Sunday, 25 May 2014

Glasgow School of Art, always there like a jewel...

It was like watching an old friend dying right in front of you and being unable to do anything except witness the event, helplessly. This is how many of us felt seeing the pictures and footage - all over social media - on Friday of our stunning Glasgow School of Art on fire.

Even if you didn't attend the art school, it was always there like a jewel, and you knew someone who did. I recall in the eighties going to the degree show of a flatmate of one of my brother's, who looked like David Bowie and had a handsome lover, Mick. (Rumour had it, Mick died of a heroin overdose in the nineties. I have no idea if this is true).  I was in tears watching the news on Friday, not just for the art school, but for Glasgow, I lived there, after all, for many years and it was the closest city to us when I was growing up in west of Scotland. And Charles Rennie Mackintosh is in your DNA, he just is. It seems his glorious  library has been lost but, miraculously, damage to the rest of the building is less than initially feared. And not all of the students' work has been lost. I can't imagine the devastation of losing your degree show project. At least if you lose your novel it is backed up, but how can you back up years of precious art? The most important thing is that everyone got out safely, but as Hugh Pearman said on Twitter: 'Today's destruction proves one thing: if so many people feel bereaved by the loss of a building, then it can be said to have had a soul'.

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