Arts

Mairi Campbell performs 'Pulse' at Shea Theater near Boston and joins the cast of WGBH Celtic Sojourn

Scots musical artist Mairi Campbell is in Boston to perform in WGBH Celtic Sojourn at the Cutler Majestic and touring. On Dec 2 at the Shea Theater in Turner Falls she will perform 'Pulse', a musical drawn from her own life which she performed throughout the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe, gaining some five star reviews.


Not many musicians could hope to fill a theatre with a one-woman experimental musical about their own lives. But Mairi Campbell’s 'Pulse' in which she acts, sings, plays the fiddle and dances the story of her own musical coming of age has been touring Scotland for the last two years, showcasing the best of modern Scots culture at Celtic Connections in 2016 and at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2017. Mairi is an old friend of mine and below is a piece I wrote about the show at its inception in 2015.

Read more: Mairi Campbell performs 'Pulse' at Shea Theater near Boston and joins the cast of WGBH Celtic...

Robert Kemp - 50 Years After the Death of a Scots Playwright, a Memoir

This month marks 50 years since the death of the playwright Robert Kemp. To commemorate this, I have created a memoir which is downloadable here as a PDF, readable on Kindle or any other device. This is a work in progress - a corrected and finalised version will appear soon. Comments and contributions welcome via Facebook or Twitter @jackiekemp.

Robert Kemp was a playwright who spoke and often wrote in the Scots tongue. His plays reflect his ease in the language and a deep knowledge of Scotland’s literature and history.  Many of the characters and stories are drawn from Scotland’s past and its rich folklore. He wrote upwards of 120 plays, for radio and theatre, in English and Scots, but is remembered chiefly for his adaptation of Sir David Lyndsay’s the Three Estates for the Edinburgh Festival in 1948, and for two Moliere adaptations into Scots, Let Wives Tak Tent, and the Laird O Grippy.

Read more: Robert Kemp - 50 Years After the Death of a Scots Playwright, a Memoir

Finding Art in the News.

Real newspapers can be used for many things that their digital counterparts never could - from lining the veg box to making paper boats and beyond. Artist Jane Couroussopoulos finds a novel use for the pile of old Guardians she keeps in her studio, turning them into works of art.

 

Jane and Poppy in the studio.

Read more: Finding Art in the News.

'Spirit of 47' - A Member of the Edinburgh International Festival Audience for 70 Years Looks Back.

The theme of the 70th Edinburgh International Festival this year is remembering the ‘Spirit of 47’. Among the audience is at least one faithful festival-goer who was there at the start - my uncle David Kemp. 

Here are some of David’s reminiscences of his many Festivals, stretching back to those post-war years when the colour and beauty of art returned to a traumatised world.

David Kemp outside the Usher Hall, Edinburgh before the Mariinsky/ RSNO concert on 23/08/2017

Read more: 'Spirit of 47' - A Member of the Edinburgh International Festival Audience for 70 Years Looks Back.

Two Exhibitions: "Doppelhanger" at MOBA and "Frances Stark" at MFA



I laughed more in my short visit to the Museum of Bad Art (MOBA) - than I can remember doing at an art gallery. But the experience was not only amusing; it helped me to reflect upon the curatorial process at work in all art galleries, and to reach a conclusion about the Frances Stark retrospective which is currently on show at Boston’s Museum of Fine Art.

The current MOBA exhibition is entitled “doppelhanger” and features portraits which bear an intended or accidental  resemblance to a famous person. My guide, Louise Reilly, pointed to “Sunday on the Pot with George” (above).

“This is one of my all time favorites. Pointillism is difficult. Why would anyone expend that much energy painting a middle-aged man in his tighty whities sitting on a toilet?” And look” she pointed to where the portrait ends, at the subject’s ankles, where either by accident or design the painter has avoided having to include those challenging feet.

Read more: Two Exhibitions: "Doppelhanger" at MOBA and "Frances Stark" at MFA