January 31st, 2013
Margaret Watkins and the Clarence White School: Palladium and Platinum Prints 1919 – 1925
The Hidden Lane Gallery shows palladium and platinum prints by Margaret Watkins and many of her students at the Clarence White School of Photography in the period 1919-1925.
The School opened in New York in 1914. Watkins attended its Summer Schools and was apprenticed to Alice Boughton, a portrait photographer in Boston, herself taught by the renowned photographer Gertrude Kasebier. Watkins became a full time student around 1917, and within a few years joined the staff. The curriculum for the school included commercial and hand-coated platinum, silver, printing out and gaslight, single and multiple carbon , single and cowhide gum, oil, bromoil and photogravure.
During the First World War the price of platinum rocketed, as it was needed for explosives and ammunition – which multiplied the cost of making platinum prints. This led to the development (by William Willis in 1915) of the palladium process, using a metal closely related to platinum, and creating Palladiotype paper. White, Watkins and others at the school adopted this process.
After her arrival in Glasgow in 1928, Watkins continued to use palladium – but more importantly for the current exhibition, she bequeathed her own photographs and a unique collection of many by her students to her neighbour Joe Mulholland. These show works by known and unknown names; class exercises demonstrating up to ten different treatments of a single image, her hot processes, blue prints, carbon examples and some processes which even the experts are now unclear how the effects were achieved – or what the process was.
Margaret Watkins and the Clarence White School: Palladium and Platinum Prints 1919 – 1925 is part of the Blueprint Photography Festival, along with venues including Trongate 103, Street Level, Glasgow Print Studio, the University of Glasgow, Riverside Museum, the Mitchell Library and RGI Kelly Gallery. The exhibition runs from February 8th until March 12th, 2013.
January 22nd, 2013
Arrested by officers of OGPU — the KGB’s predecessor — Margaret Watkins claimed her photographs of their HQ in Moscow were purely to record post-revolutionary Russia. The Glasgow-based photographer was in a group organised by a fellow member of the Royal Photographic Society, through Intourist, the State agency charged with bringing visitors, and foreign currency, to the country.
It was in August 1933 that they set off from a wharf on the Thames near Tower Bridge, London, in the State-owned Cooperatzia. First call was Leningrad, where they were given the ground rules; photograph no bridges, military installations, soldiers’ manoeuvres, public or military buildings — especially not the Kremlin. These could be of use to foreign enemies planning a bombing campaign on the understandably paranoid post-Revolution State. So only the odd soldier in the streets or on stage at a state-run youth rally. Lots of snaps of processions, picturesque windows, interesting characters and blocks of workers’ flats. These latter would show how the Soviet Socialist Republic looked after the proletariat.
One building looked as interesting as the next to Canadian-born Margaret Watkins, who had come to Glasgow in 1928 to visit her maiden aunts in Hyndland, in the house from where her mother had married in 1877. Worker flats were snapped with titles later appended by her, like “Reconstruction” or “Progress”. However, one block proved to be a problem. No sooner had she set up her Graflex camera and clicked a few shots than she was descended on by the security police, and rushed to the secret police headquarters.
Hours of interrogation by junior officials followed and things looked gloomy for her. She explained that she thought the impressive building looked like good workers’ acccommodation. Her camera and films were taken away to be examined. A senior official became involved. She explained again. She was a photographer, following in the footsteps of one of her illustrious pupils, Margaret Bourke-White, who had visited Russia a couple of years before, and produced a six-part series (adulatory, of course) on Russia. The series had been published the previous year in the New York Times magazine, to the great joy of the Russian State propagandists.
Sense prevailed and she was released, with her beloved Graflex — but sans film. All film taken on the trip had to be surrendered to the authorities, who had it developed, inspected and (if found to contain no prohibited images) returned in a sealed envelope. This envelope had to be produced at the port of departure, opened by the Secret Police agent there, and checked against the inventory of approved images that accompanied it.
Margaret Watkins got out of the country with over 600 negatives. She made silver gelatin prints from a small number of these (some to exhibition standard) when she returned to her aunts’ home in Westbourne Gardes in Glasgow’s West End.
