Student Guide 2015: art and about Edinburgh and Glasgow
Our Visual Art editor discovers some of the city’s best walking trails for art lovers
Glasgow School of Art Walking Tours
Swiss curator Hans-Ulrich Obrist termed Glasgow’s transformation from post-industrial malaise to a leading contemporary arts and culture hub as ‘The Glasgow Miracle’. These walking tours, led by student guides, reveal the story behind the ‘miracle’, exploring the pivotal sites and projects that turned Glasgow into the cultural hub it is today. You’ll visit the Third Eye Centre’s community arts projects in Garnethill from the 1970s to the grassroots galleries in Merchant City from the 90s. The walks take in a huge stretch of the city and frequently veer off the beaten track to uncover artworks installed down hidden lanes. This is a great way to discover Glasgow; and they even provide the umbrellas.
£16.00 for students with valid ID
Glasgow Women’s Library: Heritage Audio Tours
Glasgow Women’s Library is a vibrant information hub on Landressy Street dedicated to increasing the knowledge and understanding of women’s history, lives and achievements. Over the last few years, the organisation has developed heritage audio tours so that people can explore outside of the library and across the city by walking in the steps of women who have shaped Glasgow’s history. There are two audio tours so far, covering the West and East Ends of Glasgow. The West End tour traces the lives of pipe-smoking forewomen and revolting schoolmistresses. In the East End you’ll find out about the women who worked in the Templeton Factory, suffragettes who were held in Duke Street Prison and the woman who set up the Barras.
Download for £3 from womenslibrary.org.uk/product-category/audio-tours/
Audio tours have been developed in English, French, Polish and German
Collective Gallery’s Observer Walks
When the Collective Gallery relocated from Cockburn Street to the City Observatory on Calton Hill, it commissioned a series of downloadable audio guides inspired by the extraordinary character and history of its new location. Three eclectic guides have been created by leading artists: Memorialmania by Ruth Ewan and Astrid Johnston focuses on the monuments and geology of the hill revealing the stories behind its glaciated landscape and the rocks placed upon it; Outwith is series of stories created by artist Bedwyr Williams, set in a local hotel which is visible from Calton Hill; The Artist and the Gravedigger: After DO Hill, by Tris Vonna-Michell, centres on the pioneering calotype photography of David Octavius Hill, who worked with Robert Adamson at Rock House, which overlooks Waterloo Place on the south-west side of Calton Hill. Each guide invites the listener to rethink this iconic Edinburgh landmark and its panoramic views over the city.
Download free from collectivegallery.net/programme/observers-walks
Gayfield Creative Spaces’ Walking Programme
Gayfield Creative Spaces is interested in the intersection between art and health and wellbeing. In 2015 it launched ‘Walks by Design’, a creative mapping project encouraging people to explore the beauty and creativity of contemporary Edinburgh, guiding them to art venues and green spaces across the city. Three maps have been developed so far in collaboration with the National Library of Scotland, covering the east, west and south of Edinburgh. Inside Gayfield Creative Spaces is a ‘Pace Postbox’ where participants on the walks can send ideas, stories, sketches or pictures inspired by their journeys. These will form part of an interactive map set to be launched later in the year. You can also contribute to the project using the hashtag #walksbydesign on Instagram or Twitter.
Travel writer Andrew John Rainnie has posted some fabulous themed city walks around Glasgow on his site ‘Discover Glasgow’. Our favourites are the Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson Tours, which navigate the city by following the 19th-century architect’s austere, neo-classical buildings. There are three tours altogether, covering the city centre, west and south sides of the city, demonstrating Thomson’s extensive contribution and influence on Glasgow’s identity. Rainnie has also created a Charles Rennie Mackintosh tour, which takes in the architect’s most iconic buildings such as the Glasgow School of Art and Willow Tea Rooms on Sauchiehall Street, to the lesser-known sites he inspired. These include Liz Peden’s series of works in the Townhead area, where Mackintosh spent much of his youth.