t Bath with bead inside to prevent


O GRAEME MURRAY GALLERY 15 Scotland Street. 556 6020. Tue—Fri 1—6pm. Sat 10am—2pm.

Rellections on the French Revolution - Work by lan Hamilton Finlay Until Sat 21 Dec. The flags of Arcadia. Utopia and Little Sparta. Finlay's territory. hang over the mantelpiece. Pots of

clear jam are covered with real paper

sundials. a ‘parody ofthe limited edition‘ amongst other things. Apollo carries a machine gun and Robespierre‘s dog ‘Brount' has his own memento a dish on the floor. Finlay‘s own revolution and that of France are laid out in the whitened gallery like trophies in the temple. With more than a touch ofwit.

O MALCOLM INNES GALLERY 67 George Street. 226 4151. Mon-Fri 9.30am—6pm. Sat 10am—1pm.

Ninth Contemporary Artist’s Exhibition Fri 29-Tue 10 Dec. An exhibition of works by 20 Scottish artists.

0 MERCURY GALLERY 2/3 North Bank Street. 225 3200. Mon—Fri 10am—5.30pm. Sat “lam—1.00pm. Small Picture Show Until beg. Jan. Small pictures for Christmas stockings.

0 NATIONAL GALLERY OF SCOTLAND The Mound. 556 8921. Mon—Sat 10am—5pm. Sun 2—5pm. The National Gallery. Portrait Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art will not be continuing the lunchtime closures of previous winters and will be fully operational throughout the day.

l Netherlandish Drawings Until Tue 24


Dec. 80 drawings selected from the

gallery’s collection of nearly 1000. in an exhibition which marks the

publication of a full catalogue of the

f collection of Dutch and Flemish ' drawings hitherto largely unknown

except to specialists.

The Adoration olthe Magi by

Mantegna will be on display until 13 Dec. Timothy Clifford, the gallery‘s director will give a talk about the painting on 13 Dec at 7.30pm. Free. Nativity in Art Until 5 Jan. Pictures from the gallery‘s collection tell the magical story of Christmas. See Kids page for details ofcompetition.

Two New Wilkies Until 26 Jan. Following the celebratory Festival exhibition ‘Tribute to Wilkie‘ it is appropriate during the bi-centenary of his birth that the National Gallery should acquire (1 gift and 1 purchase) two paintings by Sir David. They will be given a special display until 26Jan.

0 NATIONAL LIBRARY OF SCOTLAND George IV Bridge. 226 4531. Mon—Fri 9.30am—5pm. Sat 9.30am—1pm.

Thomas De Ouincey: an English opium-eater, 1785-1859 Until 31 Jan. Opium pipes and duelling pistols are among the items illustrating the life of this poet and addict of laudanum. who lived for a time and died in Edinburgh.

Treasures oi the National Library at Scotland Until Jan. A selection of books and manuscripts from the

library’s vast collection.

. O NETHERBOW 43 High Street 556 i 9579. Mon—Sat 10am—4pm and

before theatre performances. Cafe. Stephen Gilbert Until Sat 21 Dec. The first Scottish exhibition of Paris based painter and sculptor Stephen Gilbert. After the war he was a member ofthe legendary COBRA

5 group (Copenhagen. Brussels.


Margaret Weliord Until Sat 21 Dec. Watercolours and jewellery by a Perthshire-based artist.

Alison Prescetti Until Sat 21 Dec. A colourful look at the buildings and landscapes of Edinburgh. (Cafe show).

0 OPEN EYE GALLERY 57 Cumberland Street. 557 1020. Mon—Fri 10am—6pm. Sat 10am-4pm. [1)] Paris etc. Until Thurs 5 Dec. Shop fronts and windows by Barry Smith and lightly painted ceramics decorated with hares. flowers and frogs by Mary Case.

On a Small Scale Sat 7 Dec—end Dec. Paintings no bigger than 9in by 7m and some as small as Zin by 2in (official miniature size) in an exhibition ofcontemporary British artists. Ceramics will be included in the selection.

0 PRINTMAKERS' WORKSHOP GALLERY 23 Union Street. 557 2479. Mon—Sat l0am—6pm.

Little and Large Until The 24 Dec. 'I'ailormade to fit all requirements this show has prints of all sizes by Scottish artists.

