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Auction to Raise Funds for Acid Attack Survivors

Glasgow Kelvin student, Carol Turner, will auction a painting to raise funds for survivors of acid attacks in India.

the artwork being auctioned

An exhibition of works with life model, Carol, her image will be on display in Paisley Arts Centre from 26 July.

Offering to help model Fashion Show designs for fellow students at Glasgow Kelvin College has changed the outlook of NC Business student, Carol Turner, and spurred her on to raise funds for Make Love Not Scars, an Indian charity which reconstructs, rehabilitates and supports survivors of horrific acid attacks.

Fashion Design students at Glasgow Kelvin College have established strong international links with Guntur Polytechnic for Women in Andhra Pradesh, which have encouraged them to celebrate cross-cultural influences.

Supported by the UK India Education Research Institute, they received funding to visit and exchange design skills and knowledge with their counterparts in Andhra Pradesh.  It was a life-changing experience for all the students involved, enhancing their talents and widening their world view.  This was evident last year in a celebration of the Paisley Pattern at the highly successful UKIERI Fashion Show in partnership with Renfrewshire Council held at Paisley Abbey.

Through the links with Indian partners, the College has become involved with Make Love Not Scars which retrains survivors and links them with employers under the ‘Skills not Scars’ banner.

As a direct result of exchange visits to India, the Fashion students got behind this very worthwhile campaign and their Fashion Show in May this year helped them to raise the impressive sum of £3,560 for the ‘Help Sonia’ initiative.  Sonia is a transgender acid-attack survivor and, in keeping with the College’s equality and inclusion priorities, the students’ contribution has made a significant difference to the support funds being raised for Sonia, her extensive surgical needs and her rehabilitation. http://ket.to/helpsonia

Carol Turner, who is also an artists’ life model, had volunteered to strut the students’ fabulous designs on the catwalk and was stunned to discover the reasons for the fundraising when the Make Love Not Scars video was aired.

She says;

“I was really pleased to help our Fashion students model their designs at the Fashion Show and initially had no idea about their fundraising for Make Love Not Scars.  I felt very privileged to be part of that achievement and was so moved by the video from MLNS that I knew I wanted to help the campaign further.

“I hope that what I’m doing with the Silent Auction will help in some small way to support these very brave survivors of acid attacks and that people will be made aware of this very worthwhile charity.”

An admired life-model for artists worldwide, Carol is staging an exhibition of her image as it has been portrayed through their works.  This is set to take place at Paisley Arts Centre, launching on 26 July at 6pm and will display around 20 works, many from local artists, featuring her image.

The exhibition will include works by David Horner (Australian Artist from Dynamic Drawing Group), Andrew Horner, Carol McGoldrick, Gordon Simpson, Irene Blackwood, William Britton and Robert Wilson.  Some of the work was created at the Oakshaw Building Life Drawing Group which meets every other Friday at 10am.

To make her own contribution, Carol will auction a piece by Australian artist, David Horner to help raise funds for Make Love Not Scars.

With the announcement that Paisley has been shortlisted for UK City of Culture 2021, the cultural links with India through the Paisley Pattern are very pertinent and it is fitting that the works are being exhibited at Paisley Art Centre.

Director of Business Development at the College, Alastair McGhee, said;

“The students at Glasgow Kelvin College never cease to amaze me in their commitment and professionalism.  The impact that their fundraising will have on the lives of survivors is massive – it will certainly change the lives of those experiencing these terrible injuries.

“It is humbling to see how the efforts of our students at Glasgow Kelvin College will result in such positive outcomes for acid attack survivors.  We wish Carol every success in her exhibition and her fundraising.”

The campaign team from Make Love Not Scars have also had wind of the auction.  Tania, their Fundraising Campaign worker, has been in touch with Carole, saying;

“Carole, the painting is just stunning and thank you so much for dedicating this art to our cause!”

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said;

“Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture is about showcasing our connections around the globe. Our rich textile heritage is deeply rooted in the Indian flower motif now known as the Paisley Pattern and it’s great to continue our connection through fashion, art and creativity.

“The message behind Make Love Not Scars is one that has become relevant to talk about in the UK with the recent acid attacks taking place down in London. Attacks like these are devastating to the victim, both physically and mentally and no one should have to suffer such an attack.

“I wish Carol every success in her inspiring exhibition and for her fundraising that will benefit many people affected by these devastating attacks.”

