Visual art: Hidden Art
Away from Edinburgh and Glasgow’s public galleries, which have collections which match their budgets, many smaller spaces flourish. ‘Small’ is all relative, however. Venues like Glasgow’s centre for design and architecture The Lighthouse (www.the lighthouse.co.uk), and Edinburgh’s Fruitmarket (www.fruitmarket.co.uk), doggerfisher (www.doggerfisher.com) and Ingleby (www.inglebygallery.com) galleries carry huge reputations before them.
Multi-use gallery spaces flourish around both cities. The CCA (www.cca-glasgow.com) is also a bar, restaurant and sometime music venue, while Edinburgh’s Corn Exchange Gallery (www.corn exchangegallery.com) offers well-curated programmes in the reception area of Leith design agency Navy Blue. Glasgow’s Tramway (www.tramway.org) moonlights as a theatre space, a bar-café and an occasional live music venue, while the Hidden Gardens out the back present yet another reason to visit.
Sometimes, though, small does mean small, but not necessarily unambitious. Edinburgh’s Cockburn Street is home to the Collective Gallery (www.collectivegallery.net), which hosts work by young local and national artists, while the Stills Gallery (www.stills.org) across the road is dedicated to the lens-based arts. In Glasgow, the Recoat gallery (www.recoatdesign.com) holds intimate shows which have a particular emphasis on street art, while Mary Mary (www.marymarygallery.co.uk) is not so gauche, although its limited opening hours and riverside apartment block setting do make it something of a discovery.
The art colleges are breeding grounds for vibrant and varied people as much as artists, and some of the galleries which inevitably end up housing ex-graduates in Glasgow are particularly iconic. There’s Sorcha Dallas (www.sorchadallas.com), a space with a seemingly firm commitment to the most esoteric of modern art; Studio Warehouse (www.swg3.tv), a former Customs and Excise bonded warehouse which has been converted into display and studio space for emerging young graduates; and King Street’s Transmission (www.transmission gallery.org), which enjoys the cachet of having been namechecked in Franz Ferdinand’s ‘Do You Want To?’.