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The Shine Studio director, Jane Tonkin writes about a recent visit to Edinburgh:

The Two Roberts exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh, is the first major retrospective of the work of artists Robert Colquhoun and Robert MacBryde. It was a fantastic exhibition, and I’ve really got to take my hat off to the curator, Patrick Elliott, as the hanging and interpretation information was spot on. The final room featured a running film directed by a young Ken Russell, of the two painters at work. This added an extra dimension to understanding the work through hearing the artists themselves talking about it, while the paintings featured in the film were also hung in the same room.


Robert MacBryde (1913-66) Two Women Sewing, c.1948 Oil on canvas 100.3 x 143.5cm
Collection: Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art
Reproduced with the kind permission of Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

As a former director of communications for the Crafts Council, when the organisation had an in-house exhibition space and we mounted up to six exhibitions a year, the issue of interpretation was one that sometimes divided opinion among the staff involved with the exhibitions programme. Some felt less was more, and some felt that we shouldn’t assume knowledge or understanding on the part of the exhibition visitor. Now, as director of The Shine Studio, we have an exhibition design job in the pipeline, and I’m very conscious that we need to make sure our contribution is intriguing, accessible and relevant to its target audience.

Robert Colquhoun (1914-62) The Sepctators, c.1947 Oil on canvas 126 x 89 cm
Collection: New College, Oxford
Reproduced with the kind permission of Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

Going to such a fabulous show as The Two Roberts has been an inspiration. Do go and see it if you can. It runs until 24 May 2015.

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