Glasgow Art School is a place that holds fantastic memories for me. I went to GSA as a mature student (at the grand old age of 27) and, after graduating with a degree in screen-printed textile design in 2008, decided to set up Gillian Kyle in 2009.
Gillian Kyle, EST. 2009. Visit here.
From the moment I decided to give up my career in business consultancy (a subject for another blog) and follow a more creative path, I knew I wanted to go to Glasgow School of Art. It has always been a massive part of Glasgow’s cultural life and is an institution the city is massively and rightly proud of. The school is so central to the blooming arts scene here, and the Mackintosh building itself is widely viewed as Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s masterpiece and undoubtedly one of the most famous buildings in Scotland. On a practical level, ‘the Mac’ is just a wonderful space in which to create. The studios are flooded with light and there is character, history and magic everywhere.
Of course, there are now many other buildings forming the GSA campus, notably the glorious new Reid building across the road from the Mackintosh; a minimal ‘future classic’ conjured from glass and concrete, and other incredibly creative space.
Glasgow School of Art
The construction of the school began to be built in 1897, with completion in 1989. It was initially opened as the Glasgow Government School of Design. Years later, Glasgow-born Charles Rennie Mackintosh was brought on to work on the design, and the building developed its own significant style.
Tragically, the original Mackintosh building was badly damaged by a heart-stopping fire in 2014. The whole city seemed to hold its breath when the fire started and we could see one of our most treasured possessions burning in front of our eyes. Luckily, and due to intelligence and quick action of the fire brigade, 90% of the building and 70% of its contents were saved, and there its a huge restoration project currently going on to bring it back to its former glory.
I’d definitely recommend visiting GSA if you fancy an uplifting and creative day out in Glasgow! You can book tours of the buildings where a guide will teach you all about the history of the institution as well as show you what’s happening today. It’s a really special place for me and I love the idea that so many young and aspiring artists are yet to embark upon their own adventure there.
Have you studied at or visited The Glasgow School of Art? Send me your photos, I’d love to see them! @gilliankyle