I haven't left for Glasgow yet, but all in good time. I wanted to share some information about the school and what I am doing there. When I was in the UK last year, I never made it to Glasgow, so my information could seem little skewed from what it's actually like. Hopefully I'll be able to update every so often because I do enjoy blogging and writing. I don't usually go back and reread my previous blog, but on the occasion I do, I always find I wrote about some detail I've forgotten about my experience. It always makes me thankful I took the time to write about it for my own reflection. For those who don't know or were unsure, I am attending the Glasgow School of Art and hope to receive a Masters of Design in Sound for the Moving Image.
Where is Scotland?
People usually guess where Scotland generally is, but don't really know where it is, which is okay. That's why I love maps, especially Google Maps. If we look at the map beside us (not Google maps), Scotland is in blue.
The capital of Scotland is Edinburgh.
The capital of England is London.
The capital of Wales is Cardiff.
The capital of Northern Ireland is Belfast.
What about Ireland? What is Northern Ireland and how is it different from just plain vanilla Ireland (whose capital is Dublin!)?
Before I went to London last summer, I watched this helpful video on the UK and what distinguishes itself between Great Britain. It's entertaining, funny, and high energy. Check it out!
What's special about this particular year (2014) is that Scotland is voting on a referendum on whether they will still be apart of the United Kingdom anymore or be their own independent country. I think it's amazing that the Scottish people have the chance to vote for independence, especially in 2014. There are both positives and negatives to each situation, so it will be very exciting to find out what the outcome will be. Ireland did it, so we'll see what happens in the next couple months!
Next question: Where is Glasgow?
Glasgow is the pin on the map from Google Maps (<3) beside us. It is approximately an hour west of Edinburgh by train, and five hours north of London by train. It's the largest city in Scotland, surpassing the population of its capital city of Edinburgh! It's on the same latitude as the southern part of Alaska but the average low temperature in a year is only 37 degrees F. The average high is 60 degrees F. I am looking very forward to having warmer winters and cooler summers, but not the darkness in the winter time.
The Glasgow School of Art is found in the City Centre, below.
It is rated the number one tourist attraction in Glasgow because of its reputation of being an amazing building. An architect named Charles Rennie Mackintosh designed it. He is the main representative of Art Nouveau for the British and designed the school and its library. Unfortunately, in May of this year, the school experienced a tragic fire that burnt the library to ashes. It also destroyed the work of several students as the school was preparing for a degree show. I cannot imagine what that must be like, but it is very sad to think about four years of work being burnt up right before graduation. Not to mention carefully preserved library. Below are a couple photos of before and after the fire damage.
It's quite sad, isn't it? I am happy to say though, that the response was superb. The firemen were brave, fast, and smart about the whole thing. I am also happy to say that they have decided to restore the library to what it was before. I read a warming quote about how Charles Rennie Mackintosh's pieces were not valuable because of the material he used, but because of the ideas he had. It seems he used accessible material like wood, and built his life's work on magnificent visions. I have read about incredible amounts of support being given to the school and its students. I hope it's the truth! Even though it won't be restored in the time I will be attending the school, I hope to hear about the progress it makes toward complete restoration.
Even though the Mackintosh building is the official Glasgow School of Art, a few other buildings throughout the city are apart of GSA. They finished building the Reid Building by architect Steven Holl this year. Its whiteness and brightness reminds me of the Wolfe Center in BG on a much larger scale, but without the sinking into the ground ordeal. By the looks of it, it looks a bit grander than the Wolfe Center and is in the middle of a city instead of a campus. If you click on "Reid Building," you can see a layout of the design. It looks very carefully thought out and intricate to me.
The building I will have most of my classes in is at the Digital Design Studio at The Hub, which is located by the River Clyde in Pacific Quay (quay is pronounced "key"). The Hub is a building that provides spaces for other businesses, not just GSA. Luckily, many of the businesses are media related. It's also located two parking lots away from BBC Scotland, which is pretty cool. Or daunting. Or awesome.
Another great thing about GSA are the great alumni who have graduated from there. Here are a few.
David Shrigley, visual artist, Turner Prize nominee 2013
Ian Callum, Director of Design for Jaguar cars
Douglas Gordon, artist, Turner Prize Winner 1996
Robbie Coltrane, actor
Peter Capaldi, actor
There are loads more people to mention, but these are just a few I picked. I hope this gives a good idea of where I am going. I hope to learn as much as possible and have as great of an experience as possible.
A professor I admire a lot told me that his favorite time was in graduate school. I hope this is true because while I learned a fair amount in undergrad, it wasn't the happiest time of my life. I had especially kind people (both friends and teachers alike) helping me throughout and I simply wouldn't be where I am today without them. I loved student teaching though. That will always be a fond memory. However, I am ready for new things and moving on from old challenges. I am feeling ambitious and I hope it's a feeling that'll last me a while.