Who was Tom Nairn? One of the great political thinkers of his age, we mark his passing away with an introduction to his thought. This piece is excerpted from Tartan Pimps, a 2010 book by Mitch Miller and Johnny Rodger, which examined how the new Scottish politics were written into being. Some of the parliamentary politics here have aged a bit -Nairn's thought has not.
Billed as 'groundbreaking', the Edinburgh City Art Centre exhibition, Glean - curated by Jenny Brownrigg - gathers the work of 14 pioneering early 20th century women photographers and filmmakers. Sara Stevenson reviews it for The Drouth, and considers it an 'impressive achievement'.
A meditation on those places where you can learn to see things and make things, and mess around with materials and forms and colours, usually for no particular purpose other than what Murdo Macdonald calls here a 'true education'. What will come of it, what has become of it?
Has there been a new discovery of the social and civic aspects of song -its historic powers? What are the sources and its outcomes of such a movement? How did it start up, where does it happen, who takes part and where is it going? Neil Cooper went to see and listen to the NVC in Perth.
'Sometimes it feels like all the possible takes on the independence debate have already been 'well rehearsed'. Can the debate be refreshed and also gain some new subtlety and complexity? Richard Finlay assesses Gerry Hassan's new book-length contribution and is optimistic about its possible influence.
Born and raised in Glasgow, the only child of a Russian emigre, painter Yusef Szafki was much influenced by literature in his visual artwork. In an endlessly creative life, he published two literary works, including one on engaging with the Russian/Ukrainian writer Nikolai Gogol (60’ N (1996) ). Arguably the bold dreamlike, exaggerated style of Szafki’s work is influenced heavily by Gogol’s character, and his writing in such famous stories as ‘Diary of a Madman’ and ‘The Nose’. Johnny Rodger reviews this retrospective as the first exhibition to attempt a survey across his life’s work, and appreciates Szafki's experimentation and his ever-developing concerns with form, tone and texture.
An addition to our 'Lost Institutions' series, Neil Cooper sings the praise of a much missed music venue - Henry's Cellar Bar. But is it really lost -is that the way it works with the subculture -does it ever get stuck on one place? Is Utopia a material, or a performance, or ...?
'What did you do, dad, on the 19th of September 2022?' -The People of South Lanarkshire did not rest on that day - Burke and McLean (not Edmund and John, but Raymond and Richard) egged them on to the respectful end, while the Queen of England was laid to rest.