One-off artwork unveiled in Glasgow restaurant will take 50 years to be revealed

The Ubiquitous Chip has unveiled the literary artwork, designed to challenge consumers’ relationship with time.

L-R Ubiquitous Chip owner Colin Clydesdale, poet Jeda Pearl and Carol Clydesdale with Glengoyne literary artwork

What’s happening? A one-off literary artwork created by revered conceptual artist Jonathon Keats has been unveiled at one of Scotland’s most famous restaurants – but art lovers will need to wait 50 years for it to be revealed in full.

The piece – commissioned by Glengoyne, Scotland’s slowest distilled whisky – features a poem produced by Scottish Jamaican poet Jeda Pearl which explores the concept of time.

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How it works: The words of the poem have been covered by a layer of UV-sensitive ink through a specialised printing technique. The ink will slowly fade when exposed to ultraviolet light to reveal Jeda’s poem, ‘mynd oor gloamin corrieneuchin’, to patrons of the venue in the coming decades.

The piece will be hung in Glasgow’s Ubiquitous Chip, a restaurant local to the distillery in the city’s West End, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

Inspired by Glenoyne’s ‘unhurried’ approach to whisky making, the artwork has been designed to challenge consumer relationships with time and the appreciation of craft.

Why it matters: It’s hoped the new artwork will inspire new generations of artists and art lovers at the restaurant, which has a long and distinguished relationship with the arts community and features two murals by celebrated Scots artist Alasdair Gray on its walls.

Jeda Pearl, said: “Inspired by Glengoyne's location and the slow patience of craftsmanship, I wanted this poem to capture the beautiful sense of timelessness and slow growth while walking in nature and those intimate conversations we have with friends which could last all night.”

Colin Clydesdale, co-owner of the Ubiquitous Chip whose father Ronnie founded the restaurant in 1971, said: “The Chip has always enjoyed a strong connection to Scotland’s arts scene, and the decision to be part of this new project featuring such outstanding artistic talent was an easy one to make. It’s an honour.

“We have been here for 50 years – and serving fine whisky has always been a big part of that – and the thought that people will continue to come here for another five decades to enjoy a dram and appreciate such innovative art is rather lovely.”

Keats, an American renowned conceptual artist and experimental philosopher based in New York, turned the poem into a literary art piece, and is well known for his ground-breaking projects around the subject of time.

In 2018, he created a camera with a 1,000-year exposure to document climate change around Lake Tahoe.

He said: "Initiatives that take place over a long time, based on gradual change, have the potential to reconnect us with nature and our own humanity.

“This project is an attempt to recalibrate society by providing a new platform for slow culture."

Jeda’s poem is part of a global exhibition, with poets from around the world also having their words frozen in time, including Cat Hepburn(Scotland), Courtney Peppernell (Australia), Alison Malee (USA), and Martin Reints (Holland).

The five poems are being exhibited at top whisky bars across the world, including the Michelin-starred City Social (London), The Brandy Library (New York), J.D. Williams (Amsterdam). Installations are to take place in Taiwan and Australia over the coming weeks.