HISTORIC RESTAURANT ROGANO UNVEILS ROTATING ART PROJECT
The doors of Rogano; Glasgow’s oldest restaurant may be closed for now however the Glasgow stalwart is working with a series of Glasgow based artists to take over its iconic front. The boarding covering the iconic restaurant front will over the coming months become a rotating canvas for a series of artist telling stories of Rogano through their art.
Each piece will see a different artist tell their favourite Rogano stories on the massive plywood starting with illustrator and cartoonist Ida Henrich paying tribute to some of the Glasgow institutions most illustrious guests over the years. Small clues – some more obvious than others – allude to some of the most famous diners at the restaurant. Artist Henrich had this to say “Within my design, I wanted to celebrate the many special occasions from Rogano's long history. The artwork is inspired by BBC 4's 'My Dream Dinner Party' in which I envisioned some of the Rogano's past star visitors around the table. As the main star of the artwork, the food is at eye level. Hints within the artwork allude to the famous guests, but I also just wanted viewers to remember their own special occasions; eating oysters, trying lobster for the first time and sipping on fish soup!”.
While priming the wall, sketching the artwork and painting it, I have been stopped by passers-by. People have told me about their diamond anniversary with tears in their eye, about wearing ball gowns to dine here, meeting their soulmates, graduation parties many years ago and much more. One time a woman walked past and just said: "Oh good something positive is happening" and some young lads on their bikes have given me the thumbs up and told me that they would be back to see the final artwork – which I take as a high compliment! All in all, it has been a nice conversation starter about some good times, which is worth a lot in these strange times.”
Upon completion each piece will have been in position for eight weeks, after which a fresh canvas will go up and a new artist will take over. Each completed art piece will be available to purchase, each raising money for a different charity coinciding with the hopeful reopening of Rogano in 2021.
Managing Director Lynn Mortimer said “When guests thought we were closing for good we were inundated with their stories from the restaurant over the years. It is more important than ever for us to preserve the history of Rogano. Rogano has been part of the fabric of Glasgow for over 85 years and while we can’t meet with our friends at the moment we want to help evoke some of our guests memories from dining or drinking at Rogano over the years. We’re looking forward to being able to raise money for some of our favourite charities while allowing people to own a piece of Rogano history through some truly special public art.”
Business development manager Claire Stuart commented “Rogano holds so many special memories for so many people - it’s so much more than a restaurant. It’s been incredible to deep dive into its long history – both through guests getting in touch to tell their stories to digging in the archives. The Rogano was always known for its seasonal window displays and while we have the boarding up, we wanted to share some of the venues stories from over the years by working with Glasgow based artists to bring it to life.”
Ida Henrich’s Dinner Party mural is available to view outside the Rogano at 11 Exchange Place till the end of November when our next artist will be unveiled.