Montage: Nicola Sturgeon, St Augustine’s Church; Andy Scott’s statue of CRM; Rose Harvie; Charles Rennie Mackintosh; Bailie Denis Agnew; The Hill House and Glasgow School of Art.
By Bill Heaney
A statue of Charles Rennie Mackintosh was recently installed in his home city of Glasgow.
Scottish sculptor Andy Scott has been working on this for almost three years.
The image published here shows the clay original prior to casting into the finished bronze.
The indefatigable Rose Harvie and her husband, Dave, have plans to give Dumbarton a lift on the Arts and Culture front.
One of these is to make such a good job of refurbishing Dumbarton Central Station to the extent that people will alight from their trains to admire the refurbishment.
Rose and Dave thought promoting the link between Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Dumbarton would be of interest to locals and might even attract visitors to the town.
However, they received a blank look when they brought the matter up with Bailie Denis Agnew, West Dunbartonshire’s Arts and Culture convener.
The man who took the SNP gold chain and supported them to shut the libraries, pay off librarians, deprive children of subsidised music lessons and move in on community halls, expressed no interest at all in what was and still is a great idea.
Andy Scott, who created the much talked about Kelpies and the stag at the Lomondgate roundabout, said: “One of my proposals for the project was for a statue of both Charles and Margaret together, however the budget was limited.
“I would be delighted to create a companion sculpture of Margaret. In this [Glasgow] sculpture, Charles wears a wedding ring, which I deliberately included to reference his beloved Margaret.”
Bailie Agnew, Clydebank’s answer to Melvyn Bragg, must have been uncomfortable when he read the extensive media coverage of the unveiling of the Mackintosh statue.
His “no thank you, I think you should look elsewhere” response to Rose Harvie has come back to haunt him.
Margaret MacDonald, pictured right, was an accomplished artist in her own right who came from Bowling and married her sweetheart, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, in St Augustine’s Scottish Episcopal Church in Dumbarton High Street in 1900.
The Bailie, who stravaigs proudly the corridors of power and who thought so little of the famous author AJ Cronin that he failed to turn up to welcome the great man’s granddaughter to Dumbarton Library, should perhaps pause to reconsider his response to Rose Harvie.
Because we know that Nicola Sturgeon likes the statue – and admires the man. And, in the SNP, Nicola is the boss. For the moment at least.
She paid tribute to the “incredible legacy” of the renowned artist, architect and designer.
Perhaps Nicola should have a quiet word with Denis and tell him about Mackintosh.
She said: “This magnificent new Charles Rennie Mackintosh statue is a fantastic addition to Glasgow and recognises the incredible legacy of one of Scotland’s most iconic architects, designers and artists.”
Sculptor Andy Scott, said: “Most of my memories as a Glasgow School of Art student have Mr Mackintosh’s beautiful building as a backdrop.
“His distinctive architectural styling and the sculpted detailing of that building undoubtedly influenced my career path.
“I am immensely proud to have created this distinctive bronze statue of him, especially here in his home city. There can’t be many Scots who deserve recognition more than Charles Rennie Mackintosh.”
CRM was also responsible for the design of The Hill House in Helensburgh and the Glasgow School of Art, which was destroyed in a fire earlier this year.
A previous council’s attempt to have a statue in Dumbarton failed miserably.
It was of a mother and child and was supposed to represent the mother as the caring council and the child as the community it suckled.
It ended up being disposed of into a cellar at the now abandoned County Buildings at Garshake.
One councillor, Joe Cannon, said: “It looked more like a drunk man playing the bagpipes.”