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You’re in Furrow great night of folk music!

MUSIC fans are getting the chance to see a performance by the band voted the Best Group in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2017.

Furrow Collective

The Furrow Collective is playing Paisley Arts Centre, this Sunday, June 18 at 7.30pm.

And not only did they lift the group accolade at the Radio 2 Folk Awards, band member Rachel Newton won Musician of the Year.

The group is made up of four soloists – Alasdair Roberts, Emily Portman, Lucy Farrell and Rachel Newton – who combine to create a band that shows their collective love of tradition music.

The Furrow Collective has been in demand as a touring band, gigging throughout Europe and performing BBC live sessions. They released their latest album ‘Wild Hog’ on Hudson Records last year to critical acclaim.

Each band member leads a song, moving with ease from jaunty stories of ailing horses, to poignant laments and sparsely adorned supernatural ballads.

Tickets, at £10 and £8 concessions, are still available for the gig by logging on to http://www.renfrewshireleisure.com/the-furrow-collective or calling 0300 300 1210 or from Paisley Arts Centre on the night.

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Stuart Mitchell Interview

Stuart Mitchell Interview

Following the runaway success of his 2016 Fringe debut ‘Dealt a Bad Hand’ BBC Radio Scotland’s ‘Breaking the News’ panelist Stuart Mitchell brings his critically acclaimed show to Paisley Arts Centre on Friday 9th June. You can read more about Stuart here.

The interview was conducted by our very own Peter Greenwood.

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Will Ferrell backed comic makes Paisley debut

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Award – Nominated Play, Descent, at Paisley Arts Centre

AWARD NOMINATED PLAY Descent by Linda Duncan McLaughlin TOURING SCOTLAND in Spring 2017

A play about love. And dementia. But mostly about love.

3pm relaxed performance*, 7.30pm evening performance

The CATS Award-nominated (Best New Play) Descent by Scottish playwright Linda Duncan McLaughlin, which originally played as part of A Play, A Pie and A Pint at Oran Mor and the Traverse in 2015 to huge critical acclaim, is touring across Scotland. The tour is supported by Creative Scotland Lottery funding.

The tour is visiting venues all over Scotland, from the far north of Thurso to the deep south of New Galloway, it opened at Beacon Arts Centre in Greenock on Saturday 29th April and will finish in Mull Theatre on Saturday 20th May.

Descent explores the story of 50-somethings Rob and Cathy who are looking forward to reclaiming their own lives now that their daughter Nicola is grown up and settled; but looming over all three of them is a threat that could rip their future apart.

It examines what happens as they try to hold onto each other – and themselves – in the face of early onset dementia. It doesn’t flinch from the heartbreak they face, but it also
celebrates the courage, the hope, the love and the humanity they bring to the fight.

Descent is directed by Allie Butler and is performed by Fiona MacNeil, Greg Powrie and Wendy Seager.

Helen Trew, Equalities and Diversity Officer at Creative Scotland said: “We’re pleased to support this multi-generational project which highlights the challenges faced by those suffering from early-onset dementia and those around them. We wish the company well for the tour which will enable audiences across Scotland the opportunity to engage with this poignant and enlightening work.”

Tickets are £10 (£6 conc) + bkg fee and are available from the Box Office on 0300 300 1210 or www.renfrewshireleisure.com/arts

*A ‘relaxed’ performance is designed to provide a less formal, more supportive environment for people who might be anxious about attending the theatre.
The show is the same, but sound and lighting levels are adjusted, and people can move about the auditorium during the performance or go to a separate quiet space if they need to.

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Fraser gets a Kirk from playing the blues!

AS a teenage musician Fraser John Lindsay used to play guitar and drums for the congregation during church services on a Sunday morning.

Then at night he would belt out pop punk songs inside the same Elderslie Kirk as he rehearsed with his band, Limon.
That was almost 20 years ago and now Fraser is preparing to perform a gig – this time in the former church that is Paisley Arts Centre – with his blues band, Fraser John Lindsay’s Blues Incentive, on Friday, March 31.

A full-time musician and producer with his own record label, Fraz Records, the former Castlehead High pupil looks back on the start of his musical career.

He says: “I suppose there was quite a contrast in musical styles. I would be playing hymns and religious songs during the church services and later I’d be in the same place rehearsing with my pop punk band playing songs by bands like Green Day and Blink-182.