Eighteen of her original prints are now on show at the Hidden Lane Gallery in Argyle Street, Finnieston in Glasgow, together with another 80 from the “approved” negatives. These are also silver gelatin prints, made by Glasgow master printer and photographer Robert Burns. Most of these are now printed for the first time.
The Hidden Lane Gallery, at 1081 Argyle Street, Glasgow G3 8LZ, is open Tuesday to Saturday from 11am-5pm (www.hiddenlanegallery.com). The Margaret Watkins “Leningrad and Moscow 1933″ exhibition is on until 6th February 2013.
June 14th, 2012
On until 21 August, 2012
An exhibition gathering together a hundred depictions of Glasgow through the ages by some of the many artists – citizens and visitors alike – who have recorded the changing faces of the city during the past four centuries. Quality prints of most of these will be available to order through the Gallery, or on the website.
Paintings, prints, etchings, photographs, lithographs, drawings (and even needlework and an ancient piece of stained glass of Saint Mungo) showing the changing city over the centuries.
Photographs by Thomas Annan from the 1870’s show the now romanticised squalor of what is today the Merchant City, enlarged by the Annan Gallery in 1926 from the original plates.
Coloured lithographs of the Clyde and the Cathedral from the early and mid 1800’s, and a glimpse of paintings from the Foulis Academy exhibited in the Old University of Glasgow in the High Street in the 1760’s.
A window on the city in the 1930’s as seen through the lens of Margaret Watkins, whose work goes on display in a major exhibition in the National Gallery of Canada in October and a fascinating panorama, drawn from a balloon suspended above the Gorbals and published in the Illustrated London News in 1864 – with detail clearly identifiable around much of the city including Wellington, without his bollard, in place outside the now Gallery of Modern Art.
And lots more.
Until 21st August 2012.
Open Tuesday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
March 30th, 2012
Hilda Goldwag was born in Vienna in 1912. As an artistically gifted child she attended Art School in her native city and graduated in 1938 with distinction. With the growth of Nazism life became increasingly fraught for anyone of Jewish origin. She got a permit to “escape” to Scotland in 1939, and worked as a domestic servant in a manse in West Linton. Her family were due to follow in September 1939 – the day war broke out. All died in Dachau, including her four year old nephew.
During the war years she worked (as an enemy alien) in factory jobs.
Living in Hill Street, Garnethill, near the Glasgow Art School she had various art related jobs and soon took up painting again. She became a familiar sight with her easel and paints and brushes in the area, and her paintings began to appear in exhibitions. She moved to a low rise flat in Yoker/Knightswood after the Great Storm of 1968 took the roof off her city centre flat.
Painting had become a full-time occupation with solo shows in Greenock and Gourock in the 1970’s , in the Royal Glasgow Institute’s Kelly Gallery in Glasgow, and the Lillie Gallery in Milngavie in the eighties. A major exhibition of her work appeared at the University of Strathclyde’s Collins Gallery in 2005.
She painted until a year or two before her death in January 2008, trailing around the area – the parks and canal banks – with her gear stacked on a supermarket trolley. She ventured out to Kirkintilloch and other spots in bussing distance from Glasgow – returning with her large canvases or boards, the paint still wet, spread on the bus luggage racks.
When she died her little flat was stacked with paintings. Most of these reached auctions – for very successful sales. An exhibition of many of these was mounted at the Hidden Lane Gallery in Argyle Street in Finnieston, in 2010 and achieved considerable interest.
During the show a dustbin man came in to the Gallery and spoke to Gallery director Joe Mulholland. “Are you interested in drawings by Hilda Goldwag?” he enquired.
Mulholland was very interested. The dustbin man told him that he worked “with the Clennie” in the Yoker/Knightswood area and had known the old lady by sight, as she trundled around with her paints and paintings. When emptying the bins at the block of flats where she lived, he saw bags of what looked like interesting stuff among the rubbish. He opened them and found half a dozen sketch books and individual drawings.
“I thought it was a shame to have these destroyed and lost, so I took them home.l”
When he saw Hilda Goldwag’s name on the Hidden Lane Gallery window, it rang a bell. So he brought the sketches and drawings in. Many were simply studies for later paintings. Many were fine drawings able to stand by themselves.
