. Luckily, austerity is there to stop her. A witty pop-opera about a girl called Nele who turns her life into a big international mess because she wants to be famous on the other side of the English Channel. On at Summerhall from the 1st to the 26th at 22.15 in the Upper Church.
Step into this unassuming Alcoholics Anonymous meeting where twisted storytelling and spectacular circus skills are shaken and stirred, with one part dark comedy, one part serenity and three parts hostility, hilarity and honesty. On at Summerhall from the 1st to the 26th at 21.55 in the Main Hall.
LIFE DURING WARTIME is a survey of paintings exploring themes of military, social and political conflict around the world dating from the artist’s appointment as the Imperial War Museum’s official artist for the Gulf War of 1990-91. On at Summerhall from 02 Aug 2018 – 23 Sep 2018.
Venue: Anatomy / Dissection Room corridor & stairwell, Summerhall
CAT (Creative, Aesthetic,Transgression) started life several years ago as a social media project.
The CAT mask became an emblem of protest spread via social media in 2014. CAT masks, handmade by artist, were adopted by “owners” who travelled the world posting selfies on Facebook and Twitter #proTestbed. ! Originally conceived as a protest against the threat to demolish the maverick architect Will Alsop’s arts venue, Testbed1, in London’s Battersea, the CAT defiantly took on new themes and personae first appearing on an interactive blackboard in The Doodle Bar @Testbed1. The artist’s protest highlighting Bahrain’s oppression of opposition groups received international TV coverage ! Responding to public demand, Jane Frere created her own protest blackboard in her Highland studio, drawing on darker issues from the blitzing of Gaza in 2014 and the Scottish referendum, to messages smuggled from jailed human rights activists in Bahrain. The artist’s latest response reflects the world’s rude awakening to the rise of altRight, anti-immigrant bigotry, BREXIT and TRUMP. In solidarity with the “Pussyhat Project” for the Women’s march in Washington, Jane’s proTestbed CAT has turned pink with rage.
Jane Frere’s first major international installation, ‘Return of the Soul’, received five star reviews at the Edinburgh Art Festival in 2008. She exhibited ‘Into The Void’ a series of paintings, photographs and printmaking drawn from her experience of living behind the Israeli apartheid wall and in Palestinian refugee camps across the region at Summerhall in 2013. Recently focusing on printmaking, her work, in collaboration with Will Alsop RA, is exhibited at the Royal Academy in London.
KURT SCHWITTERS HAS LEFT THE BUILDING : STORY AND DISPERSAL, LEGACY AND (RE)POSSESSION
On the 70th anniversary of Kurt Schwitters death The Times announced that Schwitters’ last (place of) work, the MERZ Barn in Elterwater, Cumbria might be bought by a Chinese collector and shipped abroad. Fifty years earlier the plaster wall Schwitters had built in the MERZ Barn was removed under the supervision of artist Richard Hamilton and reinstalled in the Hatton Gallery in Newcastle. In 2017 Robert McDowell acquired three more obviously portable Schwitters’ portraits to show at Summerhall. David Rushton converted Sanquhar’s lemonade factory into the MERZ Gallery and Residency, inspired by Schwitters’ reconstruction and fabrication and post-Schwitters interventions on the mobility and representation of work and place. Martin Green’s recent residency at the Sanquhar MERZ riffs on coincidence and similarity between Schwitters’ practice and his own both represented in ‘a new place’.
‘Kurt Schwitters has left the building’ explores what’s saved with art-work, what might be salvaged or re-built in reconstructing its stories and how these stories sustain or possess a legacy.
Thu 02 Aug 2018 – Sun 23 Sep 2018
A Generous Lover is the true, and very queer tale, of one soul’s journey through the wasteland of mental illness, to deliver their lost love. Brimming with psychedelic proletarian prose, and trenchant wit, it recounts the pandemonium of navigating mental health services on behalf of a loved one, whilst being transfeminine, and occasionally mistaken for a patient. On at Summerhall from the 1st to the 26th at 16.10 in the Anatomy Lecture Theatre.
Music’s power has erased boundaries before, but can it make us feel connected as citizens, even after Brexit? Last year, theatre maker Marieke Dermul researched if such a thing as a European identity or a common European sense exists. With this question in mind, she took a journey through Europe. By collecting opinions and musical input by citizens from all over Europe, lyrics became a collection of fears and doubts, music became a symbol of hope and the popsong for unity arose. This is that story.
18.00, Summerhall Red Lecture Theatre, 3rd to 26th August
The makers of BigMouth return with a thrilling, relevant new show, delving deeply into the politician’s life and exposing those juicy backstage scenes we all look for and asking why anyone seeks recognition in a job that is known to be the most unpopular ever. Valentijn Dhaenens’ performance unravels the DNA of the politician, creating a personage that mesmerises and repulses. While the world’s asleep, follow this political animal as he pulls into yet another hotel, peels off yet another white shirt, peps himself up for yet another speech. Today, we give you the all-time politician: the power junkie, rogue, strategist, but also the husband, father, and in the end, the very lonely human.
