‘A Nudge for Joan Ure’
Saturday 11 May, 2-3pm
Gallery 4, GoMA
FREE and tickets available through eventbrite
On the afternoon of Saturday, May 11th, a trio of actors will join poet and academic Alan Riach in a special event in Domestic Bliss. A Nudge for Joan Ure, produced by GoMA with publishers Brae Editions, will feature Deirdre Murray, Alison Peebles and Barbara Rafferty in an entertaining exploration of the significance, and the work – including excerpts from two unpublished plays – of this ‘unfairly neglected’ (Alasdair Gray) poet and playwright.
This ‘Nudge’ is intended to move forward the understanding of Joan Ure’s work from the successful launches in late 2018 of the first-ever collection of her poetry: The Tiny Talent: Selected Poems by Joan Ure. Supported by Creative Scotland, and with a foreword by Alasdair Gray, this was edited by Richie McCaffery and Alistair Peebles (the latter of Brae Editions, Orkney). With others, including Ian Brown, Joy Hendry and Jan McDonald, Alison Peebles read selections from this book at Blackwell’s in Edinburgh and at the CCA, Glasgow. Copies of The Tiny Talent: Selected Poems by Joan Ure, recently launched by Brae Editions will be available from the Library at GoMA beforehand.
Born in 1918 to parents originally from Clydeside, and living in Glasgow for virtually the whole of her life, till her tragically early death in 1978 – her health was frail, in part because she had suffered in her earlier life from tuberculosis – Joan Ure in her work was committed, uncompromising, witty, intensely imaginative and – being a woman, in Glasgow, in Scotland – too often disappointed. None of her plays is in print at present, though performances have taken place in recent years, including by Theatre Alba.
‘Deirdre and Barbara knew and worked with Joan (real name Elizabeth Carswell/ Clark) in the 1960s and 70s, at a time when, as Deirdre puts it, she was effectively a writer in residence with Glasgow University Arts Theatre Group, a lively and innovative ensemble well known for taking on new work. The whole idea of the forthcoming event is to bring the achievements of Joan Ure to the attention of a contemporary audience, many of whom may never have heard her name, and we are delighted that together with Alan and Alison, they will be playing a key role in this reminder, or ‘nudge’ at GoMA.’ Alistair Peebles, Brae Editions.
Tickets are available (free, but please book) from For ticket-holders a prize draw will be held at the event, and as well as copies of the book, goods have been contributed by a number of Orkney producers: Hilary Grant (knitwear), Ola Gorie (jewellery), Andrew Appleby (‘the original Harray Potter’) and Highland Park (a bottle of their latest release: ‘Twisted Tattoo’).
Actress Deirdre Murray, who will speak about her memories of working with Joan and GUATG, is known for her roles in such films as Where Do We Go From Here? (which also featured Alison Peebles), Crime Story and Christmas in the Highlands.
Alison Peebles, award-winning actress and director, has played a wide range of roles in classic, devised and contemporary plays. She is currently filming River City (BBC Studios) and is about to start filming Molly and Mack (CBeebies). She tentatively took up painting again last year and will be exhibiting (18-30 June) at Dundas Street Gallery, Edinburgh, along with her graduate year from Edinburgh College of Art.
Actress Barbara Rafferty is known for her roles as Ella Cotter in Rab C Nesbitt, as Shirley Henderson and Bernie O’Hara in River City, as Agnes Meldon Hamish MacBeth, and as Grandma Mainland in Katie Morag (CBeebies).
Alan Riach is Professor of Scottish Literature at the University of Glasgow. As well as his own work, he publishes widely on contemporary Scottish literature and culture, and notably on the work of Hugh MacDiarmid. In recent years he has maintained a steady output on such topics for The National, including a review in February of The Tiny Talent.
Brae Editions is an occasional imprint based in Orkney, Scotland. It was created by Alistair Peebles in 2007 and runs in collaboration with poet and artist Amy Todman and arts educationalist and printmaker Carol Dunbar. Among its notable publications is Ecstatics: a language of birds (2011) by poet Lesley Harrison and artist Laura Drever, which in 2012 won the Callum Macdonald Memorial Award. Follow them on Twitter
GoMA: Situated in the heart of Glasgow’s city centre, GoMA is Scotland’s most visited modern and contemporary art gallery displaying work that highlights the interests, influences and working methods of artists from around the world. Royal Exchange Square, Glasgow G1 3AH. Open Monday to Wednesday and Saturday 10am to 5pm, Thursday 10am to 8pm and Friday and Sunday 11am to 5pm. Follow us on Twitter
Domestic Bliss is a new exhibition that brings together works from Glasgow Museums’ collection to reflect on GoMA’s building history as a former house, Royal Exchange and civic space, and explore how artists work with fine art, design and craft practices amid social and political changes. With works on show by 27 artists, including Niki de Saint Phalle, Grayson Perry, Jessie M. King, Alasdair Gray and Jacqueline Donachie, the exhibition examines domestic labour and feminism, public and private space, intimate relationships and historical narratives.
Photo: Joan Ure, by unknown photographer (picture supplied by Frances Wren).
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