I Print Sale Dates as above. A number

of prints from the workshop will be

= on sale at drastically reduced prices. 0 RIAS GALLERY 15 Rutland Square. 229 7205. Mon—Fri 9am-5pm. Recently Restored Until Fri 29 Nov. The title describes both the exhibition ofarchitectural drawings and the gallery which opened only several weeks ago. The RIAS drawing collection has increased from 400 to 4.000 in the past year. This selection includes some of the best. A new bookshop is now open at the RIAS Gallery. naturally specialising in architectural books which includes a selection of popular interest. 0 ROYAL MUSEUM OF SCOTLAND Queen Street. 556 8921. Mon—Sat 10am—5pm. Sun 2—5pm. ‘I am come home‘ Treasures of Prince Charles Edward Stuart. Until 30 April. Young Museum workshops Sat 30 Nov and Sat 21 Dec. See Kids section for details. 0 ROYAL MUSEUM OF SCOTLAND Chambers Street. 225 7534. Mon—Sat l0am—5pm. Sun 2-5pm. Costumes and Textiles of Kuwait Indefinue. French Connections: Scotland the the Arts oi France Until 2 Feb. the Auld Alliance is celebrated in this exhibitions of French art and artefacts from Scottish collections. About Face Small display ofmake-up and hair ornament from tribal beginnings to present day punk.

John McLean had been eating onions and needed to settle his stomach when we met. As he answered the door in his coat, I realised the urgency oi the situation and with little hesitation agreed to go round the cornerto his local. Amidst the pulling oi pints and the occasional worse-ior-wear customer causing a rumpus, we talked ior several hours about abstract painting, the Northern Lights, November skies and John McLean.

McLean talks articulater and at length about his work. It seems that this was just one of the reasons he was chosen by Duncan MacMillan, lecturer in Fine Art and director oi the Talbot Rice Gallery, to be Edinburgh University‘s lirstartist-in-residence. A iirst in Scotland, McLean sees it as ‘a magniiicent act oi patronage’ and is determined to ‘paint like mad‘ during his six month stay. He is delighted to have the opportunity to be paid a salary, unusual ior his profession. ‘Since the teaching cuts, some oi the best painters in the country are painting and decorating people’s houses in London. They make a better job than some tradesmen.‘ McLean is always ready to see the bright side.

A garrulous person, by his own deiinition, he iinds it relatively easy to discuss his work with the students. Their reactions vary enormously and he takes them all in his stride. He will need all his social abilities when he

enters the ring atthe Talbot Rice on 2

Dec. One oi the more daunting aspects

._ oi the job is painting in public during


34 the List 29 Nov 12 Dec

the iirst week oihis‘mid-term‘

exhibition. As he paints on the iloor oiten with a squeegee mop he should strike up a rapport with his audience, or at least excite curiosity in his periormance. Re paints quickly and spontaneously on unstretched canvas

lreshly cut irom a tall roll. Once the iirst

mark is made then he can start working


the colour. He sees abstract art f positively, despite the lact that recent

: trends have moved towards more

I ligurative work. ‘I don‘t paint the way I

do because at any closures imposed on

me-it's more because oi the openings available. Abstract is now about 80 years old and anyway there‘s always been an element at it in painting. My


reasons must eventually relate to desire. In the end i just have to see these things happen on the canvas. Invention is crucial.’

Brought up in Arbroath and now living and working in London, McLean’s great love is Canada where he has had several exhibitions and where his work is very much admired. ‘Most people here don‘t think at having a painting on theirwall at home rather than a reproduction, but they do in Canada. Real paintings are tactile and the great thing aboutthem is that they smell,‘ he says.

Stomachs settled, we go back to his ilat and studio, both at which come with the job. The institutional corridors smell of disiniectant and lluorescent cleanliness, but once inside the room at rolled and unrolled canvas, that smell is iorgotten and the pictures can be touched. Subtle, lingering colour bathe the canvasses in moist light textures. The work hums rather than « sings iull-throated. While in Canada at 1 an artists‘ hide-away on Emma Lake. t Saskatchewan, McLean saw Northern [ Lights which outglowed Aberdeen’s. . ‘The colours (oi the Aurora Borealis) reached irom the horizon to the zenith I in striations oi light. It was like a

colossal iirework display in the l heavens,‘ he remembers, asthe next ' canvas unrolls its poetry. : John McLean will be working in the I Talbot Rice Gallery irom 2—7 Dec. The f ; exhibition continues until 20 Dec. '

; (Alice Bain).