Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Lost Dog

This is my last video of 2006...have got to get Christmas under way! It's a
constructed narrative from an afternoon walking my dog in the snow.
Hope its got a festive feel about it, well, a snowy one anyway.

Friday, December 01, 2006

"Hands", Changing Room gallery, Stirling

I came across this video last night in my studio ( i.e. spare bedroom) while trawling through some old footage and I realised that it has never been seen by anyone so I decided to put it up on You Tube this morning.

After all, I reckon that those people who were kind enough to take part in my inter-active art project in the Changing Room gallery might like to see it. So lets hope they click on to You Tube and see their hands!

But there's a little problem...I've got over 40 images of hands up and I only know a few peoples names. In the excitement/confusion of the week in the gallery my list of names does not tie up with the photos...so if anyone looking at this video recognises themselves then please email me( annshaw@mac.com) and I will put the names in.

So far I have got the following: John Gray, Fiona Ross, Chris Walker, Malcolm Shaw, Lys Hansen, Kirsteen MacDonald, Peter Russell, Jamie Jack, Lynn Wilson, Ann Turner, Pamela and Katie Morley.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Ben A'an, The Trossachs

Climbed Ben A'an yesterday. This is a quick charcoal sketch I made. Nearly had heart failure when I caught my first glimpse of Ben A'an. A sheer peak rising out of nowhere....a video will follow.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Craig-y-nos- most haunted castle

Craig-y-nos Castle has had a violent and colourful history.
Built in 1840 by the Powell family, it is said there was a curse on the family because Captain Powell's children died of either disease or terrible accidents. He ran out of monery, went blind and eventually insane.

Adelina Patti, world famous opera singer, lived there for over 50 years. She entertained the "great and the good" including Royalty, with concerts in her private theatre.
She died after falling down a flight of stairs. Today her ghost is supposed to haunt the castle and the grounds. Many sightings have been reported along with her singing.

After her death the castle was used for around forty years ( 1920- 1960) as a childrens TB sanatorium though all records for this period have been destroyed.
Today it is an hotel specialising in weddings and ghost-hunting.
It claims to be the most haunted castle in Wales.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Budapest: " Celebrations"

On April 12 2003 Hungary voted to join the Common Market. We were being entertained by our Hungarian friends at the time and they were showing us around Budapest. This is a snapshot of that day.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Ossie the Bull

Brother-in-law George Chandler with Ossie the Limousin bull on his farm, Lower Cefn Clytha near Abergavenny in South Wales.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Venice Biennale 2003

Short film based on the 2003 Venice Biennale.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Just Walking

This is an animation-style video clip filmed around the Allan Water river near Bridge of Allan.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

"Clach"International Stone Sculpture Symposium, Scotland

Ann Shaw web movie based on the "Clach" Stone Sculpture Symposium

Laurent Guyolot "Clarsach"

Carving in stone may be deeply unfashionable in some artistic circles- after all its no longer taught at art colleges- but there is no doubting the ability of stone to resonate with the human spirit throughout the ages- from the cave paintings in Spain to its popularity with the public today.

Tom Allan "Janus Heads - You'n' Me Babe"

Witness the hugely successful first ever Stone Sculpture Symposium in Scotland held this month ( Sept. 2006) in the grounds of a castle near Stirling.

Hugh Collins ""Torso"

A dozen sculptors from as far afield as Canada, Germany, France, Norway as well as Ireland, England and of course Scotland had been invited to make work in the grounds of the castle for a week .

Marina Weir "Water-horse"
They were:
Tom Allan ( Glasgow), Hugh Collins (Scotland) Marina Weir ( Ayrshire),Brunton Hunter (Borders), Laurent Guyolot ( France/Italy), Eldon Guay ( Canada), Alan Ward ( England), Nils Hansen ( Germany/Italy), Susheila Jamieson ( Borders), Arne Maeland ( Norway), Aileen-Anne Brannigaan ( Ireland), Paul Cook (England), and David Kent ( England).

Alan Ward "Throne for a Celtic King"

The event was organised by sculptor Tom Allan, who passionately believes that stone still offers a valid expression for the creative expression of art, and he describes the week as a “resounding success”.

Arne Maeland ""Tower House"

Plans are already underway for the second Stone Sculpture Symposium in Scotland next year.

Nils Hansen "Triskele symbol"

But first Tom is taking a well earned break - with a few weeks carving in the Carrara marble quarries, near Pisa.