The Gallery gave him a very substantial “reward” for his foresight and appreciation – but he wanted no personal recognition for saving the works. (and some of the painting materials: brushes, palette knives and scrapers) “I would get my books if my bosses found out I had kept these back from the trash”, he said.
The exhibition at the Hidden Lane Gallery shows dozens of these drawings, and the notebooks alongside a representative selection of Hilda Goldwag’s “people” paintings, since most of the drawings and sketches are of people.
The exhibition starts on Saturday 31st March, and is open Tuesdays to Saturdays from 11 am to 5 pm.
December 12th, 2011
The third exhibition at the Hidden Lane Gallery of the work of Margaret Watkins, almost half of whose life was spent unknown in Glasgow, covers previously unseen images from Paris, where she spent two productive months in the autumn of 1931.
When she died, in the gloomy seventeen room house in Glasgow’s West End in 1969, she left behind hundreds of “finished” images, many of which she had exhibited in major galleries in America, her home for over twenty years. These were secreted in a trunk she gave as a present to her new neighbour, Joe Mulholland on condition he did not open it till after her death. He did not know that she had been a photographer of note. He has spent the last forty years promoting her work, which is now recognised as being at the forefront of artistic and photographic achievement in the twentieth century.
She left behind thousands of negatives of her journeys from Glasgow to Germany, France and Russia. In November 2010, her Glasgow negatives were printed (by Robert Burns). Now we show a selection of those she made in Paris. Only a very small number were in other than negative form. Robert Burns has brought these to life, overcoming enormous difficulties due to the precarious state of the negatives, many of which had deteriorated with the years. All prints in the exhibition apart from those few originals by Margaret Watkins are selenium toned silver gelatin master prints by Robert Burns.
The exhibition has been extended until March 24th 2012.
October 5th, 2011
Born in Nenagh, Co. Tipperary, Ireland in 1941, Claire Mulholland studied at University College, Dublin, and the National College of Art, Dublin, before moving to Glasgow in 1964. Having spent much of her career painting in oils, she began working in glass in 1994. Her work has been exhibited in Scotland and Ireland, and is in private collections in the UK and Ireland, Germany, South Africa and Canada.
Subjects vary from abstract to figurative, spiritual to pictorial. The Rock Chapel windows bring the total of church windows to sixteen, including St Peter’s in Glasgow’s West End and St Brendan’s in Yoker, Glasgow.
“Back around 1994 I asked myself – what would I regret not having done? It was work with glass. I haven’t looked back. I love colour. I love the intensity of light through coloured glass – the way it changes, varies, and comes alive in different light and at different times of the day. I love the way it transforms a dull building, a dark corner or a dreary day. When I painted I tended to get bogged down in too much detail. The limitations of glass force me to approach things the other way round. What can I not leave out? It makes me focus on the essential, reduce to the simplest element. What line, shape, colour will express what I want to express?
I particularly enjoy abstract work, where possibilities of interpretation are open-ended and people can respond at many levels and in different ways. I had a dream for many years of doing a chapel of colours, with each window in a different colour of the spectrum, with a colour “psalm” to go with each. I had no idea it was waiting for me on top of a hill in North Wales!
The exhibition runs from Saturday 8th October until Friday 28th October.
August 27th, 2011
The idea for this exhibition came in conversations with freelance press photographer John Linton, and Suzanne Bunniss, who among many commitments , works with groups dedicated to assisting asylum seekers and other immigrants. The Red Road flats had become synonymous in central Scotland with the often grudging help given to those newcomers to Scotland in need of support. Meagre charity, often as cold as the clichéd adage, leaves not just gaps, but huge craters in the provision of help. The Red Road started with hope for badly housed Glaswegians. It has ended its days having become a bad name in all its functions
The pictures, by Scottish photographers document some of the sadnesses, and some of the joys which happened there.
The Red Road pictures appear upstairs. Downstairs is a selection of images submitted by Scottish Press Photographers, under the umbrella of the Association which they have formed to promote their work, which earns them an often precarious living. Photographers were staff men (very few women , then as now). Their work was often excellent, but often it was pedestrian. Today things are different; each photographer is only as good as his next picture. From the submissions received, standards have benefited from the competitive nature of the job today.
