Well, the summer is upon us, and it’s festival time here in Edinburgh. To get me off to a good start, I went along to the opening of two new exhibitions at the Talbot Rice Gallery, the public art gallery of the University of Edinburgh. The larger of the two exhibitions shows work by the German artist Anton Henning. If you’ve been to the Gallery before, you’re in for a bit of a surprise. It’s been transformed by the addition of carpet and brightly painted walls which are part of the display of Henning’s paintings and sculpture. I really enjoyed the splash of colour. I wasn’t familiar with this artist’s work, so it was all new to me. My favourite items were a sculpture called “Flower Still Life No 405” (this had a beautiful shape) and “Stained Glass Window No 3” (because of the colours).
The Ragamala was my favourite of the two exhibitions. This is in the Georgian Gallery at the Talbot Rice. Ragamala means “garland of ragas” and the works are visual representations of Indian music. There are two sets on display. The first was gifted to the University by Dwarkanath Tagore (the grandfather of Nobel prize-winning poet Rabindranath Tagore). The second set was acquired by John Ballie. These paintings are just amazing. They are each slightly smaller than a sheet of A4 paper, but the detail on each is incredible. The finest brushes must have been used to depict the patterns on the fabric, the plants and the animals in each picture. It really is breathtaking.