Susheila Jamieson "Spiral"

On a personal note I found the symposium a refreshing change from the arid conceptualism masquerading as art that fills so many of our galleries today.

Brunton Hunter "Cup and Ring Spike"

Eldon Guay "Eternity"

Thursday, August 31, 2006


Looking for something different?
then why not try a visit to the Hghland Falconry and Auchingarrich Wildlife Centre.
Set up in 2000 the Highland Falconry is open all the year round and is based in the award winning
Auchingarrich Wildlife Centre, just 10 minutes from Comrie.
It offers educational visits and personal tuition for those who want to learn more about the ancient art of falconry along with "hawk walks" where you get to take a bird of prey out ( after some tuition!) and fly it in the local countryside.

Craig Stewart with his 8 week old European eagle owl and Russian Stepp eagle at the Highland Falconry Centre near Comrie.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders march through Stirling

March through Stirling ...drummer faints...another soldier feels ill...Provost inspects army....and crowds line the streets.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Speyside Cooperage

This is a family owned business going back three generations of the Taylor family. Based in Craigellackie in the heart of the Speyside its Visitors Centre allows the general public to view coopers at work.
Members of the Taylor family make regular visits to Missouri, Kentucky and Tennesee to buy high quality American oak for their casks.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

the wedding feast

Family wedding in Cheshire.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Australian Highlanders Pipe Band

Australian Highlanders Pipe Band performing at the recent Bridge of Allan Games before taking part in the World Pipe Band Championship. They are all staying on campus at Stirling University.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Alaska Dog Mushing

Some very old footage which I have just re-edited taken of us dog mushing in Alaska during a stopover to Japan.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Bridge-of-Allan Highland Games

This is the most popular annual event in the town and draws huge crowds with a large international following.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

HIghland piper

Boarded the ferry at Mallaig for Skye and on arrival we are greeted by Highland piper D.C. Ferguson piping visitors ashore. He lives in Aardvasar, Sleat and restores old photographs and historical documents

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


Having just visited the High Pastures cave, a working archaeological site, on the Isle of Skye I came across a small farming community shearing sheep with the Cuillins in the background. It was Biddy and Norman from Kilbride farm with their team of helpers doing the annual shear of their 800 flock.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Electron club, Glasgow

Went to the launch of the Electron club in the CCA ( Centre for contemporary Arts which is currently recovering from a near death experience). The aim is to provide an open community for artists and computer folk to share and learn from each others experiences. Its a great idea though I am still not clear how you join.
They say its free and open to all...but how do you stop computers walking out of the door? maybe I am a bit cynical having already had a tv/vcr stolen from the Transmission gallery and there was an invigilator!...

Friday, July 28, 2006

Journey to Antarctica

Alan and Frances Fielding from Bridge of Allan, Scotland went on a journey to the Antarctica earlier this year. The photographs were taken by Frances and I edited them into a music video.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Massacre of the midges

Evening in the Scottish Highlands

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Video-Dunblane show

Four minute video of highlights from the Doune and Dunblane show.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Dollar Art Summer School

Just back from their annual exhibition held this year in the brand new Arts Centre of Dollar Academy, a gift from a former pupil!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Bridge of Allan gardens on television

Bridge-of-Allan Gardens, Scotland

BBC 1 clip taken from Beechgrove garden

Well, we have had our one minute of fame tonight! all four gardens participating in Scotland's Open Gardens scheme were featured in the gardening television programme Beechgrove Garden on BBC 1.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Alain de Bottom Hay Festival

Swelltering heat but worthwhile.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Robert Winton

Is there a God gene? Robert Winton seems to think so. This raises the question: when we start to tamper with the human gene pool ( which we will) will we slelave out the God gene?

Has it already served its evolutionary purpose? at present they think about a quarter per cent of the population carry this gene.

Antony Gormley

Here's an artist with a very serious message and highly articulate too. The interviewer was almost unnecesary inthis case.He talked about his latest installation in Western Australia working with Aborigines. Very cerebral yet with excellent communication skills.

Tony Parsons

I love his work, and the audience clearly did too. Pity he comes across as such a cold fish

Al Gore

Former American Vice President toklsd asome very funny stories against himself before getting down to the serious business of promoting care for the environment.

