other stuff

Arts funding and ‘The Glasgow Effect’

University of Glasgow,c. 1895

Creative Scotland posted some information today about the project Ellie Harrison has been given £15,000 to undertake. Many people are, understandably, upset for a variety of reasons but this post makes it clear it’s intended as a research project – and quite an interesting one too, imo.

The main problem seems to be with Ellie Harrison herself. The online image she presents is of “Blatant Self-Promotion” (although I’ve never heard of her myself). Her project is entitled ‘The Glasgow Effect‘ a Facebook post about which she has chose to illustrate with a pic of greasy chips! She basically comes off as a bit of an eegit.

Creative Scotland were obviously impressed with her proposal but for whatever reason, none of that has come over in the way she’s presented her project so far. As someone posted on Harrison’s FB page “You’ve made a mess of this one Ellie”

…In the last few minutes Ellie Harrison has posted a response to the criticism. Urgh, she refers to ‘The Glasgow Effect’ as a “provocative artwork”! However, despite that (urgh) the post does address the question of the £15,000 fairly comprehensively. The funding is to cover her absence from her university job. The project itself seems intended to explore whether artists are able to work and live within specific communities rather than having to travel widely.

Like I said, I believe this is actually an interesting and potentially useful project. We know many Scots, not only creatives, have felt they had to leave Scotland for work… but there are many who chose to stay and work here at home too. Some names that spring immediately to mind are:

  • Liz Lochhead
  • Alan Bissett
  • Christopher Brookmyre
  • Muriel Gray
  • John Byrne
  • Alasdair Gray

Scottish artists should not have to leave Scotland … but they don’t need to  remain in one place either. Travel feeds the soul and can only improve a person’s art… I’m uncertain quite what I think about this right now. It will be interesting to see the outcome of ‘The Glasgow Effect’ (such a shame about the name).

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