A Tale of Two Cities
This article is from 2008.
A new exhibition is challenging preconceptions about the Glasgow-Edinburgh rivalry, as Liz Shannon discovers
Glasgow and Edinburgh: what a pair. Like errant brothers at a wedding, you can bet they’ll be brawling on the dance floor before the end of the night. The roots of this mutual antipathy are too numerous to mention, yet they extend into all aspects of relations between the two cities, including the visual arts. There is a sense of divide between Glasgow and Edinburgh’s art scenes: the latter tends to be viewed as more established, as befits the home of the National Galleries, but perhaps a little staid, while the former, site of the ‘Glasgow Miracle’, is considered more cutting-edge.
A new exhibition entitled gleDinBow (geddit?) intends to challenge these preconceptions and turn this rancorous sibling rivalry into a healthier appreciation of what the curators call ‘the differences and unique qualities of each city’. Organised by artist-run initiative Echo, the exhibition features five Edinburgh-based artists, each paired with a Glasgow counterpart, such as Edinburgh’s Steve Mykietyn with Glasgow’s Jim Colquhoun.
But how was the Glasgow contingent chosen? ‘Mainly it’s new connections,’ says Paulina Sandberg, one of the artists behind Echo who is also exhibiting as part of the Edinburgh set. ‘The artists were found through going to look at Glasgow International and through word of mouth.’
If all goes well, the exhibition could be an interesting starting point for the overhaul of inter-city art relations. When asked about the possibility of repeating the exhibition in Glasgow, Sandberg responds, ‘Yeah, do you know anyone in Glasgow?’ Over to you, budding artists and curators.
Gledinbow (Group Show), Art’s Complex, 7–21 Aug, free.