Kandinsky in Govan: Art, Spirituality & the Future
Centenary International Conference on the Ideas Expressed in
Concerning the Spiritual in Art
by Wassily Kandinsky (1911)
In Govan, Glasgow, Scotland, weekend 21-23 October 2011 (archived)
Final Programme PDF ... Original E-Flyer ... Archive Index/menu
Key conference/media links
(Where speakers spoke without texts the
links here are to similar presentations)
Curator's article on the conference in The Guardian - Guardian website or print version pdf
Audio of BBC Radio Scotland conference interview 16th Oct (8 mins, 11MB MP3)
YouTube DVD of Govan Showpeople's art, spirituality, future, commissioned for Kandinsky Conference
Audio of Sunny Govan Radio's post-conference panel (42 mins) or Extract of Sir Harry Burns' interview (7 mins)
Speaker Harry Burns, Chief Medical Officer: WHO remarks on Glasgow Effect ... a video akin to his Kandinsky talk
Speaker Christina Lodder's Russian Abstract Art article touching on her conference delivery
Speaker Rick Visser's conference text: Kandinsky and the Spiritual Task of the Artist Today
Speaker Tom Block's Prophetic Activist Art paper very close to his conference delivery
Speaker Fr George Zavershinsky's conference text, Kandinsky and Buber: Aesthetics of Dialogue
Final report to main funder (Awards for All)
Feedback from the conference - mostly as emails
Govan: The Place of the Blacksmith
"There is a fire in Govan that burns off pretentiousness"
In October 1911 the Russian artist, Wassily Kandinsky, completed in German the manuscript of a little book that he called "Über das Geistige in der Kunst" - usually translated as Concerning the Spiritual in Art. This webpage sets the context of a small but international centenary celebration conference, Kandinsky in Govan. It will be hosted by community groups in an area of Glasgow that suffers from high unemployment and many social problems, but which retains a powerful community spirit and much artistic talent. Like Kandinsky's book the conference seeks not to promote "art for art's sake", but like the Russian Peredvizhniki school of "wanderers" or "itinerants", to explore "art as service". With keynote speakers including leading art experts and the Chief Medical Officer for Scotland, we will be exploring how art can speak in places of poverty today. The conference will challenge the narcissistic nihilism of contemporary art forms that have turned their backs on beauty and, perhaps arguably, lost sight of art's deepest function.
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Kandinsky in Govan: Art, Spirituality & the Future
The Idea - a Reflection by Conference Curator Alastair McIntosh
What new consciousness might recover the sacred vocation of art to serve the poor and the broken in nature? That is the question that drives me to curate a small international conference in the Govan area of Glasgow (pictured below) for autumn 2011.
Through Nic Green, one of our students at the Centre for Human Ecology (CHE) I have learned about the Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky’s little book, Concerning the Spiritual in Art. This was completed in October 1911, presented to the All-Russian Congress of Artists in St. Petersburg in December 1911, and first published in German in 1912 followed by the English translation in 1914. I hope that these various benchmarks might mean that this will not be the first or only conference on the theme, but so far as I am aware Kandinsky in Govan is the only one presently proposed.
Kandinsky was a key founder of modern art. His book that the conference will celebrate argues that art reflects the spirit of its age and that it must take its bearings from the spiritual. So far so good. But Kandinsky goes on to suggest that the modern artist must “abstract” the spiritual from the material in order to make it visible. I would argue that this dis-incarnation loses the point. It both follows and leads modern art down the path of egotistic nihilism.
As an example of what I mean by that, I was struck on visiting the Tate in 2010 on its commentary on Picasso’s Cubist work, Seated Nude (1909-10): “Here, the woman has been all but stripped bare of her humanity and appears strangely mechanistic.” That epitomises the problem and much Britart mass-produces it. One can excuse such nihilism as apocalyptic art – art that reveals how the world has become and that what it represents, therefore, discloses the condition that we are in – but where is the counterpoint of prophetic visionary beauty? Where is it in so much of contemporary art college teaching? What does such a philosophy say to people in broken parts of Britain who only need look at their local pavements to see what passes as "art" to titillate the well-to-do in many an upmarket urbane gallery? These are thoughts that I have aired in a review/manifesto of Kandinsky’s book on Amazon which served as the springboard for the Kandinsky in Govan conference.
