"Tympanum" By Niki De Saint-Phalle, GOMA, Royal Exchange Square.
Before the GOMA was opened in Spring 1996, the building had been home to Stirling’s Library. At this time, the pediment was plain stone, but when Glasgow Museums converted it into Glasgow’s newest museum, they commissioned French artist Niki De Saint-Phalle (1930-) to make this mirrored frieze. The frieze illustrates the story of Saint Mungo, incorporating the four symbols with which he is associated (ring, tree, bird, bell). In the centre is the bright figure of Saint Mungo himself, bearing his familiar staff, and with the letter M to identify Glasgow’s patron saint. The irregularly shaped mirror panels allow the viewer to see a fractured reflection of the buildings and the sky, literally putting Glasgow in the picture. Niki De Saint-Phalle is an internationally respected artist who exhibited her work in many forms at the MacLellan Galleries in 1993. More of her work can be seen inside GOMA, including "The Mirrored Room" in the entrance. A tympanum is an architectural name for the space within a pediment. The pediment of a Classical style building is the triangular area on the upper part of the front face.