POETRY and paint engage to splendid effect in this new exhibition.
The idea for Glasgow Haiku came to Liz Knox two years ago when she took part in an exhibition at Kelvingrove to raise funds for the Riverside Museum Appeal. It featured established and emerging Scottish artists, responding both to the Clyde and to Zaha Hadid's jaggedly impressive museum.
Inspired by the experience, Knox and Herald art writer Jan Patience decided to ask 12 artists from the original show to mount another exhibition responding to Glasgow in a poetic way. The Group 13 Artists, as they term themselves, were tasked with writing a 17-syllable haiku for each of their works. They have risen to both the literary and artistic challenge. Perhaps articulating in words what they were aiming at instinctively with paint has added an analytical edge to their endeavours. The result, in any case, is a vivid and varied portrait of the city.
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Adam Kennedy's ghostly and dramatic vision of the Riverside Museum and heroic ship hulks ("From rivet to rust/ The great sisters of the Clyde/ The Gargantuans") counterpoints his brother Paul's cheerful salute to the Waverley and Glasgow's vanished trams. John Kingsley's fiery furnace and cool abstracts of hill and loch contrast with Annette Edgar's celebration of Glasgow at play – "Moon to morning/party animals blaze/ stag and hen."
Knox's bold-block caravans in the lee of the Finnieston crane are a world away from Sue Biazotti's mysterious monochrome invocations of upper Buchanan Street or Katie Pope's action-packed city panoramas. And there's light relief too amid the drama – Alasdair Wallace's three little planes carry the deflating message: "You misunderstood/ Everyone loves everyone/ No one likes you but"- Ouch.
But really to single out particular paintings is invidious. All the participants are in top form. Maybe the writing of haiku to accompany works of art should become mandatory.
The exhibition runs until December 1.