Govan Cross by the Pearce Institute
Kandinsky never had anything to do with Govan. But people here will typically say of art: “We don’t want more ugliness. We see enough of self-harming on the streets. We want art that’s about beauty and which uplifts the human spirit.” The name, Govan, means “The Place of the Smith” and there is a fire in Govan that burns off pretentiousness. The pretentiousness of artists who make a fetish of misery; who lack connection to love and beauty and try to make a virtue of wallowing in vacuity instead.
My question in pulling together this conference is: What happens if Kandinsky’s ideas are refined in that Govan fire? I am not a visual artist, as the utilitarian layout of this webpage will demonstrate. But I see the importance of visual art in bringing people back to life. That is why I want to explore why, where (and whether) modern art has gone wrong, and if so, whether Kandinsky's ideas about art and the sacred might be ripe for new discovrery.
Govan is a community once renowned for its shipbuilding. Today it builds not much more than an occasional warship. It's contribution to wider culture is probably best known through the BBC’s Rab C. Nesbitt TV sitcom. Some of those who will be attending and speaking at the conference are "extras" in that programme.
The conference will take place over the weekend of Fri 21st to Sun 23rd October 2011 in Govan’s Pearce Institute with optional events also in the nearby Govan Old Parish Church and the GalGael Trust. The programme comprises the Friday of tour, workshop and seminar activities, the main keynote speaker day on the Saturday (for which tickets are required) ending with a traditional ceilidh, and a programme of reflection on the Sunday. There will also be an exhibition of a wide range of work stimulated by the conference theme ranging from highly rustic art to the abstract use of colour, and a programme run locally on working with colour in the run-up to the exhibition - all detailed in the programme.
Govan Old Parish Church - Serpent Sun Stone and early Christian Sarcophagus
Behind the poverty of Govan is a rich and deep culture dating back to the time when it was an ancient Celtic sacred site. A 2011-published book, Britain's Holiest Places, maintains that "Govan Old Church has no equal when it comes to telling the story of Scottish Christianity" - see write up here.
Govan is where people long have long wrestled with the monsters of their times in the fire of that which gives back life. We are putting on this small international conference (with capacity for 250 people) because we have been stimulated to do so by what is found here in Govan, and over the weekend - whether you come just for the Saturday speakers or for the full shebang - we hope to share that with you and hope that the fire that is in Govan will run, and spread, and offer wider inspiration to the world of art in addressing these our troubled times.
Who is Involved? The Govan Folk University
Since 2009 a cluster of local organisations have been meeting together, vexed by the way that mainstream higher education is not fully serving the community in socially hard-pressed areas like Govan. We are driven by a sense that, in addition to what mainstream institutions already offer, there is also need for a much deeper level of community education that touches levels that are not just intellectual, but also psychological and even spiritual. In Govan we daily witness how deep the roots of poverty go, and how little wider society understands their ongoing intergenerational penetration. Some of us have been involved with Scotland's Poverty Truth Commission and its 2011 report explores such issues.
The Govan Folk University currently has two projects - the Kandinsky in Govan conference and Govan Together which is concerned with climate change and environmental awareness. We are a loose network made up of Govan Old church, the Pearce Institute, Fablevision, the GalGael Trust and the Centre for Human Ecology. A visual articulation of our thinking is expressed in the graphic below created by Page\Park Architects.
Kandinsky in Govan is being held as an activity of the Govan Folk University with the Centre for Human Ecology as the lead organiser and myself, Alastair McIntosh, as the conference curator. I am hosting much of the material on my personal website because that allows changes to be made easily. For details of speakers and workshop presenters please see the programme, which is being constantly updated in the run-up to the event.
