Media Release: First chance to see unbuilt Mackintosh buildings at festival launch at The Lighthouse

Charles Rennie Mackintosh festival

GLASGOW will pay tribute to one of its most famous sons, as the Creative Mackintosh Festival is formally launched tomorrow, on Thursday evening, at The Lighthouse with a reception for artists and supporters.

Speaking at the event will be Mr Hamza Yousef MSP, Minister for External Affairs and International Development; Bailie Liz Cameron, Glasgow City Council’s Executive Member for Business and the Economy, and vice-chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau; and Mackintosh Heritage Group chair, Caroline Barr.

The evening will offer the first chance to see a major exhibition of Unbuilt Mackintosh works, large-scale architect’s models of some structures that were designed and drawn but never built. And Scotland’s national poet, Liz Lochhead, will read her poem, Three Stanzas For Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

Caroline Barr, chair of the Mackintosh Heritage Group, said: “Mackintosh and his fellow Glasgow artists started a movement that rippled out across the world.

“Sometimes we take our homegrown talent for granted, but now that we are starting an annual festival to celebrate his legacy we hope everyone will be able to find something exciting, inspiring and enjoyable in the works that have been commissioned in his name.”

The Creative Mackintosh Festival runs from October 15 to 28 and includes theatre, music, exhibitions and workshops inspired by the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

When The Moon Was Overhead, a play written by Allan Radcliffe and starring Kirstin Coulter Smith, commemorates the life and work of Frances Macdonald McNair, the younger sister of Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh.

There will also be an interactive theatre performance at Scotland Street School bringing together creative characters from the late 18th century such as Catherine the Great, William Blake, the Marquis de Sade and Mozart in The Lost Supper, a work by Ocean All Over.

Ahead of the evening, Bailie Liz Cameron, Glasgow City Council’s executive member for Business and the Economy, and vice-chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said: “Barcelona has Gaudí, Chicago has Frank Lloyd Wright and Glasgow has the unmistakable Art Nouveau magic of Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

The inaugural Creative Mackintosh Festival represents a fantastic showcase of a world-renowned cultural icon whose innovative and influential style can be seen throughout the city and remains a major draw for international visitors to Glasgow today.

“From the Glasgow School of Art and The Lighthouse to House for an Art Lover and the Willow Tea Rooms, the festival programme is as diverse as the venues, featuring a varied range of talented writers, artists, musicians and performers each geared at exploring the fascinating and lasting legacy of the man who helped to transform art and architecture in the early 20th century.”

In all, the fortnight will include a total of around 30 activities, guided walks, performances and events with some surprise ‘appearances’ by Mackintosh himself courtesy of interactive performance company Mischief La Bas. And tenor, Jamie MacDougall, will perform with pianist, Julia Lynch, in the Music Room at House for an Art Lover.

Funding for the festival has been sourced from Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, Scottish Enterprise and Creative Scotland which has provided £90,000 to the artists and performers involved.

David Taylor, portfolio manager for the Year of Creative Scotland at Creative Scotland, said: “The festival is a terrific opportunity for visitors and locals to explore, discover and create in a celebration of Scotland’s most famous architect, designer and artist.

“We are especially pleased that the programme not only offers new ways to access Mackintosh’s work, but also includes work from contemporary artists such as Liz Lochhead, Kirstin Coulter Smith, Jamie MacDougall and Ocean All Over. We are delighted to have invested in this festival through our Year of Creative Scotland investment programme.”

Humza Yousaf, The External Affairs Minister, said: “Charles Rennie Mackintosh, one of Scotland’s greatest architects, was an iconic artist and designer whose outstanding influence is recognised across the globe.

“It is very fitting that his life and incredible legacy are being celebrated with a two week long festival in Glasgow during our Year of Creative Scotland.”

The Creative Mackintosh Festival runs from October 15 to 28, 2012. The full programme is available at


A selection of images are available at

For any further information contact Mackintosh Heritage Group Press Officer,

Andrea Pearson

House for an Art Lover,

Bellahouston Park,

10 Dumbreck Rd,


G41 5BW

Mobile: 07769676899


Artists and performers are available for interview, please contact Andrea Pearson for details.

Notes to editors

1. The launch reception takes place at The Lighthouse, Mitchell Lane, Glasgow, from 6pm to 8pm on Thursday October 11. Speeches will take place from 6.30pm to 7pm. Media are welcome to attend, to confirm your attendance please contact Gillian Napier

Members of Mischief La Bas in character as Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh will greet guests. Playing at the reception will be a string quartet comprising Donald Robinson, winner at this year’s the Glasgow Music Festival, Laura Ayoub, Kirsty MacLeod and Liam Johnson. Donald will be performing at Glasgow University as part of the Prizewinners concert on Thursday October 25.

The festival runs from October 15 to 28. A full brochure is available at

2. The Mackintosh Heritage Group is a non-profit making organisation, initially established in 1982 and formally constituted in 2008. Its mission is to promote and raise awareness of the unique Mackintosh heritage. The group is made up of representatives from the principal Mackintosh properties and collections in Glasgow, with one key property in Argyll and Bute. 
These include: The Mackintosh Church at Queen’s Cross, Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum, Martyr’s School, Scotland Street School Museum, Ingram Street Tearoom Interiors, The Glasgow School of Art, House for an Art Lover, The Lighthouse, The Hill House, The Mackintosh House at The Hunterian, The Willow Tearooms and Glasgow Art Club.

3. Funding to stage a ‘Creative Mackintosh’ programme during 2012, has been provided by Creative Scotland, as part of the Year of Creative Scotland; Glasgow City Marketing Bureau and Scottish Enterprise.

4. Glasgow City Marketing Bureau (GCMB) is the official destination marketing organisation (DMO) for the city of Glasgow. As custodian of the Glasgow: Scotland with style brand, GCMB works with partners, stakeholders and businesses to position and promote Glasgow across national and international markets as one of Europe’s most vibrant, dynamic and diverse cities in which to live, work, study, invest and visit. For more information, visit:

5. Creative Scotland is the national development agency for the arts, screen and creative industries. It will invest almost £60m of Scottish Government and National Lottery funding during 2011-2012. The Year of Creative Scotland began on January 1, 2012 and is a chance to showcase, celebrate and promote Scotland’s cultural and creative strengths on a world stage. Through a dynamic and exciting year-long programme of activity celebrating our world-class events, festivals, culture and heritage, the year puts Scotland’s culture and creativity in the international spotlight with a focus on cultural tourism and developing the events industry and creative sector in Scotland.

Creative Scotland has invested over £8m National Lottery funds into a programme of activity to support the year that shows Scotland’s creativity at its best: contemporary, international and reflecting the joy that a vibrant cultural life brings to our communities.

More information about the programme can be found at:

6. Support has also been given by BAA Glasgow Airport as part of a photographic exhibition on show at Glasgow Art Club from October 16.

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Contact: Andrea Pearson
Phone: 07769676899