Provided Aberdeen Artwork Gallery has experienced to near thanks to the coronavirus outbreak, I’ve been sharing function on AAGM’s social media web pages this week from my film and exhibition, The Monthly bill Gibb Line, which was intended to run at the gallery from the 22nd of February to the 24th May possibly 2020. This site is a fantastic option to delve a very little even more into how the task arrived together…

The Bill Gibb Line is a movie and exhibition that current new narratives across poetry and vogue inspired by the lifetime and function of the internationally acclaimed style designer, Invoice Gibb (1943-1988). In collaboration with Gray’s Style & Textile Style students, I have explored the two ‘line’ and collage in poetry and style, and the personas we consider on when we gown up in an outfit or inhabit a poetic voice.

Initially commissioned for Aberdeen’s Look Yet again Competition in 2019, the hottest version of the demonstrate attributes garments and drawings from Aberdeen Artwork Gallery’s intensive Gibb archives, together with prints of my overall performance poems, various of the students’ types and a 12-moment spoken term movie all impressed by Gibb’s dresses, trend reveals and wider legacy.



Shane Strachan putting on Kimberley Monaghan and Kirstie Noble photograph by Graeme Roger 

Born in 1943, Bill Gibb grew up on a farm on the outskirts of Fraserburgh in Aberdeenshire. Inspired by his art teacher at Fraserburgh Academy, he went on to study at St Martin’s Faculty of Artwork and the Royal Faculty of Artwork in London before getting to be one of Britain’s main manner designers in the 1970s thanks to the reputation of his romantic designs which expertly collaged historical references and world wide influences. At the height of his profession he was dressing the likes of Twiggy, Elizabeth Taylor and Bianca Jagger, and close to 7,000 people today attended his 10-year retrospective show at the Royal Albert Hall in 1977. Immediately after this, Gibb’s firm achieved with fiscal challenges and struggled to recover as periods and flavor improved in the 1980s.

Every of the poems in The Bill Gibb Line focus on unique Gibb vogue exhibits, from his first in 1967 up to his very last significant show, The Bronze Age, in 1985. Soon immediately after this, Gibb was diagnosed with cancer and sadly handed away early in 1988, aged 44.

Owning grown up in Fraserburgh inside of a fishing family, I was constantly intrigued by Gibb’s farming-to-trend tale soon after coming on a exhibit of his operate in Fraserburgh Heritage Centre when I was more youthful. In the course of my PhD in Innovative Producing at Aberdeen University, all over 2013 I wrote a limited story as portion of my thesis influenced by Twiggy’s pay a visit to to Gibb’s household farms in April 1972. The story was revealed in an anthology and proved well-liked, so I was normally keen to perform on a larger sized undertaking focused on Gibb. It took a ton of funding programs and rejections until I was eventually lucky plenty of to get a Scottish E book Believe in Robert Louis Stephenson Fellowship in 2018 to work on something even larger.

Adhering to the announcement of my Fellowship, the Appear Yet again group, who are now dependent in Gray’s School of Art, bought in contact to investigate the possibility of me undertaking anything for their 2019 Pageant. I had been eager to make links with the Trend and Textile Style and design section at Gray’s as aspect of my venture investigation (I experienced really very little information of the fashion structure process at this time!). We determined that a artistic collaboration with the college students could end result in an interesting consequence for the pageant. This led to the third year pupils at that time functioning on clothes impressed by Gibb as section of their business job all through the Winter 2018 semester. I gave a lecture on Gibb’s life, operate and legacy, and we all went on a analysis vacation to Aberdeen Artwork Gallery and Museums’ Treasure Hub which retains the most significant Invoice Gibb archive in the earth.



Gray’s Vogue and Textile Style and design students examine the Bill Gibb archive at Aberdeen Treasure Hub

All over this time, I did several solo visits to this archive, as properly as research journeys to Fraserburgh Heritage Centre and the archive at Central Saint Martin’s in London many thanks to guidance from Aberdeen Town Council’s Creative Funding. I was notably struck by the newspaper evaluations of Gibb’s get the job done in these archives – the language of vogue is inherently poetic in its interesting and unique mix of appears, and fashion writers typically have a fantastic ear for rhythm, actively playing with the cadence and defeat of their sentences to mimic the drama and pizazz of the manner reveals they are reviewing. I shortly located myself influenced to build found poetry that collaged and re-imagined these evaluations into a blend of poetic types these identified poems have long gone on to be the core of The Invoice Gibb Line exhibition.