Review of Kandinsky's Concerning the Spiritual in Art (1911)
First Posted on Amazon, 13 April 2010
This was my initial response to reading Kandinsky's book. I posted it to Amazon on 13 April 2010 which provided a quick-and-easy platform from which to explore the idea of the conference - Alastair McIntosh.
This is a fantastic short book. I am amazed I hadn't heard of it before. It only came to my attention recently when one of my students, Nic Green, used it as a basis for her essay at the Centre for Human Ecology: the student teaching the teacher.
Kandinsky, who was one of the founders of modern art, sets out to confront the crass materialism of his era. In this, he stands in the tradition of Russian art that sees "Art as service" - and specifically, as service of that which has the sacred at its core.
He understands "spirituality" as being the interiority of things, their inner source of meaning and life. This leads to his attack on artistic narcissism, saying, "This neglect of inner meanings, which is the life of colours, this vain squandering of artistic power is called 'art for art's sake'." (p. 3). It needs to be understood that the cultural backdrop to this was that Russian intellectual life had been split by half a century of "positivism" coming in from the West - the materialistic idea that only "facts" matter, "the triumph of the fact", and that there is, as the positivists would have it, no God, therefore no soul, thus their nihilism.
Just as writers at the time such as Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy attacked positivism in their novels, so a number of late 19th century Russian painters did so in their art - see [[ASIN:1905711158 From Russia: French and Russian Master Paintings 1870-1925: from Moscow and St Petersburg]]. One of the most influential, Ivan Kramskoi, was an initiator of The Wanderers (or Itinerants) circle, in Russian, the Peredvizhniki. As he put it, "What is a real atheist? He is a person who draws strength only from himself" (ibid. p. 164). In other words, a person with only their ego to ground their being in; thus the narcissism.
Kandinsky was therefore not unique in his views. He was part of a wider movement of pre-WW1 art, an era resonant with the observation, "Attention to religion is always heightened in Russian art during times of cataclysm" (ibid. p. 167).
What is special about Kandinsky's thoughts on the matter is that he has left us this book, translated into English, in which the need for art to be spiritually grounded is very clearly expressed.
Consistent with his Russian Orthodox background he says, "We are seeking today for the road which is to lead us away from the outer to the inner basis. The spirit, like the body, can be strengthened and developed by frequent exercise. Just as the body, if neglected, grows weaker and finally impotent, so the spirit perishes if untended. And for this reason it is necessary for the artist to know the starting point for the exercise of his spirit. The starting point is the study of colour and its effects on men." (pp. 35-6).
And I love his honesty in a footnote where he says, of his colour schema, "These statements have no scientific basis, but are founded purely on spiritual experience." (p. 37). Too often people who see spiritual qualities confuse these with scientific ones and therefore, in philosophical terms, make a category error which results in a sense of "misplaced concreteness" that, ultimately, profanes the spiritual. Kandinsky's honesty avoids this ... at least, he does so in the footnote though as we shall see, he may have been less successful in his conclusion.
Art's function is therefore to reveal the spiritual. It "must learn from music that every harmony and every discord which springs from the inner spirit is beautiful, but that it is essential that they spring from the inner spirit and from that alone." (p. 51).
This has a social function, for "each period of culture produces an art of its own which can never be repeated" (p. 1). As such, "Painting is an art, and art is not vague production, transitory and isolated, but a power which must be directed to the improvement and refinement of the human soul." (p. 54).
Ultimately, "If the artist be priest of beauty", then s/he has, Kandinsky spells out, "a triple responsibility to the non-artist: (1) He must repay the talent which he has; (2) his deeds, feelings, and thoughts, as those of every man, create a spiritual atmosphere which is either pure or poisonous. (3) These deeds and thoughts are materials for his creations, which themselves exercise influence on the spiritual atmosphere. The artist is not only as king, as Peladan says, because he has great power, but also because he has great duties." (pp. 54-55).
