The spirit of Gaelic in Glasgow to be captured on canvas

Issued: Wed, 09 Oct 2019 07:00:00 BST

He celebrated 20th-century Scottish poetry with his famous painting of Hugh MacDiarmid et al in an imaginary Edinburgh howff.

He paid tribute to the Scottish folk revival with his fantastical depiction of Hamish Henderson carousing with musicians including Gael Dolina MacLennan and piper and Gaelic tradition-bearer Alan MacDonald.

Now, Alexander “Sandy” Moffat is set to capture Gaelic culture and what it means to contemporary Glasgow. The distinguished Scottish painter has been appointed artist-in-residence to the Royal National Mòd 2019, and commissioned by Glasgow Life in partnership with the Hunterian Museum and the University of Glasgow to create an original artwork marking the Mòd’s return to Clydeside for the first time in almost three decades.

Chomharraich e bàrdachd na 20mh linn le a dhealbh ainmeil de dh’Ùistean MacDiarmaid is eile ann an àite-tadhail mas fhìor ann an Dùn Èideann.

Rinn e moladh air an ath-bheothachadh ann an tuath-cheòl Albannach le a thuairisgeul iongantach air Seumas MacEanraig a’ dèanamh subhachas le luchd-ciùil agus nam measg bha a’ bhana-Ghidheal, Dolina NicIllinnein agus am pìobaire cliùiteach Ailean Dòmhnallach.

A-nis, tha Alasdair “Sandy” Moffat deiseil airson cultar na Gàidhlig a ghlacadh agus na tha e a’ ciallachadh do Ghlaschu co-aimsireil. Tha am peantair ainmeil Albannach air fhastadh mar neach-ealain air mhuinntearas aig a’ Mhòd Nàiseanta Rìoghail 2019, agus air a choimiseanadh le Glaschu Beò ann an com-pàirteachas leis an Taigh-tasgaidh Hunterian agus Oilthigh Ghlaschu gus obair-ealain thùsail a chruthachadh a bhios a’ comharrachadh tilleadh a’ Mhòid gu Bruachan Chluaidh airson a’ chiad uair ann am faisg air trithead bliadhna.

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The Mòd – Scotland’s premier festival of Gaelic music, arts and sport – was last held in Glasgow in 1990, during its year as European City of Culture.

Some 29 years on, Gaelic – which has been spoken in the city for centuries – is flourishing. In fact, Glasgow is home to the largest number of Gaelic speakers outwith the Highlands and Islands and a growing number of citizens are speaking it, learning it and participating in Gaelic cultural events. In July this year, the revival was accentuated with Niall O’Gallagher’s appointment as the first ever Bàrd Baile Ghlaschu (Glasgow’s City Gaelic Poet Laureate).   

It is this important moment in the city’s Gaelic history that will be immortalised by Sandy Moffat OBE RSA, as the Mòd makes its return visit to Glasgow on October 11. During the nine-day festival, the artist will immerse himself in the atmosphere, observe events and research the city’s Gaelic past and present. Those impressions will feed into an original artwork, which will be unveiled in Glasgow in January 2020.

The Gaelic Poet Laureate and the Artist-in-residency bookend Glasgow Life’s contribution to Gaelic in the city during the Mòd with a programme of free screenings, talks, workshops and language tasters all taking place at the CCA (Centre for Contemporary Art, Glasgow).

The Mòd provides opportunities for people of all ages to perform across a range of competitive disciplines including Gaelic music and song, Highland dancing, instrumental, drama, sport and literature and during the week, a host of fringe activity will also take place.

Thanks to the new residency, Alexander Moffat’s illustrious body of work will now be complemented by a brand new painting, which is destined, like his famous depictions of poets and folk musicians, Poets’ Pub and Scotland’s Voices, to be enjoyed by art lovers and Gaelic cultural enthusiasts for generations to come.

Sandy Moffat said: “I’m really excited about this opportunity to observe and make work during the Mòd. It’s a unique opportunity to get close up to this great Gaelic festival.”

Professor Roibeard Ó Maolalaigh, Professor of Gaelic and Vice Principal and Head of the College of Arts / Colaiste nan Ealain at the University of Glasgow, said: “We are delighted to partner with the city of Glasgow to help celebrate Gaelic culture in our city. It is an exciting time for the language in Glasgow as we have seen an increasing demand for Gaelic-medium education, music and culture, all of which will be celebrated in this year’s Mòd.

