Eye of the Storm

My favourite bit in this is when he tells of getting the first exhibitions of his work, this wee Glasgow fella, son of a shipyard worker, and his painting is hanging in Kelvingrove Museum. It’s of Athole Gardens, which is on a slope, so the buildings look all askew in the frame. And there he is, standing anonymously in the gallery, marvelling at his achievement, in front of this painting, when a fella comes up, takes one look at it, and turns to him and says, “It’s aff a’ square. Aw they uprights in the picture, they should up upright. They’re aw laid back, aff a’ square. And it’s our fucking money that’s being spent on that picture that’s nae good at all.”

I fucking love this city.

Eye of the Storm follows James Morrison in the last years of his life, as he tries to continue to paint despite his failing eyesight. His career spans more than 60 years, as he goes from painting Glasgow tenements to rural landscapes, first in Scotland and then around the world. I enjoyed the use of animation to illustrate his memories, done in his style of art, really bringing to life his little tales. Painting in the Arctic and being come upon by a polar bear, or drawing in Paris and finding his favourite brushes.

I could have done without the constant interruption of quotes from famous artists, one at the beginning was quite enough, thank you. And I wasn’t so keen on the inclusion of the animator talking about her process and contribution to the film, I’d have preferred it stayed focused on Jimmy.

But other than that, a pleasant journey through the life’s work of a local man whose art had a global reach.

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