Art students at the Glasgow School of Art who were affected by the devastating fire which blazed through the Mackintosh building last year are now presenting new work in the school’s Reid Building. The modern wing is just across the street from the main building, which is still under renovation. The “Phoenix Bursary” exhibition, as it’s called, represents the culmination of a six-month program funded by the Scottish government that provided £315-per-week (about $49) toward living expenses, a choice of studio locations worldwide for up to 15 weeks, and an additional £1,000 ($1,560) for materials for all of the students whose work was destroyed. While plenty of former students stayed in Glasgow to redevelop their portfolios, others went to 21 different institutions in 15 cities around the world.
According to a report by The Guardian, some artists have created entirely new works that reference the fire, while others have recreated their original pieces. Glasgow student Melissa Meloco used soot from the fire in her new degree show work, but ultimately decided against including it in the exhibition. “No one wanted to dwell on the fire,” she said in an interview with the paper. “Your work develops a lot in a year, especially as a post-graduate when you no longer have the pressures of grading and tutors.”Upon hearing that restoration costs were estimated at roughly £35 million ($54.5 million), actor Brad Pitt and Dr. Who’s Peter Cipaldi, once a student at GSoA, asked to become trustees of The Mackintosh Appeal. The institution expects the recovery program to be completed at the end of 2018.