Collins Gallery curator Laura Hamilton picks her favourite exhibitions

  • The List
  • 17 February 2012
Collins Gallery curator Laura Hamilton picks her favourite exhibitions

Installation by Glasgow’s Chalet group / Photo: Iona Shepherd

Selections from the gallery’s 40-year history

As Strathclyde University’s Collins Gallery prepares to unveil its final exhibition, curator Laura Hamilton picks her favourite exhibitions from the gallery’s 40-year history

Impossible to select only five top shows from over 250 curated for the Collins since 1989, but here are a few which best captured the attention of the public at large, or provided the greatest inspiration for Scottish makers’ practices.

Submarine, Iron and Heavier than Air, a trio of haunting and ambitious, mixed media installations by Tom McKendrick inspired by great feats of engineering.

Chocolate and The Plate Show, two major thematic exhibitions representing over 200 artists from throughout the world. On the eve of the launch of Chocolate, BBC Scotland aired a plea from Glasgow City Council for a public boycott, providing excellent, nationwide publicity while The Plate Show brought Grayson Perry to Scotland and encouraged artists, better known for their expertise in other fields, to experiment with ceramic.

Memorable firsts include major contemporary textile shows from Mongolia and Kyrgyzstan, as well as basketry from Japan, Botswana and India, all of which have led to on-going opportunities for local makers to engage in exchanges with counterparts across the globe.

Always key to the Collins, was the abolishment of perceived barriers between art, design and craft as illustrated in numerous projects, two favourites of which were the inclusion of Simon Carroll’s chaotic paintings, prints and drawings in a major retrospective of his ceramics, and more recently, a vibrant installation by Glasgow’s Chalet group.

George Wyllie: A Life Less Ordinary, Collins Gallery, Glasgow, Sat 10 Mar–Sat 21 Apr.

George Wyllie: A Life Less Ordinary

The Collins Gallery's last ever exhibition before it's shut down by the University of Strathclyde is a celebration of the work of George Wyllie, one of Scotland's favourite artists, creator of the Running Clock outside Buchanan Bus Station (among other well-loved pieces of public art).

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