Ross Birrell


18/11/17 - 13/01/18

A Beautiful Living Thing (Dir. Ross Birrell, 2015)

‘Let every artist strive to make his flower a beautiful living thing, something that will convince the world that there may be, there are, things more precious more beautiful – more lasting than life itself.’ C R Mackintosh “Seemliness” (Glasgow, 1902)

On 23 May 2014 the Charles Rennie Mackintosh building of The Glasgow School of Art suffered a devastating accidental fire. Due to the actions of the Scottish Fire & Rescue Services the main building structure survived. Regrettably, however, the world-renowned Mackintosh Library was lost.

Taking its title from Mackintosh’s own description of a work of art, Ross Birrell’s film A Beautiful Living Thing – shot in late December 2014 and early January 2015 – documents the destruction of the library and the fire-damaged building and features a composition for solo violin by Birrell performed inside the ruined library by Bill Chandler (RSNO).

A Beautiful Living Thing was devised and directed by Ross Birrell, filmed in collaboration with Hugh Watt, and produced by Jo Crotch.

Medium: HD video
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Duration: 14 min

Ross Birrell is an artist, writer and lecturer. Current practice-led research revolves around the interrelations of art, philosophy, place, politics and music in the production of a series of solo and collaborative films, installation, site-specific interventions, text works, recordings, music compositions, writing. Birrell’s previous work demonstrates a long-standing portfolio, which combines film, music and installations. He has become particularly fascinated with the relationship of music and place. His work includes site-specific compositions for the bomb- damaged Spiegelsaal, Claerchens Ballhaus, Berlin, the Non-Catholic Cemetery Rome and the Burgkirche St. Romanus, Raron. This research has been widely exhibited internationally.


Preview opening
18th November 17.00 – 19.00

Opening during Amsterdam Art Weekend
24th November 17.00 – 21.00

18 Nov – 13 Jan, 2018

Ellen de Bruijne PROJECTS
Rozengracht 207A
1016 LZ Amsterdam
The Netherlands