Green Picks: Glasgow International Visual Arts Festival 2018

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

As Green Arts Initiative Member, Glasgow International Visual Arts Festival, kicks off this week we’ve picked out some of the exhibitions which connect with environmental sustainability and climate change – ranging from shows situated in subway stations and charity shops, to exhibitions addressing Glasgow’s historic role in colonialism and global trade, and work exploring speculative futures and processes of social change.

Low carbon travel

Alys Owen and Beth Shapeero, LOOP

SPT Subway System, Around the city

For ‘LOOP’ artworks by Alys Owen and Beth Shapeero are situated across Glasgow’s network of subway stations (SPT). Prints, drawings, large scale installations and live pieces examine the nature of travel and daily routines, exploring the overlooked absurdities of everyday life.

Festival cycle tours

These guided cycle tours around selected exhibitions will follow themes present in the festival programme and the city itself; environment, changing urban landscapes, and continuous regeneration. As well as being a green way to see Glasgow, getting to know its cycle routes and some of the festival’s more hidden venues, the tour will explore the past, present and possible futures of the spaces we live in. Tours take place on Saturday 4thand Sunday 5th May.

Colonialism, trade and transportation

Lauren Gault and Sarah Rose, Sequins

 Forth and Clyde Canal, Various Locations

Lauren Gault and Sarah Rose present new works in, around and surfacing the Forth and Clyde Canal water at the edge of Glasgow’s city centre.

Historically a trade and transport route connecting the city to its wider environs, the canal is now a leisure area. This hierarchical shift in function from the industrial to recreational results in a latent energy – a quiet stasis of managed movement. The artists’ works emerge through the indeterminacy of the outdoor habitat and the canal’s rhythm – its movement and circulation.

Nadia Myre, Code-Switching and Other Work

The Briggait, 141 Bridgegate, G1 5HZ

This solo presentation of new work from Montreal-based artist Nadia Myre responds to the history of clay tobacco pipe production in Glasgow, and its entanglement with the city’s colonial past.

A by-product of the tobacco trade with the so-called New World, the pipes were one of the first ‘disposable’ items to enter the market, purchased pre-stuffed with tobacco. Curated by Mother Tongue, Myre’s new work explores processes of imprinting, documenting, weaving and excavating to ask enduring questions around colonial legacies.

Built environment, urban greenspace and ecology

Group show, Bone Meal

The Hidden Gardens, Tramway, 25A Albert Drive, G41 2PE

Bone Meal brings together six Glasgow-based artists to show new work at The Hidden Gardens. Using performance and writing to develop sculpture, sound, and video installations, their work engages with the living and life-supporting elements of the garden.

Group show, Glasshouse

Glasgow Botanic Gardens, 730 Great Western Rd, G12 0UE

This group show addresses Glasgow’s Botanic Gardens as a heterotopic space containing its own oppositions; interior and exterior, nature and culture, global and local. It explores how these paradoxes relate to the interplay of local and global forces upon the communities and places of Glasgow. The artists bring their own experiences as international artists based in the city, to engage with the unique setting of The Botanic Gardens as a site for constructing and maintaining unexpected encounters close to home.

Jonny Lyons and Matt Barnes, We Disappear

Govan Project Space, 249 Govan Rd, G51 1HJ

We Disappear is an immersive photographic odyssey, allowing the viewer to question the still image and its relationship to our physical presence in the landscape of Glasgow. The show confronts the idea that people are disappearing from the landscape in favour of cars, public transport and home entertainment. We still, however, have a place – in public space, in both rural and built environments. An atmospheric, visual and physical feast inspired by the vistas of the city.

Governance, power and economy

Deniz Uster, Citadel

The Briggait, 141 Bridgegate, G1 5HZ

Citadel proposes ecological, alternate mechanised cities in transit, which evade the authority of traditional infrastructure and class. The exhibition includes a scaled model of a moving city, an audio piece authored by Gurcim Yilmaz, drawings and public engagement events.

