Glasgow School of Art.

I just felt compelled to write something about the awful fire at Glasgow School of Art on Friday. I don't know exactly what, the details seem pretty clear; a projector in the basement blew up and fire tore through the building. But it's affected me in such a way I need to write something...

Thankfully it seems most of the building has been saved, as have many pieces of work and the school's archives. But the beautiful library, an amazing example of art nouveau and home to hundreds of rare books and beautiful pieces of furniture has been completely destroyed. 

It literally breaks my heart. The Jacob Kramer building which I called home while I was at Leeds College of Art wasn't old, wasn't particularly impressive architecturally, and the library was brand new with plastic tables and plastic covered books. But it smelled of paint and plaster and printing ink, it whirred with sewing machines and saws and large format printers. I could see the spiky roof from my uni bedroom window, it was where I stayed till it was dark painting the floor grey, where I was allowed to play all day and nobody asked questions, where I developed sketchbooks that were outpourings of my head, where I argued and cried and hated it and thought it was all pointless and fell in love with art a million times over. I learned who I was there and I'll never ever forget it. 

I was trying to imagine how I would feel if I heard it was gone in such a tragic way. It would be unimaginably worse to be there, desperately trying to save the work that means so much to you and that you've given your heart and soul to say what you want it to say. I can feel the panic.  

I truly hope everyone managed to save the things that matter most. I've heard the government have pledged the money to restore it and I hope that's the case. These great institutions are important. Of course I don't think you need an art education to be an artist, but its these places that give a lot of us the confidence, the freedom, the discussion (or arguments) and the critique we need to develop work we love and believe in and which communicates what we're passionate about. I miss it. Can you tell?

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