10 Years of Fizzers at the People's Palace
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10 Years of Fizzers at the People's Palace

Movie stars and musicians, sporting heroes and TV personalities will all star in a special exhibition marking a decade of Fizzers opening at Glasgow’s People’s Palace on 27 May 2016

Fizzers: 10 Years of Caricature will feature over 120 international icons and Scottish celebrities as you have never seen them before - each captured in caricature by five artists from the Scottish Cartoon Art Studio.

‘Fizzer’ is Glaswegian slang for face and, at this new exhibition, visitors of all ages can delight in the drawings of well-known Fizzers from across the world, then share their favourite on social media using #fizzers10 

Adele, Lady Gaga, Bay City Rollers, Rihanna and Bob Dylan are just a few of the singing super stars whose Fizzer has been created for this exhibition,  along with a special tribute to David Bowie featuring several caricatures of his unique stage personas.  

To coincide with Euro 2016 Championship, a squad of famous football fizzers fit to rival any fantasy dream team will be on display alongside caricatures of world-class sports people including Andy Murray, Liz McColgan and David Wilkie.

Meanwhile, Doctor Who fans can reminisce over fifty years of adventures in space and time with a special section featuring each of the 12 time lords from William Hartnell to Peter Capaldi. 

Closer to home, local heroes such as Elaine C Smith, Phil and Ally, Benny Lynch and Jimmy Reid are celebrated with their own cartoon portraits.

Caricaturist Derek Gray describes his methods of creating a caricature: “I enjoy switching between media and style. So I might paint in acrylics, cross-hatch with pen and ink or add watercolour and colour pencil to a clear ink line. Sometimes the face suggests an approach and other times it will just be on a personal whim. The young and beautiful are generally less interesting to draw. Everyone wants rid of their wrinkles, saggy jowls and baggy eyes, but caricaturists want you to keep them.”

This exhibition reflects upon a decade’s worth of Fizzers selected from the existing collection of 400+ caricatures created in a mix of traditional and digital media. Many of the works will be making their debut at this exhibition, which is designed to be much more than conventional rows of framed art on the wall.

Studio Co-ordinator Terry Anderson explains:  “By definition caricatures are bold and humorous work so visitors shouldn’t expect a straight-laced gallery show. In addition we’ll have some hands on activities and interactive digital labels adding to the surprises in store.”

The exhibition marks 10 years of the Fizzers brand. Since 2006, these five Glasgow artists have been creating caricatures inspired by a European approach where humorous exaggeration of the face is prized above all. Tommy Sommerville remembers the effect a visit to France had on him: “I don’t mind saying I sometimes feel I was born in the wrong country. Caricature tends to be misunderstood here in Scotland. I was amazed at the difference in France, the quality of the work we saw there and the respect and affection shown to cartoonists, most of all because a caricature is not seen as an insult.”

Duncan Dornan, Head of Glasgow Museums, said: “I am delighted to see the Fizzers caricatures return to the People’s Place with this new exhibition, the Scottish Cartoon Art Studio’s 2009 exhibition was one of the most successful ever held at the Palace.  I am especially looking forward to seeing all the caricatures and spotting famous faces.  We are asking visitors to join the fun and share their favourite Fizzer on social media.  With such a variety of drawings on display there really will be something for people of all ages to enjoy. 

“The People’s Palace tells the story of Glasgow and the history of the people of Glasgow, so it is fitting that these famous faces, which will all be remembered for many years to come, are to be shown here. The Palace is one of Glasgow’s leading attractions - a visit to this perpetually popular museum is always a great day out for all the family.”

The exhibition also offers visitors the opportunity to find out more about the artists, their process and what it means to be the subject of a caricature. 

A programme of activities and events inspired by Fizzers will take place alongside the exhibition, including a chance to try your hand at creating a caricature at summer workshops lead by the artists from the Scottish Cartoon Art Studio. Details will be released throughout the run of the exhibition. 

Fizzers: 10 Years of Caricature opens at Glasgow’s People’s Palace on 27 May 2016 and runs until 26th March 2017.

Visitors can share their favourite Fizzer on social media using #fizzers10

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