As element of my Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship, I was incredibly fortuitous to get to go on a month-extended writing residency in France during November 2018 at Hôtel Chevillon in Grez-sur-Loing in the vicinity of Fontainebleau in which Stevenson met his spouse in 1876. Hotel Chevillion has been host to a prosperity of artistic expertise considering that Stevenson’s time, including the musician August Strindberg and artists Carl Larsson, Julia Beck, John Singer Sargant and quite a few of the Glasgow Boys which include John Lavery. It also paid host to William Stott of Oldham, whose wonderful 1881 portray, Le Passeur (The Ferryman), was on personal loan from Tate to Aberdeen Artwork Gallery where by it was on display from the re-opening in November until 8 March this 12 months.  

The visual arts have generally experienced a huge affect on my innovative writing follow, and this was no exception all through my time in France, living together with Swedish and Finnish artists and owning the opportunity to check out exhibitions in Paris at the weekends such as Grayson Perry’s retrospective Liberté, Identité, Sexualité at Monnaie de Paris. About the time I observed Perry’s exhibition showcasing the vivid dresses he wears when he is his alter moi, Claire, I was looking into Gibb’s links with the artist Andrew Logan and his Alternative Overlook Globe extravagant dress competition which I have explored more in a modern report for Artwork Uk. It suddenly clicked with me that the finest way forward for my collaboration with the Gray’s pupils would be to put on the patterns they made and match them with the numerous voices and personas I was hearing in my head in some form of performance…



Shane Strachan putting on Charlotte Scoular photograph by Graeme Roger 

Numerous months later, I was in the green room at Robert Gordon College functioning with filmmaker Graeme Roger to make this a fact. Just after weeks of practising 6 of my finished style display poems, they ended up introduced to daily life prior to the camera as I switched concerning male and woman personas and a multitude of accents even though dressed from head to foot in a collection of the vibrant, daring types the Gray’s college students experienced appear up with. Performing my work is a thing I’ve often enjoyed undertaking, but getting the opportunity to acquire this to the up coming degree and in collaboration with other individuals by the Appear Yet again commission has really enhanced my self-assurance to see myself as similarly as a performer as properly as a author.

The Invoice Gibb Line film and accompanying exhibition went on to be nicely attended and perfectly gained throughout the two weekends of the Search All over again Pageant in June 2019. I was incredibly enthusiastic to have the chance to show the do the job on a even larger scale and over a for a longer time time period at Aberdeen Art Gallery – one particular of my primary aims with the full challenge has been to interact new audiences with Invoice Gibb’s perform and legacy. Whilst it is disappointing that arts venues (and just about every little thing else!) have had to close owing to Covid-19, I really feel grateful that the exhibition was open up for a month and was actually happy with the feedback gained in the course of this time. However, it’s been just as thrilling to share the function digitally as a result of AAGM’s social media this 7 days, and I’m also fortunate to have been in the posture to have completed recording a podcast linked with the film and exhibition before lockdown, which I have launched across the earlier few of months.

The Invoice Gibb Line podcast is be a constrained sequence of 20-moment episodes showcasing all of the poems I’ve composed across the earlier calendar year and a 50 percent, alongside a monologue composed of Monthly bill Gibb telling his individual story in his have phrases, which I’ve collaged from his verbatim making use of archival material at Aberdeen Treasure Hub and beyond. The initially episode shot to #1 on Apple United kingdom Podcasts’ Style & Splendor chart in its first 7 days. You can pay attention to the episodes on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

I hope The Bill Gibb Line in all of its forms will inspire quite a few more Monthly bill Gibb lovers for years to appear!


At first from Fraserburgh, Shane Strachan is a author and performer dependent in Aberdeen. His fiction has been printed extensively, together with However (amaBooks), and his theatre work has been staged with the National Theatre of Scotland. He holds a PhD in Resourceful Creating from the College of Aberdeen and he was awarded a 2018 Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship from the Scottish E book Have faith in for his resourceful work responding to the legacy of Monthly bill Gibb. 

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