And the bottom line? "That is beautiful which is produced by the inner need, which springs from the soul." He concludes: "this property of the soul is the oil which facilitates the slow, scarcely visible but irresistible movement of [the human condition] onwards and upwards."
As will be apparent, this sense of spiritual progress is certainly premodern (consistent, for example, with the "modes of vision" of Richard of St Victor, a medieval Scottish scholastic theologian). And it may be modern thinking inasmuch as the idea of progress is pronounced. But it is decidedly not postmodern. How interesting, therefore, that Kandinsky is seen as a progenitor of "modern" art and its seamless, to my eye, drift into the inchoate abstractions of postmodernity so apparent in his own later work.
It is here that my criticism of Kandinsky must cut in. Kandinsky's mindset is, at the same time, premodern in its perception of the spiritual essence, but postmodernly deconstructive in the trend of its artistic expression. His work moves from the fairy-tale-like motifs of "Sunday: Old Russia" (1904) or "Song of the Volga" (1906), or Imatra (1917), into "First Abstraction" (1910) which is, well, pretty abstract, "Composition VII" (1913) which is also abstract but retains the richly iconic colouring for which he is famous, into the geometric near-nihilism of some of his later work - for example, "Descent" (1925) or "Development in Brown" (1933).
What might we see as having happened here? My theory is that it has to do with the distinction between transcendent and immanent spirituality. Transcendent spirituality is about the divine beyond this world. Immanent spirituality is about God present in the world, including in its suffering as the "suffering God" (Moltmann). Immanent spirituality does not deny the transcendent, but sees it as also being "incarnate" - or enfleshed in this world.
It seems to me judging from this little book that Kandinsky's views were transcendent. For example, he lacks the social realism of the Wanderers who sought to draw out the embodied beauty and integrity of the ordinary people. His aims are wonderful in seeking to make visible the spiritual as a prophetic action "towards the close of our already dying epoch" (p. 47). But the problem is with how he does this - by transcendence, thus an increasing abstraction and separation from the mundane world.
Here we must be fair to Kandinsky and acknowledge that immanent theologies, such as in liberation theology or what Jurgen Moltman developed out of his WW2 prison camp experience, and which has always been present in eastern religions, were not well developed in the early 20th century. The Wanderers might be seen as a push towards immanence as when Kramskoi was one of the leaders who led the "revolt of fourteen" art students out of the Academy of Fine Arts in protest at church and state control over what constituted art, but Kandinsky does not seem to have followed this people's grounding in his spirituality.
The result, in my view, is that such transcendent spirituality, abstracted from the immanent, progressively unhinges itself. It also has the unintended consequence of profaning the immanent, the material world, because incarnation no longer quickens it. Kandinsky calls this dematerialisation. He says, "The more abstract is form, the more clear and direct its appeal. In any composition the material side may be more or less omitted in proportion as the forms used are more or less material, and for them substituted pure abstractions, or largely dematerialised objects. The more an artist uses these abstracted forms, the deeper and more confidently will he advance into the kingdom of the abstract." (p. 32).
This becomes his obsession, his crusade, thus he says: "Taking the work of Henri Rousseau as a starting point, I go on to prove that the new naturalism will not only be equivalent to but even identical with abstraction." (p. 52). This culminates in the final paragraph of his text: "In my opinion, we are fast approaching the time of reasoned and conscious composition, when the painter will be proud to declare his work constructive. This will be in contrast to the claim of the Impressionists that they could explain nothing, that their art came upon them by inspiration. We have before us the age of conscious creation, and this new spirit in painting is going hand in hand with the spirit of thought towards an epoch of great spiritual leaders" (p. 57).