12.00, Main Hall, Summerhall, 3rd to 26th August
After a long military career, life back on civvy street should be a breeze… right? Tommy’s observations on the absurdities of the everyday are “comic and convincing” (InDaily) and “fabulously witty” (TheClothesline.com.au). On at Army at the Fringe from the 10th to the 25th at 17.30.
The Delusion of Home is a strong and original documentary-style depiction of everyday life in the Chiayi area of southern Taiwan, refracted through one of Shakespeare’s greatest tragedies. Oyster farming and Taoist funeral rites are as much of a touchstone as ‘King Lear’ in Our Theatre’s character-driven study of displacement, poverty, homelessness and the search for meaning and renewal. Live performance and projected photographs of the declining villages of Taiwan’s southern coastline are skilfully integrated to illuminate some stark human truths.
Summerhall, Tech Cube 0, 3rd to 26th August, 15.55
The team behind last year’s five-star double-bill, Love+ and BlackCatfishMusketeer, is back. This one’s for anyone who wants to be tickled, provoked, or has a brain and has ever worried about what it’s not telling them. On at Summerhall from the 1st to the 26th at 17.50 in the Old Lab.
Sun Son Theatre return to Summerhall after the success of Heart of Darkness in 2017, welcoming you to a light-hearted world of live action and hand-crafted animation. Originally created by visual artist/actor Liu Wan Chun, this disarming show is a 21st century city fairytale, telling the story of a single woman who returns home after work every day to a world of the imagination. Hand drawn animation conjures up home as a safe but possibly confining place of salty tears and sugar water, bathroom karaoke and a mermaid alter ego who isn’t at all as ugly as she might sometimes feel.
Summerhall, Tech Cube 0, 14.40, 3rd to 26th August
Love Letters from Blackpool, a comedy theatre piece about love and Blackpool, originally commissioned by The Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester and subsequently nominated for Best New Show at Leicester Comedy Festival and Best Comedy Show at Greater Manchester Fringe, uses found love letters, original songs, poetry and audience interaction to answer the questions… What is love? On at Summerhall from the 1st to the 26th at 14.40 in the Anatomy Lecture Theatre.
Ever since he was a kid Nick has loved Michael Barrymore. In this heartfelt and playful tribute, Nick invites you to examine the turbulent relationship between showman and spectator.
Duckie is a reimagining of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Ugly Duckling with a message of tolerance and self acceptance at its core. Family-friendly glamour and glitz takes centre stage as critically acclaimed cabaret star Le Gateau Chocolat breaks out of his shell in his first work for children, a classic tale of identity and belonging. Set in an animal circus, we join him on an adventure of self-discovery, asking questions of the ‘happy ever after’ in a celebration of difference. Walking a little differently? Sounding a bit strange? Watch Duckie triumph by realising these are his strengths. Babes in Arms Welcome
Time: 14.00, Summerhall Main Hall, 1st to 12th August
‘Blackouts were the worst. Blackouts made me forget… Thank God for blackouts.’ Meet the woman who finds herself urinating off the top of the Scott Monument in Edinburgh. The man who nearly burns down a stranger’s kitchen. The mother who almost beats her son to death in a drunken rage. Blackout is the honest, brutal, uplifting and darkly comic story of alcoholics, and ultimately of their hope in recovery. Scripted entirely from interviews with recovering addicts, including the writer.
Part of the Made in Scotland showcase. At the Old Lab, Summerhall, 16.20 3rd till 26th August
Named stand-out cabaret of the year by the NZ Herald, Valerie is an inter-generational, interdisciplinary and interrupting piece of theatre reaching into the guts of family mythologies. Music, genetics, and storytelling combine to unravel one family’s history. A love letter from grandson to grandmother, this celebration of resilience is gig-theatre at its finest. Summerhall, Cairns Lecture Theatre, 21.15, 3rd till 26th August
A blistering punk theatre gig about our civil liberties and our capacity to resist – with an original soundtrack played live. In Brisbane, Australia, 1979, Prehistoric follows Deb, Nick, Pete and Rachel as they meet at a gig, start a band, and find out – the hard way – why their town stays so quiet. Based on first-hand accounts of living, playing music, and making history under Queensland’s notoriously corrupt and brutal Bjelke-Petersen government, Prehistoric offers an iconoclastic and hilarious take on the pivotal ‘punk moment’ that still echoes today. On at Summerhall in the Demonstration Room from the 1st to the 26th at 21.15
An antique magic lantern projector, an iPhone 6 and a live musical score shine a new light on Samuel Butler’s classic sci-fi novel. A Victorian explorer discovers a colony of refugees; time travellers from the 21st century escaping their dependence on its technology. This delightful neo-historical head-scratcher playfully welds future, past and present into a glittering bracelet of time. A multimedia collaboration between Edinburgh’s own Magnetic North, and Kiwi playwright and newly-qualified magic lantern showman Arthur Meek. Featuring an original musical score played live by New Zealand pop powerhouse Eva Prowse. On at Summerhall in the Cairns Lecture Theatre at 13.25 from the 1st to the 26th.