ash to art…

In May 2014, the Glasgow School of Art suffered an awful awful fire that caused significant damage, including the loss of its celebrated Charles Rennie Mackintosh Library. On hearing the news or seeing the smoke, people burst into tears, myself and Queen Michelle included. The Art School is a building that is close to everyone's heart.

But not just the hearts of people in Glasgow. People throughout the country and all over the world have been helping to raise money since that day to help pay for the restoration of this precious place.

 Bill Hartley and Giles Hepworth of JWT London decided to help with the cause, and devised a campaign that asked celebrated artists to create new works out of ash from the wreckage.
Twenty five artists including Simon Starling, Sir Antony Gormley, Grayson Perry, Cornelia Parker, Jenny Saville and Douglas Gordon have contributed to the campaign, and the artworks will be auctioned at Christie's London on March 8.

Hartley and Hepworth explained Ash to Art saying -

"It seemed appropriate to use a by-product of the School's fire as the tool of its rebirth. By putting debris from the fire into the hands of artists, it places the future of the School firmly in the hands of the UK's creative community."

Pieces include a ceramic etched with the words “Art is dead. Long live Art” by Grayson Perry, shown at the top of the post.

Perry said: “It’s a tragedy. It’s the most famous art school building in Britain. It’s also the masterpiece of Mackintosh. It’s a double tragedy. I was very excited when I received the box of charcoal. I had an idea almost immediately and the idea of making an urn was an obviously thing to do. The idea of memorialising or celebrating the difficulty – honouring the wound. It’s something I’m trying to do. Move on and make the most of it.

The group of 25 international artists has seven Turner prizes between them, each creating pieces of photography, sculpture, paintings and more. A note was sent to each artist with pieces from the damaged building, explaining what the debris was – some sent charred timber or pieces of furniture – and the project concept. Ash to Art hopes to reach their £32 million target.

Queen Marie

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