I cannot claim to be an authority on art, Russian art or Kandinsky. I have only read a few books and used my own eyes. But it does seem to me that here Kandinsky hits hubris. He has abstracted the spiritual, or so he thinks, but in the course of so doing, and doing so for all the right reasons, he has lost it. Lost connection with the "inspiration" that is of the essence of the Spirit, and instead, committed what is in technical theological language the idolatry of presuming to be in spiritual control ... complete with its "great leaders"!
Light is shed on some of these issues in their wonderful Preface (Richard Stratton) and Translator's Introduction (Michael Sadler) to the text. Sadler suggests that this extreme abandonment of representation of the real world is why, "The question most generally asked about Kandinsky's art is: 'What is he trying to do?'" As he says, "this book will do something towards answering the question. But it will not do everything." (p. xviii).
Cezanne, Sadler remarks, "saw in a tree, a heap of apples, a human face, a group of bathing men or women, something more abiding than either photography or impressionist painting could present. He painted the 'treeness' of the tree.... But in everything he did he showed the architectural mind of the true Frenchman. His landscape studies were based on a profound sense of the structure of rocks and hills, and being structural, his art depends on reality.... The material of which his art was composed was drawn from the huge stores of actual nature." (p. xvii). In contrast, a flick through a book of Kandinsky's work (I have been using [[ASIN:1844513904 Kandinsky (The World's Greatest Art)]]) shows clearly his progressive dematerialisation, and with it, a looming nihilism.
Where does all this leave us today, in 2010, 99 years after first publication of Kandinsky's little book in German?
When I look at the nihilism of Britart, or the sheer inability to draw and express beauty in what seems to be coming out of some of our contemporary art schools (the students tell me they are discouraged by their tutors from trying to express beauty or to draw well), then it is clear that abstraction has become destructive. Like the postmodern deconstruction that I would see it as being cognate with, it is all very well to deconstruct, but what about the grace of reconstruction? Where the inspiration of Grace? Without it, abstraction is like the gardener who keeps pulling up the plant to see how the roots are doing. It is disincarnation, which is another word for death; a death in which the material and the spiritual wither alike because they lack mutual fecundation.
The art that we need for these our troubled times needs to be an apocalyptic art in the sense of being revelatory - revealing of the lived hope that is incarnation. This will be a new art of the sacred. And here is where we need a debate to start, and artistic action around that debate. One direction might be to look afresh at Kandinsky's wonderfully expressed spiritual ideas but in the context of the Wanderers, and of contemporary wanderers. For just as the Revolt of the Fourteen was a rejection of mainstream art school narrative of its times, perhaps we need a new Revolt, and a new Fourteen, for today.
In this I would urge the study by artists of a book by the theologian Walter Wink, [[ASIN:080062646X Engaging the Powers: Discernment and Resistance in a World of Domination]] - especially the Introduction on pp. 3 - 10. Wink argues that we must reject the dualistic idea of Heaven being separate from Earth. We need what he calls an "integral worldview", what is also sometimes called an incarnational spirituality. Here Heaven and Earth are interfused in a single reality (Christians can read Luke 17:20-21; Hindus the Bhagavad Gita; Taoists the Tao Te Ching, etc.).
What the world needs today to respond to the pressing issues of our times is an art that is able to "magnify" and "illuminate" the dynamics of an incarnational spirituality; ont that brings a new mind and a new heart, and gives fresh hope and vision to the world and its human condition.
Kandinsky's little book provides a crucial intellectual stepping stone. But at the end of the day one has to ask if he fell off and thus, the need for a retrospective.
We have lived through a century of dying and dead "modern" art. We cannot go on like that. I am interested in exploring that here in Govan - a hard pressed area of Glasgow - perhaps as a day conference held with local organisations and artists in 2011, the centenary of the first publication of this book. I would be interested to hear from people who might have suggestions to make about this - especially as I am not an art historian - I am a human ecologist who draws from other disciplines what is apposite to the human condition. I am also very aware that there may be people in the art colleges who are already thinking like this, marginal though such a perspective might currently be.