Steve Jones Hay Book Festival

Arguing the case for evolution versus creationism, Steve Jones played a recording of the Queen making a speech during her late teens and one of Prince Harry, two generations later, to show how language evolves.
Steve Jones later signed copies of his new book TheSingle Helix

Howerd Hodgkin Hay Book Festival

He may be a great artist but Howerd Hodgkin is an interviewer's nightmare!...Simon Schama did his best but the score at the end of rthe day was ana outright win to Hodgkin, this man believes in privacy and he sure had no intention of letting anyone into this privat thought processes or life for that at Tate Britain.

As people started to walk out - fed up with HH refusal to giveany decent replies to questions apart from "yes", "no" "maybe"
"I have nothing to say" his consciencwe must have pricked him cause he turned to Schama and said:"Ithink you ought to open it up to questions from the floor."He did and people wanted to know why we couldnot see any images of HH work.
Answer:he refused to allow the Festival to show any......
still I have a grudging admiration for his refusal to play the publicity game.

Secuestro Express -Hay Book Festival

Alarming film from Venezuela- a must see should this ever come on to the British circuit.

It's about the modern phenomena of kidnapping , rampant in Caracas where two thirds of the population live in poverty and one third in extreme wealth.

Kidnapping is the modern way of surviving and most families have experience of it, including the director of this film, Jonathon Jakubowicz. He made the film to try and understand the mentality of the kidnappers and at the event it was very clear why they did it: to survive.

In a country rife with corruption, including the police, this film kicks the Hay Festival off to a sombre start:this year there is an emphasis on the environment.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Hay Book Festival

Have just heard Maggi Hambling speak. A fearsome character! had thought of getting a book signed by her but the thought of meeting her terrified me. She was onstage with her dog. As for the interviewer, Sarah Rothchild, the poor woman was made to feelk like a naughty six year old.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Scotland's Open Gardens- Bridge of Allan

Well, we are part of a group of four in Bridge of Allan who have just opened our garden for the first time to the public.

Now there is nothing like the thought of several hundred people inspecting your garden to cause you to hurry up and finish off all those odd jobs that have been lurking around for months, well, years in some cases.

The national charity,Scotland's Gardens Scheme, started 75 years ago inviting people to open up their gardens as a novel form of fund-raising and it has proved to be hugely successful.

We were gobsmacked to be asked. A few years ago ours was the proverbial "garden from hell"- wooded, north facing, steep slopes with the added bonus of deer and rabbits who ate everything. It was a nightmare to turn around. Maybe because it was so difficult that led us to find some unconventional solutions.
Well here's the result.

On Sunday afternoon we invited friends to help out including our next door neighbour, John Gray, who found himself directing traffic for four hours non-stop!- not bad for an octogenarian.

We had thought this would just be a local event but we found people came from all over the central belt: Glasgow, Alloa, Aberfeldy, Falkirk, Brig O'Turk, Yetts of Muchart, Larbert, Stirling,Drymen, Fintry,Kippen, Gargunnock, Dunfermline and even a visitor from Australia!

Afterwards we all agreed that the open day had been a great success despite a big traffic holdup on the motorway near Stirling causing tailbacks for several hours.

And the oldest visitor was a 96 year old woman who took great pride in naming the plants she recognized.

Oh yes, and the afternoon raised over £1,000 for Strathcarron hospice.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Postcards in the studio

I like to keep postcards in my studio of work I have recently seen. These two images are from my recent visit to Amsterdam. The original of Floris Van Dijck's "Still Life with cheeses" had a maggot crawling along the table and some gigantic flies on the white cloth but in all the reproductions these have been digitally removed!

The drawing is, of course, by Rembrandt of a "Lion Resting".

Glasgow Art Fair

Well, I guess a couple of visits to Glasgow Art Fair this past weekend made me decide to completely change the way I use my online blog. No longer am I going to write about other people's art but its going to be my own.
What caused this change? well strolling around gallery after gallery of paintings I felt I had stepped back in time. Who buys this stuff? what does it have to say about the world we live in today?
Sure its decorative- so is Ikea and Habitat and at a fraction of the price.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Rembrandt-Caravaggio exhibition, Amsterdam

Hotel Aalders, Amsterdam- just the place to stay if you want a quiet family run hotel close to the museums. The Rijks and Van Gogh museums are one block away.
So, we are doing all the cultural stuff, the big Rembrandt-Caravaggio exhibition, the permanent Van Gogh ( long queues everywhere but I had taken the precaution of booking online).
Yes its spectacular and after all the conceptual stuff its good to be brought face to face with solid works of art that have withstood the test of time.

