Episode 01 – First Things First

The aim of these podcasts was to supplement the data in the Archives’ Fine Art Papers with anecdotal accounts of the experiences of the staff and students between the 1970s and 1980s.

The podcasts are composed from a series of interviews with former staff and students from Glasgow School of Art in the 1970s and early 1980s.  These recollections and reflections focus on; first year pedagogy; the Mixed Media course which ran from 1977-1981 and extra-curricular activities.

All the interviews have taken place in a variety of locations mainly around Glasgow including: stairwells and quiet rooms in the Art School; interviewees’ front rooms; the CCA cafe and Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall. The interviews all vary in approach some are conversations, some are answers to a specific set of questions and sometimes they are responses to images and documents. A number of the people appear in different podcasts and this is by no means a complete project, more an evolving narrative or collection of memories. There are still many people to speak to and many themes to explore.

These podcasts have been written and produced by Debi Banerjee for GSA’s Archives and Collections.
Music by Peter Boggon

Episode 1, First things First charts the changes that took place in the first year studies programme at Glasgow School of Art from 1968 to now. GSA ran a two-year general course as an integral part of the diploma programme up until 1970 when it changed to a one year course, eventually becoming more like a foundation. The podcast is a combination of people who had studied on the first year programme and others who had taught on it.   

It includes in order of appearance:

Jimmy Cosgrove studied at GSA from 1968-1972, specialising in Printed Textiles. He became a member of staff from 1973-1999 and held a number of positions during this time including; Head of Printed Textiles, Head of First Year Studies and Deputy Director from 1990-1999.

Jacki Parry studied at the School from 1970-1975, specialising in Printmaking and then gained a post-graduate diploma in Printed Textiles. She worked in both the Design and Fine Art schools and became Head of Printmaking in 1991.

Peter Bevan taught in First Year Studies from 1973-2003. He’d studied at Gloucestershire College of Art and Design in Cheltenham in 1964 and later graduated from a Masters from the Royal College of Art, before coming to teach at Glasgow.

Alastair Macdonald studied at GSA from 1973-1977, specialising in Product Design. He came to teach First Year Studies at GSA in 1984 and then went on to teach at the Design School. He is currently Senior Researcher in the School of Design.

Bill McQuarrie studied at GSA from 1973-1977, specialising first in Graphic Design and then Drawing and Painting, spending his final year in Mixed Media.

Brian Kelly studied at GSA from 1976-1980 specialising first in Printmaking and then Mixed Media. He started to teach at the School from 1985 and currently teaches 4th year Sculpture and Environmental Art.


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