This book review is a preliminary manifesto in that direction. As John Stuart Blackie wrote in "The Advancement of Learning in Scotland" (1855), "We demand a scholarship with a large human soul, and a pregnant social significance." May the same be considered for art. It is time to call back the soul.
Some Resource Materials Relevant to the Conference
Dover Thrift edn of Kandinsky's book - Amazon
Google online version of the book
An annotated e-book version
Lodder (conference speaker) on Russian abstract art
Petrova on Russian religious consciousness in art
Kuspit on relevance of Kandinsky’s ideas about art and spiritual today*
Block (conference speaker) on Prophetic Activist Art
Edmonson thesis on Kandinsky & Spirituality
Arts Sacrés - a new bimonthly magazine from France on art and the sacred
Pages on Govan Old Parish Church from Britain's Holiest Places
A Brief History of Govan by Sunny Govan Radio's Art Critic Brian McQuade
Conference venue map by Gus of the GalGael
* From Kuspit: "I am suggesting that Kandinsky experienced what Viktor Frankl, the great psychoanalyst, calls an existential neurosis, that is, "frustration of the will-to-meaning," indeed, a sense that human life, especially inner life, had become meaningless in the modern scientific-technological materialistic world—meaninglessness is associated with deep depression—and with it art, the keeper of inner life, as it were. As Frankl says, such a crisis is spiritual—this is his own word—because it involves loss of belief in the possibility and even reality of spiritual experience…."
A Big Thank You to People who are Helping to Create this Conference
This is going to be one of those lists that is never up-to-date, but here goes.... ~ The Board of the Centre for Human Ecology as the lead organisation ~ the committee of the Govan Folk University (Pearce Institute, Fablevision, GalGael Trust, Govan & Linthouse Parish Church and the CHE) for holding the idea and giving support ~ All the artists and speakers mentioned in the programme ~ Belinda Gilbert Scott at the Kinning Park Community Centre for curating the exhibition and preparatory art classes in the community (see back of programme) ~ Angela Ross and colleagues at Plantation ~ Jon Pope at Glasgow Life ~ Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival 2011 ~ Norie Mackie at the PI ~ Des Simpson at Oak ~ Matthew Donnelly of GalGael for logo artwork and working on the GalGael side of the exhibition ~ Mairi Campbell ~ Jennifer McCarry of GalGael for advice on setting up PayPal booking system ~ Tam McGarvey & Gehan MacLeod of GalGael for constant feedback and help ~ Nic Green whose Centre for Human Ecology essay alerted me to Kandinsky's book ~ Miriam Rose of CHE for various suggestions ~ Ewen Hardie & Melissa Garvey of CHE on the finance front ~ Luke Devlin of CHE for all he's going to be doing as it takes shape ~ everybody else....
A Selection of Feedbacks from the Conference
Even in the madness of a wacked out hyper saturated world, there is validated need for the spiritual in art. I am an advocate for more spirit in art. I am not talking about passion, or drive. That can be found in the shallowest of endeavours. I am talking about real, genuine soul-digging efforts by individuals pursuing a path of expression. Human expression. "I am here" - "I see this" - "I feel this"- "This is important" .....NOT "I am Important". – an American art gallery worker
Such inspired moments, talks and people…. The inner prompts me to out this sounding now and maybe the work is needed to help energy shifts/resonance shifts and deeper movements in our culture to support this era of integration we are now required to enter.... but the Kandinsky event propelled me .....an extraordinary weekend. – a traditional musician.
