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Sore Thumbs and a Galaxy Not So Far, Far Away!!

One of the things that has always been a part of who I am is being a MASSIVE geek!! From being the president of the Role Playing Society at Glasgow University to working as Operations Director for the leading independent comic publishing house BHP Comics, it's safe to say that is something that is not going to fade anytime soon.

So let's talk about Star Wars then... after we look at a picture of one of my cats, cos he's cute and it makes sense in a bit as he is a rescue cat.

Here's Cosy, he's a wee dude :)

Here's Cosy, he's a wee dude :)

So yeah, Star Wars...

The first film was out a year before I was born and I have always been into it, I don't ever remember not being a fan! I can't be the only one that used to peg it about on my Raleigh Burner pretending I was on a speeder bike skiting through the forest on Endor? How many household items became a lightsaber when you held it and I definitely did not nearly pass out from straining trying to move some of my toys with the force. So yeah, a bit of a geek.

I created a couple of images for a bit of fun, taking Glasgow landmarks and mashing them up with the Star Wars galaxy, as I said a bit of fun. Chucked them up on my Facebook page and before I knew it I had my page going nuts with shares and likes on the pics, so much so that shortly a journalist from STV got in touch to see if they could do a piece on the images! This led to our first 'Star Wars in Glasgow' (SWiG) exhibition, fast forward two years and we are onto exhibition no.5, including two in Aberdeen and one in Edinburgh. Not bad for a bit of fun?

One of the original images from the first SWiG exhibition

One of the original images from the first SWiG exhibition

The exhibition features original pieces from award-winning comic book artists Tanya Roberts and Neil Slorance, calligrapher Jen Fisher (aka Toasty Type), tattooist David Matson, artist Karen Bones, classic Star Wars toy collector Thomas Wilson and of course myself. SWiG is raising funds for charity and all profit from this exhibition is going to help the Scottish SPCA.

Below is a video of Jen (Toasty Type) and me chatting about the exhibition on opening night. Big shout out to Mina from Glasgow Living for coming down to do the piece with us, you rock!

Sore thumbs?? Well someone had to frame and hang the exhibition! Ouch! lol

You can find out about all the artists involved in the exhibition below and check out the Facebook page here.

David Matson - www.instagram.com/randomgingerbloke

Karen Bones - www.karenbones.com

Jen Fisher - www.toastytype.com

Neil Slorance - www.neilslorance.com

Tanya Roberts - www.enolianslave.deviantart.com

Thomas Wilson - www.bravescottishgifts.com

Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters

I recently happened to get married to my now lovely wife Hayley (who I still refer to as my girlfriend, I promise I will get out of the habit!) and we had a brilliant honeymoon spending 4 nights in Toronoto and 4 nights in New York. One of the highlights of the whole trip was in Toronto at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters. We looked it up online before we left Glasgow and were pretty much sold on the first paragraph of the blurb about it!

"From the fantastic to the frightful, don’t miss this rare glimpse into the world of renowned filmmaker Guillermo del Toro and his cabinet of curiosities. Taking inspiration from del Toro’s extraordinary imagination, At Home with Monsters reveals his creative process through his personal collection of art, artefacts, books, and props, all culled from Bleak House, del Toro’s creative haven located in Los Angeles."

Both Hayley and I are huge fans of his film work from Hellboy through to Pan's Labyrinth and this did not disappoint, I have never seen such a huge collection of curiosities from paintings and images that inspire his curiosity of things that go bump in the night to replicas and props from his films (I nearly peed myself when I saw the Samaritan and Rasputin's Mech-Glove!).

There is a guided audio tour that is available through an app but we did not bring headphones with us (D'oh!) so we just went for the old-school read the signage and information about the pieces instead.

As you walk into the exhibition you are greeted with a wall that shows Guillermo del Toro's 'Bleak House' in all its confusion of cluttered oddity glory, would love to see it in real life.

Turn the corner after this and you are greeted by the freakiest thing in 'Pan's Labyrinth'... The Pale Man... This dude creeped me out so much.

The Pale Man

From here on in let your imagination go as you wander through rooms filled with all you need to make sure that your mind will run rampant as you go around the displays. You could walk through it in a matter of minutes but we lost hours being immersed in Del Toro's creative muses. I'll let the pictures that I took do the talking, check out the gallery below.

As with all good exhibitions, you exit through the gift shop... We could have very easily bankrupted ourselves, but thankfully we found restraint and left with only one item, the At Home with Monsters book written by Del Toro himself, currently taking pride of place on our coffee table. Even if you don't make it to the exhibition this is a well worthwhile purchase to get a glimpse into his horror-geek-topia.

If you find yourself in Toronto before the 7th of January 2018 and like the occult, horror or are in anyway a bit of a geek... GO AND SEE THIS EXHIBITION!