“We feel that Sandy Moffat is the perfect person to take on this project. Over the course of his career, he has created a kind of ‘history painting’ capturing iconic moments in our cultural renaissance. This has included both the 1980 Poets’ Pub of major poets and writers working in Scotland at that time including our own Edwin Morgan and its more recent companion painting called Scotland’s Voices celebrating the oral tradition in Scottish culture.

“We look forward to seeing how Sandy Moffat captures Gaelic culture in contemporary Glasgow.”

Councillor David McDonald, Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow Life said: “The Mòd’s return to Glasgow is a momentous occasion that will give many thousands of people the opportunity to engage with Gaelic heritage and culture through music, song, poetry, storytelling, sport and much more.

“It will be fascinating to see Sandy Moffat’s take on this event. The late, great Gaelic bard Sorley MacLean featured prominently in his famous painting, Poets’ Pub, while the contemporary piper and Gaelic scholar Allan Macdonald is celebrated in Scotland’s Voices – and I’m looking forward to finding out how Gaelic culture in Glasgow, and the 2019 Mòd, will be depicted in his forthcoming new work.” 

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Chaidh am Mòd – prìomh fhèis na h-Alba airson ceòl, ealain agus spòrs Gàidhlig – a chumail mu dheireadh ann an Glaschu ann an 1990, sa bhliadhna a bha Glaschu a’ comharrachadh Baile Cultair na Roinn Eòrpa.

29 bliadhna às dèidh sin, tha a’ Ghàidhlig – a tha air a bhith air a labhairt sa bhaile fad linntean – a’ soirbheachadh ’s a’ fàs. Ann an da-rìribh, tha Glaschu na dhachaigh don àireamh as motha de luchd-labhairt na Gàidhlig taobh a-muigh na Gàidhealtachd agus nanEilean agus tha àireamh a tha a’ sìor fhàs ga labhairt, ga h-ionnsachadh agus a’ com-pàirteachadh ann an tachartasan cultarach Gàidhlig.

San Iuchar am-bliadhna, chaidh an ath-bheothachadh sin a dhaingneachadh le fastadh air Niall O’ Gallagher mar a’ chiad Bhàrd Baile Ghlaschu a-riamh (Prìomh-bhàrd Gàidhlig Baile Ghlaschu). 

Is e a’ mhòmaid chudromach seo ann an eachdraidh Ghàidhlig a’ bhaile a bhios air a comharrachadh le Sandy Moffat OBE RSA, agus am Mòd a’ tilleadh a-rithist a Ghlaschu air 11 Dàmhair.

Rè na fèise a mhaireas naoi làtha, bidh an neach-ealain ga bhogadh fhèin san àile, ag amharc air tachartasan agus a’ rannsachadh eachdraidh Ghàidhlig a’ bhaile mar a bha agus mar a tha. Bidh na beachdan sin a’ biadhadh a-steach don obair-ealain thùsail a thèid fhoillseachadh ann an Glaschu san Fhaoilleach 2020.

Tha am Mòd a’ toirt chothroman do dhaoine de gach aois gu bhith a’ gnìomhachadh tarsainn raon de chuspairean farpaiseach, a’ gabhail a-steach ceòl agus òrain Ghàidhlig, dannsa Gàidhealach, ionnsramaidean, dràma, spòrs agus litreachas, agus tron t-seachdain bidh mòran ghnìomhachdan a’ gabhail àite air an iomall. [https://modghlaschu2019.com/events-programme/]. Bidh am

Prìomh-bhàrd Gàidhlig agus an neach-ealain air mhuinntearas a’ gnìomhachadh aig gach ceann de thabhartas Gàidhlig Ghlaschu Beò sa bhaile tro sheachdain a’ Mhòid le prògram de sgrionaidhean, òraidean, bùithtean-obrach agus blasadan den chànan uile an-asgaidh agus a’ gabhail àite san CCA (https://www.glasgowlife.org.uk/)

Mar thoradh air a’ mhuinntearas ùr, bidh obair ionmholta Alasdair Moffat a-nis a’ faotainn taic bho dhealbh ùr-nodha air a peantadh a tha an dàn, coltach ri a dhealbhan ainmeil de bhàird is luchd-ciùil tuath-cheòl, Poets’ Pub agus Scotland’s Voices, a bhith a’ toirt tlachd do dhaoine le ùidh ann an ealain agus ann an cultar na Gàidhlig airson ginealaichean ri teachd.