I am still coming down off the Kandinsky conference.........don't think I will ever be the same again however. And I mean that in a positive sense. – a Glasgow-born international charity worker
... Sat 22 October 2011 deserves at least a flashcrowd of cheers and a bottle of something celebratory. Those of us oldie artists who, in the '50s, were raised on material like Kandinsky's, have only our little reservoirs of sad regret that the culture and joy of England is mainly for politics and entertainment; and that the careers of London visual-arts taste-makers and the managerial types at the Museums and Libraries Association is like that of most postmodern managers - careerists almost to a person! No love of a subject or activity and no personal experience of appreciating the benefits of mastering a discipline leads only to love of self-advancement at the cost of everyone, including the advancer. This may be applicable to what's left of industry as much as anything else. Good for you, and best wishes for your work and that of your colleagues in Govan! - an “oldie artist” from Sheffield
I hope the conference was a huge inspiration to those in attendance…. It has been for me...and I wasn't even there. Ha!!! – an email correspondent
I attended on Saturday and found the lectures filled with passion and hope. – a Rastafarian-Caribbean arts worker
Hey there ... from the west coast massive!! loved the gig last week … - from southside (Govan) massive boochkaya!!!
Many thanks for the invitation to the conference. I have found it very progressive and humanistic in the best sense of the word. – a Russian Orthodox priest
Was indeed a very inspirational day. I have been “preaching” to all my friends about it ever since :-) – a Govan arts worker
Thanks for the revelation. I love working with prophets. -a workshop contributor
… emails and letters to galleries or organisations are not even acknowledged, let alone answered. And I have no doubt that the same happens to other artists who are trying to engage people in a thoughtful, un-sensational way. I do hope [Kandinsky in Govan] encourages curators to reach out a bit further and to show paintings that require the observer to sit down for a few minutes and not to pass along to the next piece of glitter. The nicest thing ever said to me was by a man leaving an exhibition of mine who said. “Must go, but there is so much to think about that it would take me a fortnight.” – an artist and professor of chemistry
I shall never forget it or be unaffected by it. The auspicious coincidences were quite phenomenal. When I scheduled this extra day I didn't realize that a day of rest and reflection after such an event --- before entering back into my 'normal space' --- is a very good idea. A restful, reflective in-between space, a clearing between two worlds, an intervallum, a return to square one. – one of the speakers
I read your article on Kandinsky and it is almost word for word what I have been saying and feeling for years. Well done for getting it into print especially as my wife and I have just had a 3 day tour of all the art galleries of Newcastle, Bradford and Wakefield (the new Hepworth gallery brilliant). Unfortunately we finished at Leeds and saw the D.Hurst. – a legal aid mental health lawyer
Before I came along on Saturday, I didn't know what to expect and I was slightly nervous about my ignorance of Kandinsky and art in general. However, the day blew me away and I've been thinking about it ever since. It was great to mingle with such a mix-bag of people who all clearly shared the same passion … a great asset to the community of Govan. – a Govan-based community worker
A wonderful couple of days … an inspiring time with much food for thought. I feel even more inspired to continue writing music for and about the land. – a traditional musician
Loved every minute up there with you. I was playing a gig last night in my local, every one in the place was singing together and dancing and it was 'The great cosmic gang bang in the sky" Amazing feeling. - from a chart-topping Hip-Hop musician
Yesterday did something that unblocked my creativity and I can now see a new direction for my art - a young Govan-based sculptor
This was a v good day for me, it solidified what I know, it opened my eyes to a side of Glasgow I don't know, and it has me looking up things this evening that I haven't thought about in a while…. Fr Zavershinsky was unexpectedly satisfying to listen to…. If you see any need to talk to an artist, in an institution, with a passion for artwork that helps us to think about what it might mean to live better in the world..... I am just across the river. – a Glasgow art college professor
It struck a chord with my own thoughts on the subject in many respects. Indeed, I believe you have touched on a profound problem which many of us involved in making images have been well aware of in contemporary art. I am a painter, writer, lecturer and festival director. – an email correspondent
I was fascinated by the ideas of Kenneth White's 'Geopoetics' and will be searching for some more material on this, including the Scottish Centre for Geopoetics. Some great links and I think it's highly significant that these events are all coming together in Govan. – a person working on pilgrimage in Govan
And a Big Thank You to the Following Funders
A.N. Other Foundation
Page Updated: 08 May 2018