“I’m pretty sure there would have been a few people who wouldn’t have been very happy if they’d known about this.
“But I don’t think anyone ever officially complained, or demanded that we should be kicked out – maybe because our drummer in Limon, Jamie McLachlan, was the minister’s son!”

The 32-year-old added: “ Some may think there would have been the odd lyric or two in the songs we played that could have been construed as ever so slightly blasphemous, or unsuitable for a church.
“But as a lead guitarist I never bother listening to lyrics.”

Fraser’s musical education also came from playing in Paisley pubs with a variety of bands like Riff Raff, Little Miss Debbie & the Scumbag Boogie Band and Blind Panik.

Fraser followed well-known local singer, Willie ‘Jukebox’ Matthews around the pubs, so he could plug in his guitar and jam along with whatever Willie decided to play, learning tunes on the spot.

Fraser said: “I learned my trade as a musician on the job in the pubs in and around Paisley and Glasgow backing singers like Willie Matthews.”

And it was Willie who introduced Fraser to the Glasgow blues scene.

“Willie used to drive me up to the State bar blues jam in Glasgow every Tuesday night, that was around 15 years ago, and this is where I met most of my current band mates,” said Fraser.

Fans of the blues can hear Fraser’s virtuoso guitar playing with his band Blues Incentive at the Paisley Arts Centre gig , on Friday, at 7.30pm. Tickets at £10 and £8 can are available to book online at www.renfrewshireleisure.com/arts <http://www.renfrewshireleisure.com/arts <http://www.renfrewshireleisure.com/arts> > or by calling 0300 300 1210.

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Ronnie Brown Tour

Over 50 years after his first appearance at Paisley Town Hall Scottish folk icon Ronnie Browne will return to the town later this month to regale audiences with stories from his life.

During a series of one-off non-musical performances Ronnie, a founder member of Scottish folk duo The Corries, will take an audience at Paisley Arts Centre on an illustrated journey from the cobbled streets of Edinburgh to the Great Temple of Ramesses II in Southern Egypt.

Described by organisers of the Pitlochry Winter Words Festival as ‘a wonderful joyous event,’ Meeting Ronnie demonstrates that there is much more to the man than just being a singer of songs.

Now hailed as ‘a Scottish icon’, Ronnie, who is approaching his four score years and 10, is best known as a folk singer and is also an accomplished portraitist. In these roles, he has travelled the world and is a popular and unmistakeable figure.

Meeting Ronnie contains many humorous anecdotes, many taken from his autobiography, Ronnie Browne that guy fae the Corries, and tells of his associations with showbiz luminaries such as Chic Murray, Ricki Fulton, Morecambe & Wise and Lonnie Donegan.

After an audience question and answer session, Ronnie’s book will be on sale, followed by a signing session, giving his audience the opporchancity, in the words of the aforementioned Mr. Fulton, to chat with the man himself.

Meeting Ronnie takes place at The Arts Centre (0141 618 5128) on Wednesday, March 29

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Paisley celebrates International Women’s Day

A SERIES of events has been organised by Renfrewshire Leisure to celebrate International Women’s Day.

Tonight, Tuesday, March 7, at 7.30pm Paisley Arts Centre hosts a groundbreaking production of If I Had A Girl, which gives an insight into honour-based violence in ethnic minority communities in Scotland. A post-show discussion about the issues raised in the play will take place after the performance.


On International Women’s Day, Wednesday, March 8 there will be a free lecture called, Mighty Women of Science, in Paisley Museum, at 1.30pm. This will take an enlightening look at some well-known and not so well-known women who have changed and continue to change the science world.

And the same evening, at 6.45pm, in Paisley Arts Centre, three musicians – Linzi Clark, Heir of the Cursed and Marie Collins will perform.

On Tuesday, March 14, at 7.30pm Paisley Arts Centre stages the play Expensive Sh**. This tells the story of a Nigerian nightclub toilet attendant, working in a fictional club based on the Shimmy Club in Glasgow, who had dreams of becoming a dancer with the revolutionary band of the late Nigerian musician, Fela Kuti.

Tickets for ‘If I Had A Girl’ and ‘Expensive Sh**’ are available at Paisley Arts Centre box office on 0300 300 1210 or online www.renfrewshireleisure.com/arts.

