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Your chance to get to the ‘art’ of the Commonwealth Games

Rhondda Geekie visited The Balmore Coach House to see Namibian art. She is here with John Riches and Jen Binnie - exhibitions assistant.

Rhondda Geekie visited The Balmore Coach House to see Namibian art. She is here with John Riches and Jen Binnie - exhibitions assistant.

People are being offered the chance to get to the ‘art’ of the Commonwealth Games - and help celebrate the rich culture of one of East Dunbartonshire’s ‘Second Teams’.

The Balmore Trust has organised an exhibition of art from Namibia at the Lillie Art Gallery, Milngavie, from July 19 to August 3.

The Trust has a strong relationship with Namibia and is keen for people to rally behind the country - designated as one East Dunbartonshire’s ‘Second Teams’ - at the Commonwealth Games.

The Trust has also arranged for renowned Namibian artist Papa Shikongeni to visit East Dunbartonshire for a week, to meet people at the exhibition and hold workshops.

The Trust - which runs The Coach House in Balmore - supports projects in the west of Scotland, Africa and India with funding, support and advice.

The Queen’s baton relay will be stopping off at the Lillie Art Gallery during its journey through East Dunbartonshire on July 19.

The display has been organised by Balmore Trust chairman John Riches, who has a built strong links with Namibia over a number of years.

John said: “We met Papa Shikongeni about eight years ago when we were in Namibia. He is a director of the John Muafangejo Art Centre and is a great promoter of art - particularly involving children in townships and villages.

“I’ve always felt I would like to bring him over to talk about what is happening in Namibia and show how prints are made. It’s very exciting.”

The Queen’s Commonwealth baton arrived in Namibia on 28 January and young athletes seized the chance to say thanks to East Dunbartonshire for the support.

Council Leader Rhondda Geekie said: “It’s wonderful to see such strong links developing between East Dunbartonshire and Namibia.

“The exhibition sounds very interesting and I hope Mr Shikongeni enjoys his time here - perhaps even taking inspiration from local attractions such as the Campsie Hills.

“The Games are now virtually within touching distance and I’m glad the baton will be taken to the Lillie Art Gallery.

“I hope everyone in the area gets the chance to look at some of the excellent Namibian art which will be on display.

“Well done to John and his team for their tremendous work to promote Fairtrade and help good causes at home and abroad.”

 

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