16 February to 5 June 2004
The Real Life Rock Opera: Volume One was an installation created by Scottish artist Ross Sinclair, which transformed the Travelling Gallery with deer antlers, sterlingboard, flashing neon sculptures, guitars and rocking beats.
As part of the exhibition Ross produced a CD of songs, which included traditional titles such as Will Ye No Come Back Again, Bonnie Mary O' Argyll and Abide With Me as well his own songs, such as Real Life is Coming Round the Bend and I Love Real Life. Every visitor to the exhibition received a free copy of this CD.
Since he had the words Real Life tattooed across his shoulders in 1994, Ross Sinclair's art has been an investigation into contemporary Scottish identity. He is constantly asking what is Real Life and what are the structures, institutions and pressures which influence the way we live it. This exhibition explored what is the real Scotland and what is Scotch myth, using music, narrative, sculpture and performance.
The exhibition toured throughout Scotland from Moray to Ayrshire for sixteen weeks, and was visited by over 7000 people. Here are some of their comments:
This is one exhibition that I'm really happy I made the time to come and see - and think about! Great stuff. Visitor, Glasgow School of Art.
Las Vegas meets the Highlands - very neat! Visitor, Scottish Seabird Centre, North Berwick
So funky and random this work is ace I was really interested!!! Visitor, Alford Academy
He's a good artist but a better singer! Visitor, Pupil, Newburgh Primary School
I like this gallery because when you walk into the bus you feel as if it is a different world. I liked it because you see different art from different people - but this is like real life! Pupil, Castlehill Primary School
Very interesting! I think the idea of combining the old Scotland i.e. wood antlers with neon lights conveying the 'real life' of Scotland is brilliant. Pupil, Larbert High School
It wasn't what we imagined and first impressions were surprising but the children were really stimulated by it. Teacher, Fife
Ross Sinclair is a highly regarded and respected artist both at home and internationally. A graduate of the Glasgow School of Art MFA Course and Environmental Art Department where he now teaches, he is represented by galleries in London, Paris and Milan. Born in Glasgow in 1966 Ross now lives in a village in Argyll where he recorded the CD Real Life Rock Opera Volume One.
See below for the full itinerary and visitor figures of all venues visited by the gallery with the Real Life Rock Opera: Volume One exhibition.