From the hundreds of entries received, the problem was not to find good images which would tell a story. Virtually every submission was worthy of inclusion.
The judges, Suzanne Bunniss, Alex Hewitt, deputy picture editor of the Scotsman, and Joe Mulholland had grave difficulty in narrowing the field to fit the wall space available. The same panel chose the images of the Red Road flats from a smaller, but equally accomplished field, again constrained by space.
All Gallery profits from sales of images will be donated to asylum seekers’ charities, with a further contribution from photographers whose work is sold.
From Saturday 3rd September until Friday 30th September.
June 9th, 2011
Lorcan Vallely was born in Armagh in 1979. His family have been involved in the art and music scene in Northern Ireland for two generations. He completed a foundation course in art and design at the Belfast Art College in 2000, before moving to Bath School of Art to study painting. After completion of his B.A. there, he attended a Postgraduate Diploma in Fine Art course at Chelsea College of Art in London in 2004, before spending a year in Oxford drawing and painting full time as a member of the artist-run Magdalen Road Studios.
He has exhibited in London, Bath, Oxford and throughout Ireland as well as in Italy. Since 2008 he has been working mainly from his studio in County Louth. He spent a year in Glasgow painting at a studio in the Hidden Lane.
Lorcan’s work has become instantly recognisable, with a very distinctive personal style.Using charcoal as his primary medium, and with a judicious use of acrylic, he layers his work to emphasise light and shade. This tonal quality gives his work an almost three-dimensional effect. The occasional use of oil to introduce colour brings an added vibrancy. He has had numerous solo and group exhibitions and has also completed many public and private commissions including “Song 4 Dylan” – a charcoal piece in response to a poem for the 7th Open House Festival in Belfast and “Mohammed al-Durra”, a large scale mural in Orgosolo, Sardinia.
This is his first exhibition in Scotland.
The exhibition will be running from 11th June until Mid August 2011.
Download the exhibition booklet
March 11th, 2011
Ewen McAslan, a founder member of the Glasgow Group in the 1950’s, spent almost three decades as artist and teacher in Canada, returning to Scotland to live and paint in Pittenweem in 1994. His lifelong quest for “something else” found satisfaction in painting the Rockies and the prairies of Canada, and Scotland’s hills and valleys and rocky coasts – as well as haunting figurative works, many inspired by and depicting his wife Isobel.
This is the first major exhibition in Scotland of Ewen’s work, on show at the initial behest of his peers from student days onwards, including Alasdair Gray, James Spence, Jack Knox, Ian McCulloch and Archie McIntosh.
Running from 17th March until 26th April 2011
September 6th, 2010
Hannah Frank, 1908 – 2008.
This new Hannah Frank exhibition opens at the gallery on 11th September and runs until the end of October.
Hannah Frank studied at Glasgow University and the Glasgow School of Art. She produced her hallmark black and white drawings, with their elongated structures, medieval romanticism and often melancholy air, from the age of 17 in 1925.
Between 1927 and 1932 the GUM, the Glasgow University Magazine, rarely came out without a drawing by ‘Al Aaraaf’, her chosen pen name. From the 1940s, after her marriage to mathematics teacher Lionel Levy, Hannah’s drawings became light-filled and exuberant.
Hannah turned to sculpture in 1952, studying with Benno Schotz, at the Glasgow School of Art. Hannah’s haunting drawings are resonant of the Art Nouveau period with a hint of Aubrey Beardsley and Jessie King. Hannah’s drawings, and her later sculptures, have been exhibited in the Royal Glasgow Institute, the Royal Academy, and the Royal Scottish Academy. In 2009 Hannah Frank became the first person ever to receive a posthumous honorary doctorate from Glasgow University, which was received on her behalf by her niece, Fiona Frank.
This exhibition is the first since Hannah Frank’s death, and includes the largest collection of Hannah Frank sculptures to be put on show for 20 years. It also includes five original Hannah Frank drawings that have resurfaced in a private collection in Norwich and were last seen by the public in the 1970s.
Also on show will be poems – and the Hannah Frank drawings that inspired them – written by winners and runners up to the first ever Hannah Frank Poetry Competition. The prize giving for this international competition took place at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow on what would have been Hannah’s 102nd birthday – 23 August 2010.