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Father of American Ornithology is honoured by his home town Paisley

ONE of Paisley’s famous sons who became known as the Father of American Ornithology has been honoured by his home town.

David Clugston, Honorary Librarian for the Scottish Ornithologists’ Club and Morag Macpherson, Renfrewshire Leisure’s Head of Cultural Services at the unveiling of Alexander Wilson plaque.

A commemorative plaque paying tribute to the life of Alexander Wilson – poet, artist, scientist, explorer and social commentator – was unveiled at Paisley Arts Centre.

And ironically, the Arts centre wall where the plaque is mounted is part of the former Laigh Kirk Church, where Wilson was baptised in 1766 by Rev John Witherspoon, signatory of the American Declaration of Independence.

Wilson rose to fame after he emigrated to America in 1794 and travelled 10,000 miles on foot across that country with the pioneering ambition of observing birds in their natural habitats, scrutinising behaviour, posture and habits and classifying the different species.

This culminated in the publication of nine volumes of the book American Ornithology featuring Wilson’s drawings, paintings and descriptions of more than 260 species of birds – with 25 species previously unknown – in North America.

By the time Wilson died of dysentery in 1813, seven volumes of American Ornithology had been published with the final two volumes produced posthumously.

Five species of bird have been named after Wilson – Wilson’s Storm-petrel; Wilson’s Plover; Wilson’s Snipe, Wilson’s Phalarope and Wilson’s Warbler.

This amazing feat of Wilson’s, which took six years to complete and earned him credit for establishing ornithology as a science in America, was a far cry from his early years in Paisley.

He left school at the age of ten after his mother died and started work, first as a cow herder and then as an apprentice weaver.

Wilson became a poet and was a contemporary of Robert Burns and like many weavers became well read and a radical on social issues.

Alexander Wilson portrait.

But he fell foul of the law over a satirical account of a local mill owner and was imprisoned as he faced charges of libel and blackmail. But after a second run-in with the law over the distribution of radical propaganda, Wilson decided to emigrate.

The Historic Environment Scotland commemorative plaque was unveiled by David Clugston, Honorary Librarian for the Scottish Ornithologists’ Club.

Morag Macpherson, Renfrewshire Leisure’s Head of Cultural Services said: “The countryside around Paisley became Alexander Wilson’s playground in his early years and that exposure to the world of nature would have a profound effect on his later life.

“Soon after he arrived in America, Wilson developed a passion for the study of birds and his truly scientific approach to ornithology made him a pioneer.
“This Commemorative Plaque Scheme celebrates the lives of people who have made a significant difference to Scotland and its people.
“Paisley’s own Alexander Wilson certainly merits this honour.”

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Arts centre’s 30th anniversary celebrations – and all that jazz!

THEY just can’t stop the music at Paisley Arts Centre.  As part of Paisley Arts Centre’s 30th anniversary celebrations, free jazz music gigs are being staged in the café bar after three shows in the main auditorium.

jazz singer Evelyn Laurie who will be doing a series of free gigs at Paisley Arts Centre cafe-bar

Jazz singer, Evelyn Laurie will perform along with guitarist, Frank Bolam from 9.30pm until 11pm after concerts by Breabach, on Saturday, March 4; Fraser John Lindsay’s Blues Incentive, on Friday, March 31 and Ken Mathieson’s Classic Jazz Orchestra, on Friday, April 21.

A series of events is being planned to mark the Arts Centre’s 30th anniversary. As part of marking the occasion, Renfrewshire Leisure – which runs the venue – are asking people to send them their memories and experiences of the Arts Centre over the years.

People should email PAC30@renfrewshire.gov.uk with stories they’d like to share.

Chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure, Joyce McKellar said: “Paisley Arts Centre does exactly what is says on the tin – it’s the centre of much of the arts and culture that’s been going on in Paisley for the past 30 years.
“It’s only right that in the year Paisley is bidding to be City of Culture 2021 we should celebrate a venue that’s played an important part in the culture of our town.
“Having a jazz singer perform following some of the music events in the main auditorium gives people added value and extends their enjoyment from their visit to Paisley Arts Centre.”

To book tickets for Breabach, Fraser John Lindsay’s Blues Incentive and Ken Mathieson’s Classic Jazz Orchestra performances, at Paisley Arts Centre, log on to or www.renfrewshireleisure.com/arts   or call 0300 300 1210.