Looking for Signs: ideas
and imagined circumstances

Looking for Signs: ideas and imagined circumstances

28 July –16 September 2018

Scottish artist and designer Jimmy Cosgrove (b1939) presents new work alongside a selection of past works spanning some fifty years of a vibrant career in the visual arts. Curated by Alison Harley & Fraser Taylor (The Textile Collective) in conversation with Louise Briggs (Arts & Heritage Officer, Studio Pavilion, House for an Art Lover), the exhibition will provide a long overdue and intimate insight into the diversity of Cosgrove’s practice that reflects his immense curiosity in the exploration of ideas.

The exhibition will introduce audiences to the themes and style of Cosgrove’s practice – namely that of process; materials; and techniques, explored through real and imagined subject matter – and how these elements remain constant and recognisable characteristics within his substantive bodies of work.

Populated by a selection of sketchbooks; travel diaries; screen-printed textiles; posters; photographs; drawings; paintings; collage and text, the exhibition will familiarise audiences with Cosgrove’s keen observation of people and places he has encountered, all re-imagined through a personal lens imbued with spontaneous and constructed narratives. It will also include examples of significant collaborations undertaken with fellow artists, Ian Breakwell, Bruce Lacey and Zandra Rhodes and during innovative events such as Glasgow School of Art Activities Week. The context within which Cosgrove has practised from the late Sixties as an artist and designer will be also explored in the exhibition through his use of image-making and material exploration primarily through silk screen-printing, ceramics and glass.

As an educator Jimmy Cosgrove has made a major contribution as a prominent member of Glasgow School of Art staff, firstly as a Lecturer in Textile Design (1973-1980) with Head of Textiles, Robert Stewart (1946 – 1979), and then as Head Department for Printed Textiles (1980-1982), before being appointed Deputy Director of the Glasgow School of Art (1982 – 2000). In these roles Cosgrove played an important part in the growth and promotion of Glasgow’s artistic scene and his work, both past and present deserves greater exposure to new audiences. This exhibition coincides with the artist approaching his eightieth year, which creates an important opportunity to showcase his practice and to engage these new audiences. Cosgrove’s work allows an insight into the longevity of his practice and processes, whilst also having equal currency in current and contemporary visual arts.