Robin Webster & Will Knight
Date: 6th March – 31st May
Venue: Glasgow City Heritage Trust, 54 Bell St, Glasgow
Friends & Family View: April 26th 6-8pm, no RSVP required
Exhibition open to all 10am-5pm Monday to Friday
For Glasgow Landmarks artists Robin Webster and Will Knight will present a series of paintings, drawings and prints at Glasgow City Heritage Trust. The buildings that the artists have chosen to record are not ‘landmarks’ in the traditional sense – the canonical buildings people would normally associate with Glasgow – such as The Glasgow School of Art, University of Glasgow, or the SEC ‘Armadillo’. Rather, they are Glasgow’s ‘other’ landmarks best known by locals, such as the tunnel rotundas, Jaconelli’s café and the Barras Market.
There is a sense of ‘otherness’ in the landmarks that the artists depict, both looking beyond the city’s usual landmarks both in their choice of buildings and the way that these places have been recorded – through other, more organic mediums using pen and watercolour or screen printing, which go beyond traditional methods of critiquing or recording buildings, such CAD drawings, scale models and photographs traditionally used by architects. Contemplating Robin Webster’s watercolour drawings, screen prints, and collages and Will Knight’s scale watercolour drawings we can appreciate these ‘other’ methods of recording architecture which are no less valuable in terms of what we learn about the subjects.
The exhibition is an exploration of the notions of tradition and the canonical works of architecture to help expand our understanding of what is a landmark and what is valuable in terms of our collective heritage. The artists’ subjective approach to the recording of buildings in this exhibition opens up discussions on the nature of experiencing architecture and of ‘landmarks’ themselves – which is contingent on the individual’s own subjective experience and familiarity with the urban landscape.
The exhibition will be open from 6th March – 26 April 2019
Glasgow City Heritage Trust
54 Bell Street
Professor Robin Webster OBE PRIAS RSA RIBA FRSA
Robin is an architect, but also the son of Gordon Webster and the grandson of Alf Webster, two very distinguished Glasgow stained glass artists, and the was brought up in a house that was also his father’s studio and workshop, so an enthusiasm for art has rubbed off. He is a partner in the firm of the award winning CameronWebster architects in the city, along with his daughter and son-in law. He has drawn and painted all his life, mostly for his own pleasure, but also exhibiting at the Royal Scottish Academy, The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland, and at various other galleries throughout the country.
He was born in Glasgow but spent more than twenty years in London practicing with Robin Spence in the architectural firm of Spence + Webster, winning a number of architectural competitions and building his own steel framed courtyard house there. He has also taught widely, and took the chair of Architecture at the Scott Sutherland School of Architecture in the Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, where he was Head of School for twenty years, returning to Glasgow in 2005.
Alasdair Gray remarked in his Novel “Lanark” that Glasgow suffered from not enough being written about it, or pictures painted of it. This exhibition is a small attempt to remedy this, and focuses on buildings in Glasgow, including some that were “at risk” but have been repaired with the help of the Glasgow City Heritage Trust, where Robin has been a consultant and was also one of the founding Trustees. He is currently the Treasurer of the Royal Scottish Academy, and in 2018 he was elected President of the Royal Incorporation of Architects.
Glasgow based artist Will Knight trained at the Mackintosh School of Architecture, which stimulated his interest in the significance of people and place, and the role that the environment plays in both reflecting and shaping community and cultural identity.
Will has developed his investigations of domestic, commercial and industrial buildings through recording, measurement and drawing by hand, ever since his Masters Research on Glasgow Tenement Bakeries. The architect Sarah Wigglesworth has informed this technique, as Wigglesworth says, ‘To capture something as large as a building on the size of a piece of paper, architects work to a reduced scale, using symbols and codes to represent the world’.
Unlike the survey drawings of an archaeologist, generated to provide an accurate record of a site as left by its inhabitants, Will’s drawings are produced in dialogue with the people who shape these places as their own. Will produces drawings that accurately show the nature of a space, or place, and the forensic details record its character; encouraging the viewer to engage in, and explore, thesubject matter as a new way to consider the spaces and places we inhabit. His drawings act as a lens and provide a framework for debate, a catalyst for a wider discussion as opposed to an end in itself.
Will has previously exhibited work on Independent Newsagents at the New Glasgow Society, and a series of Section Drawings Through Gibson Street at the Woodlands Workspace. Last Summer he won the Summerhall Award at the RSA Open Exhibition, and is working on a series of drawings for an exhibition at Summerhall in Edinburgh this Autumn.
The drawings here are a selection of works that attempt to record and recognise the breadth of scale, scope and style of the city’s built heritage from Victorian Villas to art deco cafes.