Artists' Rooms comes to Dunoon

A vcery exciting afternoon at the Burgh Hall in Dunoon. I have blipped before about this project, being driven along by a great deal of local energy and supported, guided and inspired by John and Dava McAslan

Today was the opening of the temporary, but high tech, gallery which allowed the latest Artists Rooms Exhibition - this one featuring the stunning photography of Robert Mapplethorpe - to start its' tour here which is a big first for Dunoon in every sense.

It was marked by a showing for the whole town which was atended by a host of arts figures from other parts of Scotland ( including fellow blipper Colin McLean ) and it also featured an "on stage" conversation between John Leighton, Director General of the National Galleries of Scotland s and Anthony d'Offay, who made Artists Rooms possible and whose vastly generous donaton of his collection to the National Galleries and the Tate makes him one of the most significant cultural benefactors Scotland has ever known.

The conversation was fascinating and stimulating and it was also good to meet up with both of them again - when I was Culture Minister I was deeply involved in the project but I never thought thatl I would be able to welcome them, and such great pictures, to my own constituency.

The hall is the one in which Phil and Ally played at my candidate adoption meeting last year. The roof has been mended, but there is still much to do - as the background of this picture shows. So I was also glad to be asked to say a few words before the conversation, appealing for continuing donations. It is a cause worth supporting.

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