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Roger Palmer

The Tooth of History

Fri 18 November — Fri 23 December 2022

Wheelchair accessible

Wheelchair accessible

Large print

Large print

A black and white image of Glasgow's Transport Museum and Tall Ship taken from afar, obscured by leaves and branches.

Roger Palmer, 'Bloodstream', #15, silver gelatin print, 2020-22

This exhibition centres on a major new body of work by the Glasgow-based artist, Roger Palmer.

Bloodstream comprises a series of 32 photographic prints and 32 accompanying paintings on paper. Many of the photographs were taken during the first COVID lockdowns in 2020. Palmer cycled to various points along the Clyde River where he would make photographs, at first without any over-arching idea or design. Gradually he began to consider these images in tandem with another strand of his lockdown activities, the paintings on paper which had brought him back to much earlier experiments with acrylic paint.

The sequence of the Bloodstream images is determined by the flow of the river beginning closer to the river’s source east of Glasgow and moving west towards the Firth of Clyde. A gradual shift of colour in the paintings can also be traced through the movement of the works around the gallery.

Through the metaphor of bloodstream, Palmer references the importance of the Clyde to the history and growth of Glasgow – its key role in the colonisation and exploitation of Virginia, its centrality to the spread of industrialisation and empire, its nurturing of workers’ rights and its more recent function as a symbol of the post-industrial city. The liminal perspective of the river banks and the sense of isolation that runs through the images also recalls the empty silent days of COVID lockdowns, while the title hints at a more ominous physical toll.

Exhibition tour

Join us for an exhibition tour led by the artist on Sat 3 December at 1pm. The tour is free and unticketed, just meet us at the gallery doors!

Read a text in response to the exhibition


A text by Sara O’Brien in response to The Tooth of History.




Event Type





11:00am — 6:00pm


All ages


Free and unticketed


Wheelchair accessible

Large print

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