An exploration through the city of Glasgow in the eyes of the Midday Cowboy, out of place and out of time.
I am a 21 y/o Art Student in my final year studying Sculpture and Environmental Art at The Glasgow School of Art in Scotland. A large part of my practice revolves around films that I record, edit and soundtrack myself. As well as the building of props, the putting together the costumes and loosely storyboarding my ideas before shooting them with as close to a £0 budget as possible.
Through my practice I hope to entertain people, bringing them new stories, shown in ways they haven’t seen before. I challenge myself by seeing if it is possible to capture my love of the city I grew up in, the jobs I’ve worked and the places I’ve roamed. All while maintaining the faults in all of it, as I believe that’s what makes these experiences worth portraying.
About the work
I make films and installations that complement each other in an attempt to draw the viewer into the story being told.
The film being shown here is called The Midday Cowboy and was mainly recorded on a digital handy cam I borrowed from secondary school and never got round to giving back. The actor in it is my friend Simon Sutcliffe, a Canadian artist who I met during his brief but busy stay in Glasgow.
When making the film in the summer of 2019, at the front of my mind were two questions; What would Joe Buck (the lead character in John Schlesinger 1969 classic The Midnight Cowboy) look like if he was lost in Glasgow instead of New York City? The other had been present most of my life growing up in Glasgow but never answered. Why do old guys in Glasgow and the city itself feel such a strong connection to the Wild West of America? Where did that come from?
My Grandad first planted this seed of wonder in my mind when I was a wee boy by telling us stories that couldn’t have possibly been true of his time as an outlaw roaming the wild west and trouble he got into. I never really found an answer through doing the film, but it might have something to do with Buffalo Bill, a travelling showman from America who came to Europe at the turn of the
century along with a performing troupe of Native American warriors, U.S. Army
Sharpshooters and Horse Riders. When he toured, he came to site that now holds Glasgow’s China Town and brought with him a taste of the Wild West, long before the John Wayne films that probably solidified the fascination my Grandad and the men of his time have with the Wild West.
I notice now looking back at the film and the places we shot in, that Glasgow is changing faster than I had ever realised. For example, the desolate yet exciting demolition sites that where present in every area just a few years ago have been replaced with large, shiny glass cube buildings that have filled the potential these sites held with something all too predictable and anti-climactic.
I see the film now as a solid document of what Glasgow was like before its already
weakened character was taken away and given a brand-new dullness.
I’m optimistic though that Glasgow’s spirit is still that of the Wild West and that there are many more stories to tell with this city.
Grafter reviews: Notes from the editor
Midday Cowboy is a document on the changing landscape surrounding Glasgow from the eyes of one of its young proprietors. With such a low budget the film and idea itself shows the tenacity of a young filmmaker. Whilst it may be longer than a short film, its packed full of gravitating scenes and matched with a perfect soundtrack. One that was provided from Luke himself, it's as every bit dark, indie and Western as the movie.
The shake from the handheld camera and low-budget quality reimburse the creativity of youth. The ability to make something work and do it within your means or less-than. Midday Cowboy has such a classic indie feel that I'm waiting on a part two. The fact no one speaks; you're drawn into the surroundings, clothing and use of angles in such a new way.
As well as being inspired by the film 'The Midnight Cowboy' it's a testament to Glasgow City Centre. It draws you into the ordinary grunge of a car park from the off and actually makes you want to visit. The wide-frame shots with the main character wandering around recaptures our ant-like size when compared to large sky scrapers.
Luke Andrew is a rising film maker, using his personal identity and childhood stories to create something real. Where he's able to capture the city spirit and birth a 21st century spaghetti western all set in Glasgow city centre. Having been made in 2019, Luke points out how even in such a short space of time places that were shot already look so different. And being able to capture a place in time before it moves on is a testament to the past.
Do check out the film and make sure you follow Luke to see more of his work.
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