I have visited Glasgow so many times over the last few years and has always been a city held close to my heart. Getting off the train and wandering past George Square, I was lured by my senses into a coffee shop for coffee and a slice of cake (because I was on holiday….sort of?). Watching the world go by, I thought about how little I’ve actually explored the city’s museums. I had a few hour to kill before my evening plans so instead of shopping like I normally would, I bit the bullet and visited the GoMA or Gallery of Modern Art.
Built in 1776, the beautiful building stands tall in Glasgow’s city centre. Complete with the icon monument of the Duke of Wellington with a traffic cone of his head. The building is so beautiful with a healthy mix of old romantic architecture and minimalist new.
This small and free museum is packed with art and exhibits wherever you go. If you need a rest, there is an educational seating area on the top floor full of books to peruse.
I loved the video pieces in the museum with ‘Gobstoppers’ by Roderick Buchanan in the children’s section in particular being quite fun. The simple video made in the late 1980’s is just a man driving through the Clyde Tunnel and getting children to play a game where they hold their breath as they pass through the tunnel. You inadvertently end up playing the game along with the video excerpts, making you part of the same ‘team’ as the children in the film.
Wandering through the gallery, I can across many beautiful paintings including the famous Andy Warhol painting of ‘Campbell’s Oyster Soup’ and David Hockney’s ‘Photography is dead. Long live Painting’. One of my favourite pictures was a collection of photographs tucked away in a corner of an individual throwing up a bundle of sticks in the countryside. I love how every shot is different and such a simple concept.
On my way out of the museum, I stumbled upon a live music session near the entrance, so naturally I had to take a seat and listen! One artist in particular was performing a spoken word set. I’ve never listened to one live before and it was an eye opening experience on how the artist rhythmically glides over his poetry verses. It was quite moving to hear the power of the words over a simple melody, not focussing on the artist’s vocal gymnastics.
One thing I took away from my visit to the GoMA was that simplicity is sometimes best. We sometimes get carried away with over complicating things, be it work or hobbies. Sometimes just taking a step back, looking at the bigger picture and creating a simple concept is just a powerful as one that demonstrates virtuostic skill.
Have you been to the Gallery of Modern Art? Are these anymore great museums I can visit in Glasgow?
Let me know your thoughts