Arts

Is the Southbank Centre right to exclude Scotland from its flagship exhibition on British history?

The big new exhibition at the Southbank Centre in London “History is Now” is meant to address British postwar history. It does not do so. As a Scot who voted ‘No’ in the referendum I found the experience of visiting this show profoundly depressing. I left with an increased sense that a ‘British’ identity has become problematic, dislocated and fragile, and that the ties that bind the countries that make up the Union are fraying.

Read more: Is the Southbank Centre right to exclude Scotland from its flagship exhibition on British history?

On #KingsmanTheSecretService and the Porno Society.

A friend of mine was kind enough to say recently that she had found the piece I wrote below about the movie Kingsman The Secret Service really helpful. Her 15-year-old daughter had been to the movie with friends and because my friend had read my blog, she was able to raise with her daughter the fact that there is a graphic image of  anal penetration in the closing minutes of the movie. Her daughter said “Oh Mum, it’s all right, the woman wanted that done to her.” My friend responded that this scene represented a male fantasy. My friend then went on to say that she felt sorry for all the young women who might be thinking: ‘What’s wrong with me, that I don’t enjoy this?”

The scene is a glimpse into the porno world which I generally manage to avoid. But taking place as it does in a mainstream movie now heavily advertised on TV as a DVD or download - it’s another example of how mainstream that current has become.

Read more: On #KingsmanTheSecretService and the Porno Society.

Great Tapestry tells Scotland's story with embroidery and elan

 

The rich tapestry of Scotland’s past, long neglected, downplayed and overshadowed, is finally being given the prominence and attention it deserves, writes Jackie Kemp

 

Published in the Scotsman op-ed section, September 3, 2013

 

 

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Vettriano not for the snobbish

 
 

Though ridiculed by critics, artist’s work is honest, with an authentic, working-class sensibility, writes Jackie Kemp

 From The Scotsman, October 25.

WHAT on earth is happening at Kelvingrove Art Gallery in Glasgow? It is mid-morning on a weekday but the car parks are overflowing. Cars are jinking about, competing for any vacated space. The art gallery itself is hotching. There are actual traffic jams in front of certain pictures and there is a queue at the till in the exhibition shop. The postcard rack is half empty and the limited edition prints are flying off the shelves.

The public response to Jack Vettriano’s first major retrospective is a marked contrast to the funereal atmosphere of the big empty rooms at this year’s Edinburgh International Festival exhibition of the recent work of Peter Doig, a commercially successful painter whose massive and anodyne, though slapdash, landscapes would be a safe bet for decorating the foyer of any corporate headquarters in Zurich.

 

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The Great Tapestry of Scotland

A slightly shortened version of this arrticle appeared in the Herald magazine on Saturday, August 24,2013. Photos are available to view on the website

http://www.alexhewitt.co.uk/gallery-list Edinburgh Festival Panel group portrait for the Great Tapestry of Scotland project. Photographed at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh to mark the connection between festival and venue. www.scotlandstapestry.com<br /> <br /> pictures by Alex Hewitt

 

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