The end of the Glasgow Effect? Art project set to conclude with public lecture


Ellie Harrison to round-up her experience of attempting to ‘live sustainably’ in Glasgow

ELLIE HARRISON, a Glasgow based artist who has spent the last year attempting to engage in ‘sustainable ways of life’ in the city, will explore her experience in a lecture early in 2017.

In the public talk on 8 January, Harrison will discuss her art and activism over the past twelve months, which has seen her produce work on the renationalisation of Scotland’s railways and the reform of higher education.

The Glasgow Effect: Activism as a public health issue

Speaking to CommonSpace at the inception of the year-long artistic endeavour, Harrison said: “For the last few years I have made a conscious decision to work much more in the public realm: whether that's literally in the streets, online or in the mainstream media.

“I saw this as a way of critiquing the elitist nature of many of our arts institutions and of reaching people from all sorts of backgrounds who would never normally set foot in a gallery.

“This is something 'The Glasgow Effect' has clearly already achieved.”

The announcement of the art project in January 2016, sparked heated debate around the nature of the art project and the appropriateness of the £15,000 grant paid towards it by Creative Scotland, the Scottish Government’s arts funding body. The results of the project will be hotly anticipated by critics and supporters of the Glasgow Effect, controversially named after the city infamous problems with poverty and poor living standards.

The venture was also intended as an exploration of the nature of freelancing, a growing phenomenon which sees artists and creatives apply themselves to piecemeal work in an increasingly precarious labour market.

Interview with Harrison: “Artists need to stick their necks out”

She also attempted to understand the attempts to live in an urban space without causing environmental harm, and reduced her carbon footprint to zero over the course of the year.

Ellie Harrison works as a lecturer at Dundee University, but took a year out to work on the project.

The venture was dubbed a “poverty safari” by Glasgow rapper Loki at its inception.

People interested in the outcomes of the project can register a free place at the talk here. The event will be chaired by Peter McCaughey, a board member of the Artists Union.

Picture courtesy of Robin Prime

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