This is a particularly special time at Ironbbratz right now, for me personally but for lots of other people around here too. To commemorate this and all the other special changes that happen around here all the time, I’ve been invited to write a new blog on behalf of Ironbbratz, the studios on Miller Street in Glasgow, of which I am a loving and longstanding(ish) member. I’ve been here for almost exactly a year now; I first came here to work on my Speed-dating event, Love Made Easy, with The Mutual in January 2011 and moved into my beautiful warm studio space that February. Strangely I haven’t written in my diary the exact day that I moved in. This is particularly peculiar because last year I kept an extremely through diary for the whole 12 months. I know that I must have moved in before the 3rd March because I had already decorated the space to impress before going on my first date with someone who became a main fixation for me for the rest of the year. So it’s an anniversary of sorts or at least it seems like it, I’m sure if we made a Pie chart of the amount of time I’ve spent with my studio in the past twelve months, it would ‘out-Pie’ any other potential slices or people.

Almost in tune with this personal element, a lot has been going on in other studio members lives also in fact a lot has been going on across the Glasgow creative community this week! I’m sure everyone has seen the posters, signed the petitions and had continual conversations on how to best deal with the impending Entertainment Licence! One particularly big pusher for the protest this week has come in Ironbbratz member Tawny Kerr – even more longstanding than myself, she’s been writing all types of letters to everyone and going into a social media whirl! As a committee member of The Telfer Gallery, Ironbbratz very own resident gallery space, she’s super keen to make sure the open and multi-tiered creative situation that makes Glasgow great stays exactly as it should!

Talking of Telfer, if you’re around this weekend then come down and check out one of the pop up events hosted by The Mutual as part of their The Mutual Charter project currently being organised for Glasgow International Festival 2012. That’s right, The Mutual are coming back too Ironbbratz temporarily for a weekend to showcase one of their projects, this particular one featuring a collaboration by Carla Easton, Marlena Morris and Shelton Walker – all recent GSA MFA Students. At the time of writing there’s still a lot of action happening even though it’s getting close to opening time – but as always I have faith that human beings can always achieve things they set out to.

Another Ironbbratz/Telfer cross-over this week comes in the form of Marc Cairns from studio holder’s Pidgin Perfect. Well, actually it’s not much of a cross-over; I just wanted to find a way to elbow in the fact that this morning Pidgin Perfect got a personal email from Richard Branson’s secretary. Not that Marc suggested that I write that or anything! As if PP needs any more help with self-promotion!! What I find personally more exciting is the meeting they had last week with the guy who invented LA Gear light up trainers! A big hit for me on holidays to Lanzarote as a pre-teen.

So, yes, its true Amanda will be moving on as Director – the final original founder of Ironbbratz is finally handing over the keys to the kingdom. This makes me sad every time I think about it, especially when I see Amanda being so friendly, caring and patient as she always is – I’ve tried everything to persuade her, but its happening. (Well, I did think about sneaking a heroin filled teddy bear into her suitcase – Brookside style?)

I suppose this is definitely going to be the biggest thing this week to mean change for the future of Ironbbratz but in wake of this we’re also getting a facelift. Yesterday afternoon there was a gathering of studio members, armed with tester pots, pens and pencils and a ‘pickle-green’ display cabinet, we painted, we drew, we MOVED THINGS AROUND A LOT. And next Thursday we’ll be having a second meeting to follow through on out plans to rejuvenate the ‘social-space’. My studio is being made slightly thinner, but an awful lot longer – allowing for a whole new kitchen space, a much bigger dining area and a much cosy couch/cuddling section. Think Big Brother house (with a much smaller budget) meets city-centre country kitchen tree-house. So sad news on Amanda, but at least we’ve still got her for a few months, PLUS really exciting news on the social space.

I still find it so hard to believe that we’re so lucky up here, tucked away in Merchant City and yet it seems so many people don’t know about us yet! Seriously, I’ve been in a lot of different studios and this is BY FAR the warmest, most social, most comfortable and most ‘studio-holder-centred’. Plus we have an awful lot of fun at break times, I love it so much and I just feel so lucky and grateful to be part of it all – right at the centre!

To finish this initial entry, I was going to describe ‘Cake Thursday’ – a new Ironbbratz favourite event that’s looking to become a regular feature – but I thought I’d let the video footage from the day speak for itself!!! This week’s cake was created from a chocolate cheesecake, a strawberry cheesecake, a tub of Pralines & Cream ice-cream and a tub of Cookies and Cream ice-cream. You do the math. (Oh, plus I had fish and chips about an hour later!) The video comes courtesy of Ironbbratz studio member, photographer and resident nuisance Alan Campbell. 😉

Keep up to date right here every week with more exciting and more regular news and studio gossip! Maybe it’ll even get a bit racier as weeks go by! The beauty of this text will be that it is just generated through whatever unfolds right here, right now! With a new gossip update EVERY SATURDAY The only way is Ironbbratz!!


About Oliver Braid

Oliver Braid is an artist based in Glasgow selected as one of Scotland’s most promising new visual arts practitioners as part of Collective Gallery’s 2011 New Work Scotland Programme and currently based at Ironbbratz Studios. He studied Fine Art at University College Falmouth and Glasgow School of Art, where he completed the Master of Fine Art programme in 2010. Over the past twelve months he has presented solo exhibitions of his work at The Royal Standard, Liverpool; Collective Gallery, Edinburgh; The Mutual, Glasgow and BBC Scotland, Glasgow. Throughout 2012 he is co-hosting a weekly pop-philosophy radio show with the artist Ellie Harrison, The Ellie & Oliver Show, through Culture Lab Radio, Newcastle and is involved with the artist’s therapy group Artist Anonymous.
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