Vanessa Austin Locke, who won the adult category of the competition, said: “I feel honoured to have had the opportunity to essentially collaborate with an artist whose work and legacy really touches me. Hannah’s work represents three themes that I feel very close to; the feminine, the fey and cultural Judaism. These were the strands that I tried to weave through my poem.”
We plan to run poetry workshops during the exhibition: watch this space or call the gallery for details. Schools and writing groups are also welcome to arrange to visit the gallery and run their own small sketching or poetry workshops: there is room for 16 people to sit in the lower level of the gallery. Call the gallery to book a time.
There will be an opportunity to bid on a small number of original Hannah Frank drawings as well as purchase signed prints and canvas reproductions of Hannah Frank art. Recasts of sculptures, books, prints – some signed – and cards, will also be on sale at the exhibition.
Hannah Frank, A Glasgow Artist.
Running from Saturday 11th September until end of October 2010.
Opening times: Tuesday to Saturday 11am – 5pm.
Entry is free.
For more information visit: http://www.hannahfrank.org.uk
July 20th, 2010
Douglas MacBride is a professional photographer. He lives in Killin , West Perthshire. His work involves commissions for advertisements and commercial work, for promotions of all sorts.
But, between assignments, Douglas has quietly developed a hitherto hidden talent for spotting the obscure, the unlikely, the mysterious and the beautiful in the hills and valleys and glens around his home.
To Douglas, a puddle can transform itself , with a bubble on its surface, into a strange and interesting observant eye. Or a tree, the match of its neighbours, can detach and become a fierce ( or comforting, depending on the viewer) bird winging its way toward the camera.
“For years I have worked taking photographs as my job. Much of the work was purely functional, featuring items in shots for publication. Much of it involved portraying people, particularly in the theatre and the arts,” he said.
“Then, a few years ago, I had a double bereavement. My mother and father died unexpectedly and within a very short time of each other. I found it difficult to cope, and would wander by myself in the hills above Killin. Gradually I would be aware of forms and patterns in the grasses, the trees, the ponds, and how they differed, but to an extent remained the same in summer, in rain, in ice and in snow.”
“I decided to try to record these, getting beneath, behind and beyond the actual objects I was photographing.”
Some are sinister and sad, but reflect Douglas’ view of the continuity of things past, present and in the future. He calls the collection of almost sixty images “Archaeology” to reflect delving into things in places where they have been in one form or another for weeks or months or years or decades. Fallen trees, an animal track on the ice, long discarded antlers or a sheep’s skull, the reflection in a puddle – all are transformed through his lens into timeless images which bring the viewer to deeper thoughts on what till then were the ordinary things never seeming worthy of a second glance.
Douglas studied photography at Napier College. He was born in Shettleston in the east end of Glasgow in 1956 in the same house where his father and his grandfather were born. The family farmed there for generations before the area was taken over and built on with council housing by the former Glasgow Corporation. He has had exhibitions of his theatre work at the Edinburgh Festival in 2004 and a major show of his imaginative images in France last year sponsored by the French Ministry of Culture. In 1993 one of his works was voted the Best Illustrative Still Life in the World by the Art Editors Guild in New York. Several silver and bronze awards followed from the same prestigious body. His advertising work has been shown in New York, London, Perth in Australian and in Singapore.
Archaeology: The photography of Douglas MacBride will be on show, 11 am – 5 pm, Monday to Saturday until 28th August.
February 26th, 2010
A fugitive from the Nazis, Hilda Goldwag arrived in Scotland in March 1939. Her family were due to follow from Vienna six months later – on the day war was declared, September 3rd. They all died in the Holocaust – probably in Dachau in 1943.
Hilda eked out a meagre living, first as a domestic servant in a minister’s home in West Linton, then in an engineering works in Glasgow, until the end of the war. She then joined Friedlanders in Hillington, designing headscarves for Marks and Spencer – and using the artistic talent first spotted at an early age in her native city, and developed at art school there.
That talent got a chance to expand through necessity when Friedlanders lost its scarf contract, and closed down. Freelance design included book illustrations ( among them Collins edition of Robert Louis Stevenson’s “A Child’s Garden of Verses”) and she returned to painting, mainly in oils.
