When Colm Docherty died in a road accident last June, ripples of shock and grief were sent out way beyond Dunoon Burgh Hall, where the 68-year-old artist and teacher had worked as an exhibition designer and technician for 10 years.
Docherty had been cycling home from work after a day spent hanging an exhibition of work by Scottish Society of Artists (SSA) members when he was hit by a car.
I remember visiting the SSA exhibition a couple of weeks after his death and reading the tributes to him in a book of condolences. Docherty’s life was entwined with the Burgh Hall, be that as a teacher in the children’s art classes or planning and hanging exhibitions.
Now, as a tribute to his puckish creative spirit, the main gallery space has been renamed The Colm Docherty Gallery.
I only met him once – a few months before his death, at an event in the Burgh Hall to celebrate a Joan Eardley exhibition Docherty had been involved with staging. He left an impression. We became Facebook friends and his posts were always thought-provoking, funny and filled with the joys of a creative life well lived.
The retrospective of work by the Glasgow School of Art graduate – and proud Glasgow boy, who made Argyll his home – will be on show for the next month at Dunoon Burgh Hall. All artworks, the majority of which are for sale, have been selected by his family.
As his daughter, Charli Docherty-Shortt, told me, he always said when he died the family was to sell his work. She said: “He produced a huge amount of work in varying styles and mediums, so sorting through it was no small feat!
“With help from friends and family, we’ve assembled a selection for this exhibition. The family has a huge personal collection, so letting these works go to homes where they can be appreciated is a nice thought. It’s an opportunity to share the beauty which dad brought to all his art.”
In 2021, photographer and writer Johny Pitts and poet Roger Robinson circumnavigated the coast of Britain in a red Mini Cooper.
Their aim was set out to document and respond to the many manifestations of black British culture around the country – and to present an alternative to the official and media narratives.
The resulting project, Home Is Not A Place, is now presented as an exhibition at Stills gallery in Edinburgh. It is a fascinating exhibition that delves into black British culture and the notion of home.
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