Image credit: Glasgow School of Art
It really doesn’t seem like five years since Kirstin Frocker graduated from the Glasgow School of Art and it was deeply upsetting for us all to see the Mackintosh Building engulfed in flames last Friday.
Thankfully, no one was hurt, but the iconic library - a national treasure – was destroyed, and many of the final year students lost the portfolios they had worked so hard to produce for their degree shows.
Well deserved tributes have been paid to the fire fighters who worked so tirelessly to extinguish the blaze while taking care to salvage as much as possible of the building's irreplaceable structure and contents. The damage, devastating as it was, could have been a lot worse without their gargantuan efforts and they are owed a huge debt of gratitude.
The good news amidst the wreckage is that those students who lost their work are going to receive ‘Phoenix bursaries’ to cover the cost of six months’ studio space and a living allowance while they rebuild their degree portfolios. We wish them all well in doing so and have every confidence that their talent - nurtured and inspired within the walls of the world renowned Mac - will shine through.
Meanwhile, online donations have already exceeded tens of thousands of pounds and the art school has been inundated with offers of assistance from specialist conservators and curators from across the globe. So the Mackintosh building will rise again and continue to inspire future generations of artists.
The Glasgow School of Art has a very special place in our hearts from when K. Frocker was a student there and lived, somewhat chaotically with two other art students, in a flat in Renfrew Street a mere hundred yards from the school. She has since gone on to carve out a career as a buyer for an international brand, but still cried rivers last week as her beloved Mac burned.
We took a wee trip down memory lane ourselves to revisit K’s own degree show in 2009. We do have better pictures, which we'll try and find, but here's an interim snap of Kirstin and Danny Frocker back in 2009.
And K's graduation, rocking a vintage hat (from the Frockery, of course!) in place of a conventional mortar board.