Whilst in Glasgow recently, it was a sad sight to walk along Renfield Street and see the hollowed out shell of The Glasgow School of Art. Even in it’s fire-damaged condition, Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s architectural masterpiece remains identifiable as one of the great buildings of the world.
On the other side of the street, a shiny new neighbour, the Reid Building, hunches over its ailing, elderly companion. A reflective sympathy of glass, metal and concrete. On the balcony, Michael Stumpf’s installation, speaking to the moment:
As an invocation, it’s a good one:
As twilight descends, and the sounds of Sauchiehall Street murmur below, we can imagine the Reid Building and all people passing, singing soft lullabies. Songs to comfort. Songs to bring back light and air to soot-blackened lungs. Songs to soothe the city fabric.
So no fire damaged pictures of The Mackintosh Building. It’s presence will always be there: to heal, challenge and sustain the human imagination, whatever its material state.
(and soothe the city fabric)
Now playing: Richard Youngs – ‘The Future is So Different Today’ from Summer Through My Mind
2 replies on “NOW SING (and soothe the city fabric)”
The last time I was in the city for more than just a short transfer between stations, around a month ago, I was also struck by the sad bareness of the partly-damaged School of Art. Around the corner, however, I passed the Conservatoire, and I was enchanted by the vibrancy and enthusiasm of the place, with young people spilling onto the steps and music playing from inside. Thank heaven for the creative spark which keeps the city buzzing; the spark which still exists in the vacant shell of the Art School, and in the new Reid building also.
Thanks Ian. I think you are right. Glasgow always seems to have a buzz that you can feel almost instantly when you walk out any of the stations. One of my favourite cities.