Festival devoted to Charles Rennie Mackintosh to be held in October in Glasgow


GLASGOW is well known as one of the world’s most creative cities, having spawned world-class artists and musicians for more than a century.

And this October the city is inviting visitors to explore, discover and create using one of the city’s best-loved sons as their inspiration.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh, the innovative Glasgow architect whose work propelled architecture from Victorian flamboyance to modern minimalism, is being celebrated in a two-week festival.

Festival organiser, Susan Garnsworthy, said: “Mackintosh and his fellow Glasgow artists helped to take art and architecture into the modern era and were crucial figures in the explosion of creativity that characterises the early part of the 20th century.

“We decided, a century years on, that we should showcase their work and honour their contribution by encouraging everyone to unleash their own creativity.

“It is hoped that the Creative Mackintosh Festival will become an annual celebration of art and architecture in Glasgow.”

Visitors will be encouraged to enjoy recitals and performances in Mackintosh buildings and, if they wish, to roll up their sleeves and try crafts such as drawing, knitting and photography inspired by Mackintosh’s work.

A new exhibition, Unbuilt Mackintosh, displays large-scale architect’s models of Mackintosh buildings that were designed and drawn but never built.

Scottish poet, Liz Lochhead, will be holding poetry workshops in the unique surroundings of Mackintosh’s Scotland Street School and for those who prefer to stay active, there will be specially devised guided walks taking in some architectural highlights across the city, and there will even be the opportunity to be immersed in relaxing, therapeutic soundwaves inside a magnificent Mackintosh building.

Performances include a play – When the Moon was Overhead, written by Allan Radcliffe to commemorate the life and work of Frances MacDonald McNair, the younger sister of Margaret MacDonald Mackintosh and one of the much-celebrated Glasgow Four artists – as well as an evening with the Mackintosh Choir.

In all the fortnight will include a total of around 30 activities, performances and events with some surprise ‘appearances’ by Mackintosh himself courtesy of interactive performance company Mischief La Bas.

Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said: “We are delighted to be supporting the inaugural Creative Mackintosh Festival, which will be a fantastic showcase of one of Glasgow’s most influential and innovative design talents.

“Charles Rennie Mackintosh is a world-renowned cultural icon whose Art Nouveau legacy is a major draw for international visitors to Glasgow today. The Glasgow School of Art is widely recognised as Mackintosh’s greatest architectural achievement and remains the finest building designed by a British architect for more than 175 years as voted for by the Royal Institute of British Architects.

“There is a great diversity in the Festival’s programme, which features a varied range of talented writers, artists, musicians and performers. And with a number of workshops and events on offer there are plenty of opportunities for people to really discover Mackintosh and get involved.”

Iain Munro, Director of Creative Development at creative Scotland, said: “This will be a fabulous celebration of one of Scotland’s most treasured architects, designers and artists, in this the Year of Creative Scotland.  I’m especially excited to see the programme includes performances from talented artists Mischief Le Bas and Liz Lochhead.

“This festival is just one example of how visitors and local communities across Scotland are being encouraged to see, experience and contribute to Scotland’s rich culture and heritage. We have invested over £1.7million in forty-two innovative collaborations between the tourism and culture sectors across the country to promote Scotland’s creativity on a global platform and raise the country’s profile as a tourist destination as we look forward to Glasgow 2014.”

Creative Mackintosh Festival runs from October 15 to 28, 2012. The full programme will be available from September 18. For more details of the Creative Mackintosh Festival check www.glasgowmackintosh.com