About the paintings (starting from the top):
Rembrandt- "The rape of Ganymede" (detail) (1635)
Rembrandt- "The night watch"
Caravaggio -"The betrayal of Christ" (1602)

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Net Art- Tate Online

Have just been playing online with the latest piece of netart, Screening Circle, by Andy Deck available from Tate Online It is a metaphorical reference to the quilting circle, or what is known as the quilting bee, popular in the US during the 19th century among women living in rural areas.

Now the ideas has been fastforwarded into the 21st century .

Friday, March 17, 2006

Grow in peace

Nick Ford installs his stone text piece in the garden this morning. It complements the acorn he built earlier in the background.

This is a site-specific piece designed in conjunction with Nick and the aim is to create an experience of peacefulness and silence under the canopy of the fir trees yet reflecting the organic nature of the garden too.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Adobe Roadshow

Just back from the Adobe "Fully Loaded" roadshow in Glasgow where they showed the latest software in their Adobe Production Studio suite. I found the most interesting section was the Photoshop because the video editing was all on Premiere and PC- while I am Apple and Final Cut Express.

One of the most interesting new developments for photographers is the Adobe Lightroom Beta. This will be shipped later in the year for both PCs and Apple , meanwhile those of us with Apple can download a copy for free to test drive it. This piece of software has been developed in response to the huge demand from professional photographers .

Felt guilty afterwards buying a copy of a daily newspaper. It seemed so..er...uncool.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Can string be called art?

I have every sympathy with Mike Russell writing in today's The Herald on contemporary art.
He says:
"It may be that the visual arts are simply going through a period of profound change, and that eventually we will see our world more clearly as a result.
"Or it may be that there are a lot of creative lemmings around, charging up artistic cul-de-sacs while demanding that the rest of us follow them to the future."

As a fairly recent graduate who came into this scene late after a lifetime in journalism I know how he feels.
Well, I recall one student in art history asking a very distinguished art historian this question;
"How come something bought in a junk shop and displayed in an art gallery suddenly becomes a work of art?"
She replied:
"It's art if you say it is art."
So there.

Sculptures take on a new life

Following the worst snowstorm for nearly 30 years the sculptures in my garden have taken on a whole new meaning.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Edinburgh versus Glasgow

Spent yesterday in Glasgow after visiting Edinburgh last week and am struck yet again at the difference between the two cities. Edinburgh seems to be like an emotionally constipated old lady while Glasgow is young, gallus, free and easy with a sense of joie de vivre.

Saw a couple of exhibitions including Luke Fowler at The Modern Institute, watched his film "The Scratch Orchestra". Interesting. Well, I sat for 40 minutes through it. The Gallery of Modern Art has an exhibition of landscape work from their permanent collection. Only two did anything for me- S. Salgado and Andy Goldsworthy.

Ice Blink a newe exhibition by Simon Faithfull is at the Stills gallery in Edinburgh. Worth a visit.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

New Media Scotland

Went to the bi-monthly evening seminars at Dundee Contemporary Arts where Jon Thomson and Alison Craighead were doing a presentation. Their work is web based .
Says Thomson:
" You are physically here but virtually everwhere."

Had a chat with Cezanne Charles, director of New Media Scotland , about our proposed online collective, an idea that came out of our recent Art+Tech Stirling conference. Over 20 people have signed up saying they are interested in a New Media collective. Question is: do we make it online/virtual?

Monday, February 20, 2006

BAFTA award Claire Simpson

Delighted to see that Claire Simpson, sister of Anne Simpson ( my former boss on The Herald) received the BAFTA award last night for editing The Constant Gardner.

Art+Tech conference

Guess its a long time since the last entry!...conference a fantastic success. We were stunned at the interest and the distance folk had travelled to get there. Clearly there is a tremendous thirst amongst artists to try and find a way of coming to terms with new media which is changing the way not only that we see the world but the way art is produced.
Our speakers were:

Professor Beryl Graham of Sunderland University on : what is New Media?

Michelle Kasprzak, Programmes Director on the role New Media Scotland has in helping artists to promote their work
Richard Brown artist-in-residence Edinburgh University - on interactive installations

Sarah Kettley, Napier University- on communications within small groups using computers embedded in jewellery
on sound as a means of enhancing everyday life

Sue Greirson-video and installation artist and President of the Scottish Artist Union
Karen Strang - painter and performance artist - a personal story .

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

A Thousand Years of Good Prayers

I rang up my local Waterstones to see if they had a copy of "A Thousand Years of Good Prayers"by YiYun Li, winner of the Frank O'Connor International Short Story award and the subject of rave reviews.
"No, but we could order it for you....it will take about 10 to 14 days."

