Velocity - public artwork planned for the East End
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Velocity - public artwork planned for the East End


An ambitious project to create a lasting new public artwork in the East End of Glasgow has been launched. The £300,000 commission will create a lasting legacy of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, with local communities becoming actively involved in the creation of the new artwork.

VELOCITY, a collective and cultural response to the impact of the Games on the city and its communities, is seeking an artist or team of creative practitioners to realise a new permanent artwork on the approaches to, or in the vicinity of, the Emirates Arena. A programme of community-hosted activity and engagement will be a key part of the commission.

VELOCITY, which is a partnership between Glasgow Life, Glasgow City Council, Creative Scotland and Clyde Gateway Urban Regeneration Company, is charged with linking citywide creative activity to communities through a public art programme.

The commission will lead to a permanent artwork of international significance for both the city and the Commonwealth, while understanding the local context of the people and communities of the East End.

Councillor Archie Graham, the Chair of Glasgow Life and Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “The East End of Glasgow has been transformed in recent years, not least by the world-class sports facilities, such as the £113 million Emirates Arena. Now, we are looking at how we can add to the rebirth of these communities, through the commission of a world-class artwork which will be a fitting and lasting legacy for the people of Glasgow.

“Glasgow and Scotland has some of the very best talent in creating contemporary visual art, but critically, they will be guided by the people of the East End, who are equally passionate about not only their communities but how they should be represented.”

Ian Manson, Chief Executive of Clyde Gateway, said: “This approach to public art is very much in keeping with Clyde Gateway's philosophy of the local community having a major say in what will eventually be delivered.  It's also further evidence of the positive and welcome changes that we are experiencing in the area as a result of Glasgow hosting the 2014 Commonwealth Games.”

Leonie Bell, Creative Programmer for Glasgow 2014, Creative Scotland, said: “This commission for a permanent public artwork in the heart of Glasgow's evolving East End is a landmark opportunity to create an imaginative response to the physical and social change brought about by Glasgow hosting the Commonwealth Games. This project is the first of many under the auspices of VELOCITY that will create a diverse programme of public art that celebrates the character of place and the voice of communities.”

The commission may result in a single artwork or a series of installations. There are no specific restrictions on where the commission is to be sited, except that it will not be sited immediately within the grounds of the Emirates Arena.

Ben Spencer, the Producer of VELOCITY, added: “We are looking for a commission that will be bold and ambitious and helps to further reinforce Glasgow’s reputation as an international leader in the arts.

“But more than that, we want this work to be part of a wider programme that helps to re-imagine, repair and reconnect an area of the city which has gone through years of disruption. Local people will be actively involved in the process, so that there is a sense of ownership and pride in the finished artwork. This is an exciting time for Glasgow and we want to connect that excitement to the passion and commitment of communities in the east of the city.”

Art practitioners are being invited to provide an expression of interest before 17 January 2013. Submissions will be considered by a panel comprising an artist or curator and a representative from each of the partner organisations and representatives from the local community. A shortlist of five artists will then be interviewed about their proposals in early May. It is envisaged that the finished artwork will be unveiled in the months before the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.


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