Much of Hilda Goldwag’s work inevitably and properly reflects the sadnesses which remained with her until her death two years ago a few months short of her ninety sixth birthday. And much of it shows her determination to get as much as she could from a life that she knew to hold so many uncertainties.
For years she was a familiar sight around Cowcaddens and Garnethill, where she lived for many years and then, with her supermarket trolley piled up with her painting materials, on the banks of the canal, near to her abode in Knightswood to which she had moved when the Great Storm of 1967 took the roof off her city centre tenement flat.
She escaped the city sometimes to Torrance and Kirkintilloch – taking her paints and board on the bus – and laying the wet finished, or almost finished artwork on the luggage rack.
A rare chance to see her dramatic paintings of people, of her beloved canal, of sombre moonlight and sad harlequins – and gloriously happy nudes portraying mirth, of wild young boys running and jumping, of trees and flowers and mountains and fields comes at Glasgow’s Hidden Lane Gallery, in Argyle Street, Finnieston (following the successful Margaret Watkins’ photographic exhibition just ended which welcomed almost three thousand visitors.)
One riveting image perhaps sums up the watchful young woman who arrived in Glasgow seventy years ago, peering through the slats of a Venetian blind, apprehensive but wanting to see what is there, on the outside and recording it in her own totally distinctive way.
The exhibition, the second in the series of ”Forgotten Women” is open Tuesday to Saturday, 11 am to 5 pm from Monday 1st March 2010.
January 21st, 2010
* Please note that the Margaret Watkins Exhibition has now closed *
With over 2,500 people walking through the doors of the Hidden Lane Gallery to view the works of Margaret Watkins, by popular demand the exhibition will now be extended. Originally intended to end this weekend, the exhibition will now run until Saturday 6th February. Opening times will be as usual however if you require a private viewing, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss further.
December 22nd, 2009
Following on from Margaret Watkins will be the works of Hilda Goldwag, the Vienna-born painter who came to Glasgow in 1938 as a refugee from encroaching Nazism. Her family were to follow, but they all perished in one or other concentration camp.
Hilda Goldwag died in 2007 in Glasgow at the age of ninety six. Sporadic interest in her work brought her a small following, through exhibitions in Strathclyde University’s Collins Gallery , and at the Lillie in Bearsden. Mulholland hopes that the show at the Hidden Lane Gallery will bring her wider recognition, and help remove her from the category of (almost) forgotten women.
The Margaret Watkins theme will come and go at the Hidden Lane during the next couple of years. The first exhibition is general and wide ranging . There will be separate shows of her advertising work (which she regarded as equally important and equally artistic) of her visits to the then called Leningrad and to Moscow, her extensive work in Paris, and particularly in Glasgow in the 1930’s. The foreign tours and Glasgow pictures exist mainly in negative form, and will be shown as some original prints, backed up by many images printed in the original way by master printer Robert Burns.
Later in 2010 there will be exhibitions of glass, and of stained glass, and the first Scottish exhibition of the work of talented young Belfast painter Lorcan Vallely, who for some time had his studio in the Hidden Lane, to the rear of the gallery.
December 22nd, 2009
The opening exhibition is under the general theme of Forgotten Women, the first being the photographic work of Canadian-born Margaret Watkins, who was at the centre of artistic life in New York in the 1910’s and 20’s. She came in 1928 to Glasgow to visit her three maiden aunts – and got stuck, dying in 1969 in the Hyndland family home she inherited, alone and forgotten.
Prior to her death she gave a large box to Mulholland – on a strict promise that he would not open the tied and sealed trunk until after her death. Forty years after her demise, and with decades of work in the meantime, Margaret Watkins is at last receiving the recognition that eluded her after she left New York. The box contained original photographs taken, processed and printed by her. Many had been exhibited in major galleries in North America and Europe up to 1927. She is now in virtually every encyclopaedia of photography, and being recognised as the innovator of certain styles of photography credited to others, whom she taught. Among these were Paul Outerbridge (of the famed Ide Collar and later questionable nude studies) and Margaret Burke-White, who took the well known picture of Gandhi on his prayer mat, and the iconic images of the Chrysler building in New York in the 1930’s – as well as being one of the most celebrated of the Magnum war photographers.