So I clicked on www.Amazon.com, and the book arrived in the following morning's post......is it any wonder the chairman of Waterstones has resigned?

Now I would quite happily have waited 2/3 days because I like going into Waterstones, I like browsing through their books. All they had to do was order it themselves over the internet......and give me a ring.
So, they have yet another lost customer.


Monday, January 16, 2006

Art+Tech in the 21st century conference- update

Well, all our speakers are in place so now its time to drum up some publicity for the event.
The following press release has been sent out to the media.:

Art+Tech in the 21st century- Stirling conference
Artists working with digital technologies will be the subject of a one day conference to be held in Stirling.
It will take place in The Changing Room gallery on Saturday January 28th from 10.am – 5pm.
This is a NAN (Networking Artists Network) initiative organised by local artists Ann Shaw and Karen Howard.
The keynote speech will be given by Beryl Graham, Professor of New Media Art at Sunderland University who will talk on the role of New Media in the creation of art today.
Others taking part include Richard Brown artist- in- residence at Edinburgh University and Sarah Kettley who is researching computers implanted into jewellery to aid communication .
New Media Scotland, the arts charity set up to help artists in this emerging field, will also talk about their role in supporting artists.
Says Ann Shaw:” We aim to bring together as diverse a group as possible to show the breadth of work that is being undertaken by artists today whose use of New Technologies is integral to their creative process.
“We are also inviting artists who wish to attend to bring along some sample of their work, if they wish, either as digital photos, text, or on DVD to share with others in the group discussions.”
The conference is free but places are limited so booking is essential.
To reserve a place email: events@a-n.co.uk
Anyone wanting further information should ring either Ann Shaw (01786 832287) or Karen .Howard (01506.84.2419)
This conference is supported by the Scottish Arts Council, Artist Newsletter magazine, New Media Scotland and The Changing Room Gallery.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Art+Tech Stirling conference

Within the first afternoon of this conference being advertised over 20 people had signed up on e-mail!
If you are interested book online:


NAN event - Art + Technology – 28th January 2006
Programme for One day conference - Changing Room Gallery, Stirling 10am-5pm

A dynamic day of talks, presentations, critical dialogue and socialising.
Looking at the crossovers and interactions between art, science and technology.
10.30 – 11am Coffee / chat / registration

11 am Lynn Wilson - artist / facilitator – chair for the day
former coordinator of Artlink Central and Arts Co-ordinator for North East Glasgow Regeneration Project

11am Art and Technology : Beryl Graham, Professor of New Media Art, Sunderland University
11.30am New Media Scotland. facilitating artists working with new media
12pm Richard Brown, artists in residence - Edinburgh university
- on “interactive installations”

12.30pm lunch and coffee/tea
1.30pm Sarah Kettley – research including computers implanted jewellery allowing networking within small groups
2pm Kirsty Stansfield – researching Sound as a means of enhancing everyday life ( Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art).
2.30pm Patrick O'Gowney – video and audience participation
3-4.30pm Group Discussions
Karen Strang – video presentation of artist and scientist working together.

Participants are invited to bring along and share a work they have made or that is under construction either (a) inspired by science and technology or (b) using technology as a tool to develop their creative vision.
Formats can vary from photographs, catalogues, CDs, DVD or VHS. We would invite all to bring examples of work for exchange or display. Short presentations can also be made (3-5mins) but please let us know in advance if you would like to give a brief talk ort presentation of your work.

4.30 – 5pm Summary of days event. Plans for the Future!!
5 – 7pm After conference informal drinks / buffet in nearby bistro.

7 pm… post conference drinks. - local pub, for those who want to carry on
To apply

Art + Technology is a free event but places are limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis.
Please email : events@a-n.co.uk with - Art + Technology Stirling - in the subject line.
Book a.s.a.p.
A small number of travel bursaries are available to assist artists out with Stirling to attend this event. Please email events@a-n.co.uk with your details.
Travel Bursaries will be given on a first come first served basis and will be limited to a maximum of £25 per applicant. As the funds are limited, please only apply if necessary.

Art + Technology is a NAN event Organised for a-n's Networking Artists Network Initiative.
Art + Technology has been coordinated by Ann Shaw and Karen Howard in collaboration with A-N.

Supported by SAC, ACE and the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation within the Networking Artists Network Initiative.
Also supported by New Media Scotland and the Changing Room Gallery.
Guyan Porter
Artists Events, Scotland