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Fishink in Edinburgh. Part 1

September 19, 2013

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I’ve just discovered that today is my twitter third birthday (@wwwfishinkcouk) so Happy day to me : ) , do follow too !

We were in Edinburgh for the long weekend, catching up with friends and galleries in the area. In this city of chimney pots and Georgian style houses, I discovered this lovely Lion sculpture in St Andrews Square by sculptor Ronal Rae.  Apparently this 20 tonne granite wildcat is available to buy, if only my garden was big enough.

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Heading over to the Royal Scottish Academy where the acclaimed Peter Doig exhibition is on, I also came across a small collection of Children’s artwork.

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Organised by Tesco, the Bank Art Competition for schools showed some great winning pieces.

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The above Clarice Dow illustration wouldn’t be out of place in a Chagall exhibition, and Alex Adamson’s piece is so wonderfully textural and 3-D it falls out of the frame at you ! I liked them all.

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Also at the Royal Scottish Academy, a smaller, quite breathtaking exhibition of the work of landscape artist Kate Downie was taking place. Working in Beijing and Shanghai, Kate had created a number of wall size hangings, painted on paper and canvas in a chinese brush style. There were beautiful tones of silvery greys and strong textural blacks giving her work depth and a mystical quality that suited it’s subject matter very well. It’s on until the 6th October, free to see and well worth a look.

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Moving from there to the National Museum of Scotland, after it’s refurbishment it must be one of the most beautiful museums I’ve visited for quite some time.

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With an amazing exhibition by Ilana Halperin.

Contemporary artist Ilana Halperin explores notions of time in The Library, a new exhibition that presents rocks, minerals and geological artefacts in a new and remarkable light. Tracing a thin and permeable line between geology and biology, culture and nature, Halperin introduces visitors to the alphabet of geology: including agates that share the artist’s birthday, minerals that record the collision of Earth and outer space, and artworks slowly formed in caves and geothermal springs. At the heart of the exhibition is the artist’s most ambitious project to date: a 1.3 ton stone library featuring ‘books’ of the mineral mica.

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Originally from New York, Halperin trained as a stone carver before her growing fascination and interest in geology drew her to Scotland, recognised as the birthplace of geology. Now based in Glasgow, Halperin is the first recipient of an Artist’s Fellowship at National Museums Scotland, during which she has been researching the Museums’ own collections and exploring geological phenomena in the wider world. Her research has taken her from the Blue Lagoon and active volcanoes in Iceland to the Fontaines Petrifiantes, Eric Papon’s family-owned petrifying caves in France.

In a normal limestone cave it takes 100 years for a stalactite to grow one centimetre, in the Fontaines Petrifiantes, one centimetre will grow in a year. Through an elaborate process, carbon-rich waterfalls are directed over 25 meter-high ‘casting ladders’ located inside a volcanic mountain. Eric places objects on the rungs of each ladder. Quickly objects become covered in a new layer of calcium carbonate – Limestone.  These finger-like sculptures below were formed over the course of four months.

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The layout and structure of the museum was really well thought out. I fell in love with quite a few animals during my trip, some looked a little healthier than others lol.

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A few other random bits and pieces that caught my eye.

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I’m currently re-reading the children’s series of 5 books ‘The Dark is Rising’ by Susan Cooper and this belt reminded me of the one mentioned in the book. (Don’t bother with the film, the books are far far superior).

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A small child approached this ‘Atom Smasher’ with his grandmother, he looked up at the towering structure and confidently proclaimed  to his Nanna ‘That’s a Robot’

It did make me smile, and at that age, what else could it possibly have been ?

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I had to wait a while with the families and small children to have a turn on the rather creative weighing machine. For those of you who are remotely interested. I weigh somewhere between a Chimpanzee and a Harbour Porpoise, I feel that it’s always useful to know these things : )

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Wonderful discoveries in the minerals and space room.

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Stars, Planets and all kinds of gadgets to measure and record them too.

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Such a great museum and there is plenty more to see and more restorations continuing as I type. Do go and visit. it’s a great day out. More to follow about Edinburgh in a couple of days.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. Sarah permalink
    September 19, 2013 10:32 pm

    Hello Craig. What is the story behind the mask that has the rings of objects ……is it a story mask?
    Also the petrified soldier biting his shield …..which I see is used on the museums website…..have u more to tell?
    Looks a fab place……going on my list to see.
    X

  2. September 21, 2013 11:07 am

    The National Museum of Scotland is my absolute favourite museum-the V&A is fabulous, but serious, the Museum of Scotland is full of wonder , surprise and entertainment – such a lovely building too.

  3. Sarah permalink
    September 23, 2013 10:18 pm

    Thank you for my history lesson. Inuit: thats why I liked the masks then.
    How refreshing the Norwegian craftsmen used such humour when making such funky chess pieces.
    Defo catch up……email u now. X

  4. September 24, 2013 2:37 pm

    The columns on the Royal Scottish Academy remind me of super-sized crayons! As always, enjoying your posts. I save them to a folder so when I have time, I take a look, but there is always so much inspiration, I can’t get anything else done!

    • September 24, 2013 6:05 pm

      They do look like Crayons it’s true. Glad you’re finding the posts inspirational too : )

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