Janie Nicoll and Ailie Rutherford, In Kind

Various locations

In Kind is a research project by visual artists Janie Nicoll and Ailie Rutherford, which maps the hidden economies of Glasgow International and the “below the water-line” economy of the arts. Using visual mapping techniques developed by Rutherford through her work on The People’s Bank of Govanhill, as well as Nicoll’s experience of participatory and large-scale curatorial projects, their information booth will gather and display data that exposes this outpouring of creative energy that normally goes unseen.

Kirsty Hendry and Ilona Sagar, Self-Service

Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA), 350 Sauchiehall Street, G2 3JD

Self-Service takes the form of a publication and event series produced in response to the archive of The Peckham Experiment – a radical vision for encouraging health, local empowerment, and self-organisation in the first half of the 20th century.

Science fiction and social change

Group show, Cellular World: Cyborg-Human-Avatar-Horror

Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA), Royal Exchange Square, G1 3AH

We live in a world where technology plays a large and changing role in everyday life. In an age of social media, most of us will have avatars – versions of ourselves – online, prompting us to question how we are represented and how we represent ourselves. At the same time, we are at a historical moment where the future frequently appears as a precipice between utopia and dystopia.

Kapwani Kiwanga, Soft Measures

Tramway, 25 Albert Drive, G41 2PE

The continent of Europe is moving towards Africa at the rate of approximately 2cm per year – eventually it will slide underneath entirely. Paris-based Canadian artist Kapwani Kiwanga takes this fact as a starting point for a new multi-faceted installation at Tramway. Through new sculptural works Kiwanga suggests speculative fictions that stretch through a perspective of deep geological time.

Materials and consumerism

Simon Buckley and Othmar Farré Present FOUNDATION PAINTING SHOW

British Heart Foundation, 22 Stockwell Street, G1 4RT

Instead of being hung on a gallery wall, the paintings in this accessible and playful exhibition are placed on sofas in the window of the British Heart Foundation shop on Stockwell Street. Each day, Simon Buckley and Othmar Farré will arrange a new configuration of three or four pieces by a host of international artists.

Sculpture Placement Group, Sculpture Showroom

Glasgow Sculpture Studios, The Whisky Bond, 2 Dawson Rd, G4 9SS

Sculpture Showroom is an adoption service for sculptural objects, seeking to match works of art with new guardians. Sculpture Placement Group works with artists to identify sculptural works in long-term storage with no current future. Sculpture Showroom will bring sculptural joy into people’s daily lives, meanwhile testing a new model for circulating artworks, increasing access to art ownership and alleviating artists of the pressures of storage and space. Let’s give work hidden in storage a new life!


Glasgow International is a member of the Green Arts Initiative – Scotland’s community of cultural organisations committed to reducing their environmental impact, and increasing their environmental sustainability. Find out more about the 200+ members and join the initiative! 

Image credits, from top to bottom: 1) Deniz Uster, Citadel, photo credit Tom Harrup; 2) Alys Owen and Beth Shapeero; 3) Nadia Myer, ‘Code Switching’; 4) Courtesy of Aideen Doran; 5) Janie Nicoll, ‘Tsunami’, photo credit Alan Dimmick; 6) Kapwani Kiwanga, Afrogalactica, Courtesy of the artist and Gallery Jérôme Poggi; 7) Reclaimed: The Second Life of Sculpture,  Courtesy of Dapple Photography.

The post Green Picks: Glasgow International Visual Arts Festival 2018 appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.


Creative Carbon Scotland is a partnership of arts organisations working to put culture at the heart of a sustainable Scotland. We believe cultural and creative organisations have a significant influencing power to help shape a sustainable Scotland for the 21st century.

In 2011 we worked with partners Festivals Edinburgh, the Federation of Scottish Threatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network to support over thirty arts organisations to operate more sustainably.

We are now building on these achievements and working with over 70 cultural organisations across Scotland in various key areas including carbon management, behavioural change and advocacy for sustainable practice in the arts.

Our work with cultural organisations is the first step towards a wider change. Cultural organisations can influence public behaviour and attitudes about climate change through:

Changing their own behaviour;
Communicating with their audiences;
Engaging the public’s emotions, values and ideas.

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