Aithris mholta bhon Chomhairliche Daibhidh Dòmhnallach, iar-stiùiriche Comhairle Baile Ghlaschu agus Cathraiche Ghlaschu Beò: “Is e tachartas mòr a th’ anns a’ Mhòd a’ tilleadh a Ghlaschu a bheir cothrom do na mìltean de dhaoine a bhith an sàs ann an dualchas is cultar na Gàidhlig tro cheòl, òrain, bàrdachd, innse sgeulachdan, spòrs agus mòran eile.

“Bidh e mìorbhaileach a’ faicinn tuairisgeul Sandy Moffat air an tachartas seo. Nochd am bàrd ainmeil Gàidhlig, Somhairle MacGillEathain, gu follaiseach san dealbh ainmeil aige, Poets’ Pub, fhad ’s a thathar a’ comharrachadh a’ phìobaire cho-aimsireil is sgoilear Gàidhlig, Ailean Dòmhnallach, ann an Scotland’s Voices – agus tha mi a’ coimhead air adhart ri faighinn a-mach mar a bhios cultar na Gàidhlig ann an Glaschu agus Mòd 2019 air an taisbeanadh san obair ùr aige a tha fhathast ri thighinn.”

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As head of painting and printmaking at Glasgow School of Art until 1985, Alexander “Sandy” Moffat was credited with igniting the resurgence of figurative painting in the city by inspiring future greats such as Peter Howson, Alison Watt and Ken Currie. His own work was celebrated last year with the publication of Facing The Nation: The Portraiture of Alexander Moffat, a landmark book by art historian Bill Hare.

Am Mòd Nàiseanta Rìoghail (The Royal National Mòd), the biggest and most important festival of the Gaelic language in Scotland, takes place in Glasgow from October 11-19. Organised by An Comunn Gàidhealach, it will engage thousands of international competitors in more than 200 events in Highland dancing, sport, literature and drama, as well as Gaelic music and song. For tickets visit ancomunn.co.uk/tickets

The new artist in residency programme and artwork commission are organised as part of the Mòd Fringe, a packed programme of ceilidhs, concerts and other events, culminating in The Final Fling, an exciting evening of live music from outstanding traditional bands Skerryvore and Trail West at the Barrowlands on Friday, October 18.

Full details of the 2019 Fringe programme can be found at https://Mòdghlaschu2019.com/events-programme/

Glasgow Life’s contribution to Gaelic in the city during the Mòd offers a programme of free screenings, talks, workshops and language tasters all taking place at the CCA (Centre for Contemporary Art, Glasgow) https://www.cca-glasgow.com/programme#gaelic-events

The city’s Gaelic Poet Laureate is delivered in partnership with the Gaelic Books Council

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Mar cheannard peantaidh is clò-bhualaidh aig Sgoil Ealain Ghlaschu gu 1985, tha Alasdair “Sandy” Moffat air a chreideasachadh le lasadh aiseirigh air ealain fhigearach sa bhaile, le bhith a’ brosnachadh dhaoine ainmeil teachdail mar Peter Howson, Alison Watt agus Ken Currie. Chaidh an obair aige fhèin a chomharrachadh an-uiridh le foillseachadh air Facing The Nation: The Portraiture of Alexander Moffat, leabhar àrd-chomharraichte leis an neach-eachdraidh ealain, Bill Hare.

 Bidh am Mòd Nàiseanta Rìoghail, an fhèis Ghàidhlig as motha agus as cudromaiche ann an Alba, a’ gabhail àite ann an Glaschu bho 11–19 Dàmhair. Air a h-eagrachadh tron Chomunn Ghàidhealach, bidh i a’ tarraing nam mìltean de fharpaisich eadar-nàiseanta gu còrr air 200 tachartas ann an dannsa Gàidhealach, spòrs, litreachas agus dràma, a thuilleadh air ceòl is òrain Ghàidhlig. Airson tiogaidean, tadhailibh air www.ancomunn.co.uk/tickets

Tha am prògram ùr a thaobh neach-ealain air mhuinntearas agus coimiseanadh an obair-ealain air an eagrachadh mar phàirt de dh’Iomall a’ Mhòid, prògram a tha loma-làn de chèilidhean, cuirmean-ciùil agus tachartasan eile, a’ crìochnachadh leis a’ Hò-ro Gheallaidh Dheireannach, feasgar brosnachail de cheòl beò bho na còmhlan-ciùil traidiseanta agus air leth, Skerryvore agus Trail West, sna Barrowlands air Dihaoine 18 Dàmhair. Airson tuilleadh fiosrachaidh mu phrògram an Iomaill 2019, tadhailibh air https://modghlaschu2019.com/glasgow-mod-2019/events-programme