This week, to mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, our columnist Ruth Wishart reflects on the architect and designer's contributions to life in Helensburgh, across Scotland and around the world...

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It’s a birthday! On June 7, exactly 150 years ago, one of Scotland’s most renowned sons was born in Glasgow.

The celebrations will be year long, but this is a special day and a special month for all those who revere the unique contribution of Charles Rennie Mackintosh to global art and design.

Helensburgh, of course, has always had a special relationship with ‘CRM’, given that it is home to the iconic Hill House, one of a relative handful of buildings created by Mackintosh in his architectural career, and now the subject of a national appeal to put a protective box around the structure to protect the weather damaged exterior.

But in the last couple of years another Mackintosh gem has been uncovered and lovingly restored in the Burgh.

The Sinclair Street premises, thought to have been one of his earliest commissions, features unmistakeable Mackintosh iconography on the exterior of the top floor, now the home of the Mackintosh Club.

It has played host already a to several events, from music gigs to sumptuous afternoon teas.

But from Friday, June 8, it opens a unique exhibition which it has created in partnership with five different local schools.

Hermitage Primary and Academy, Lomond School, and Kilcreggan and Cardross Primaries have all worked with local artist Abi Pirani in helping the club mount a quite stunning installation.

Light Resurrection and Skies of Pink was inspired by those magnificent Tower of London poppies, but in this incarnation, instead of poppies, what is featured is no fewer than 150 mobiles all created from one of the most easily recognisable Mackintosh symbols, the stylised rose.

Each of these pink mobiles was painted by a pupil from the schools who took part.

Suspended on a stalk of green twine, they spin underneath the glass ceiling, creating different patterns and allowing the light to shimmer through, sometimes offering patterns, sometimes silhouettes.

The local connection continues with sponsorship from Thomas Johnstone and the Paint Shed in Helensburgh, so it’s been a great community effort and a fitting tribute to an extraordinary talent.

See for yourself any weekday between 11am and 4pm from June 8.

And of course there’s a wheen of other Mackintosh celebrations all over the west of Scotland, from the mammoth exhibition currently at Kelvingrove, Making The Glasgow Style, to special exhibitions and events in the Queens Cross Church, Scotland Street School, The Lighthouse, and the House for an Art Lover.

Glasgow School of Art, designed by Mackintosh and now being carefully renewed after its devastating fire, is running 45-minute tours for visitors, whilst the famous Willow Tea Rooms are also being re-constructed in Sauchiehall Street and are due to re-open this summer.

And the Oak Room, the largest of Miss Cranston’s Mackintosh-designed tearooms, and unseen for half a century, will be the centrepiece of Dundee’s new V&A Design Museum when that stunning building opens its doors in the autumn.

Meanwhile October will see the seventh annual festival of Mackintosh also taking place across most of these venues.

Scotland has had no shortage of innovative visionaries, but there is something really special about going to galleries worldwide and finding, nestling among creative geniuses, the man who, with the rest of the Glasgow Four, transformed our idea of contemporary design.