In this section, find out about the Creative Communities projects in the North West of the city.
Find out about Creative Communities in the North West of the city
Anderston and City (Ward 10)
Artist: Donna Rutherford
Bringing the City’s archives to life
Donna’s practise is rooted in personal storytelling. She wanted to look at the massive split caused by the construction of the M8 motorway, uniquely running right through the centre of the city. Alongside these forced changes in landscape at the time, local families were dealing with considerable shifts in their community: in working life, in access to healthcare, and in growing aspirations.
While she accessed the wealth of formal research resources available in her ward, primarily through The Mitchell Library and Kelvin Hall, she immediately connected with local interest groups too, and visited places where people regularly met, to root out their personal experiences of the issues and changes which have affected Anderston, Cowcaddens, Garnethill, Townhead and the city centre. Most of Donna’s initial conversations turned out to be with local older women (born between 1922 and 1963), and this became the focus of her residency.
The resulting audio installation and accompanying book shares the women’s warmth, humour and continued mettle, combining edited interviews with found sound from pub singers, buskers, and choirs. The installation was hosted simultaneously by Kelvin Hall, the Mitchell Library and GoMA. Available to residents and visitors alike, it served as a spark to further discussions around health and wellbeing, where issues of poverty and debt are still at the forefront for many Glaswegians.
Donna worked with:
Old Ship Bank pub, Saltmarket | Spirit of Revolt Mitchell Library | Special Collections Mitchell Library
Pyramid Centre: Crescendo Choir, Knit & Knatter, Lunch Club, Feminist Bookgroup
Kelvin Hall Museums & Archive | Gallery of Modern Art | Friends of Garnethill Gardens (FROGG)
Yorkhill Green Spaces Charity | Blackwood Housing | Charing Cross Housing Association | Sanctuary Homes Ricefield Arts | Glasgow City Council’s Development and Regeneration Services | Glasgow School of Art
Community Connectors – Glasgow Council for Voluntary Sector | William Street Clinic
“My projects always encourage participants to think of themselves as archivists of their own life story.”
Hillhead (Ward 11)
Organisation: Creative Electric (Heather Marshall)
Storytelling is an art
Hillhead is an area of great contrasts, and lead artist Heather spoke to people from a whole spectrum of backgrounds – from affluent, culturally engaged residents right through to people living and working on the streets, with many practical obstacles to participating in any kind of cultural life.
She found a common theme amongst many locals – that they felt they weren’t ‘clever enough’ to ‘do the art.’ But there was one thing the community really excelled at – they knew how to tell a story! So Heather spent time in cafés, pubs, community gardens; chatting to shopkeepers, and sitting outside the barbers – a gathering point for local men. As she collected people’s stories, she was granted permission to use them – “as long as it’s one of yous saying it and no’ me!” She was always keen to stress that storytelling is an art.
She worked with theatre company Birds of Paradise to share those ‘wonderful stories’, performed by actors. Local residents who attended were amazed, and inspired – and Heather discovered a community which, despite real or perceived limitations – has a thirst for participation in the arts.
“I reckon I could do that, you know. It’s just gabbing,
and I can gab for Scotland!”
Heather engaged with:
Queens Cross Housing Association | Garscube Playrooms | Birds of Paradise Young Artists
Local community education teams
Local residents across the ward
Victoria Park (Ward 12)
Artist: Elena Mary Harris
That One I See Eyes
The Victoria Park ward is made up of quite distinct communities that do not have much cross over between each other. Elena worked with a variety of groups that geographically spanned the ward. She decided early in the residency that she would facilitate similar creative activity with each of the groups, as this would bring a connection and continuity between the people taking part, as well as giving a structure for collection of ideas and opinions.
The bulk of creative activity revolved around pinhole camera photography and screen printing. People were invited to build their own individual pinhole camera, using 35mm film. This meant that each person had 24–36 exposures to take away and document things that were important to them in their lives. This created a body of well over 1000 photographs. It was these photographs that became the centre of conversation and inspiration to design stencils for screen printing.
Each individual had the opportunity to design their own screen, but these came together to produce one large collaborative artwork. Around 100 people came together to print the 20m wall covering, a unique textile that is both made by and for Ward 12: Victoria Park.
That One I See Eyes
“These photographs were taken in an instant, a moment
caught in time. These photographs are works of art
and make our small worlds bigger, endless”
‘HAPPY SNAPPER’ (PARTICIPANT)
Elena Mary Harris worked with:
North West Recovery Communities – Recovery Central | Jordanhill Art Club
Seniors Social Club | Whiteinch Upcycling Group | Movement Park – Gie It Laldy
Jordanhill Out of School Service | Crossreach Allarton | Studio Club 5678
Glasgow Wood Recycling
Garscadden/Scotstounhill (Ward 13)
Organisation: Ignite Theatre (Manu Kurewa)
Making the invisible visible
With locally-based Ignite Theatre already offering provision for young people, lead artist Manu primarily focused this residency on adult groups, offering practical workshops in filmmaking to empower people to have a voice in their community.
An intergenerational approach saw workshop participants range from 18 years old to people in their 80s.
People loved learning new skills – operating the camera, generating ideas, finding locations, interviewing, researching and editing. They chose to tell stories which have been overlooked, and to highlight causes which need the oxygen of publicity to engage greater support: From ANYiSO, exploring how to survive issues of domestic and emotional abuse, to the Scotstoun knitting group ‘Loving Hands’ showing the journey from a simple ball of wool to the gift of a hat for a premature baby at the local hospital – each film inspires and informs.
Manu Kurewa worked with:
Knightswood Community Centre | Loving Hands at Heart of Scotstoun | ANYiSO
Kingsway Health and Wellbeing Centre | LINKES men’s group | Knightswood Gala Committee
LINKES | Corpus Christi Primary school | Bankhead Primary school
Drumchapel/Anniesland (Ward 14)
Artist: Peter McCaughey (WAVEparticle)
The Role of the Serendipiter
Glasgow arts organisation WAVEparticle has extensive experience of urban regeneration through the arts that often leads to aspirational change. Their residency, led by Peter, began as a mapping exercise but resulted in a permanent local art trail as a result of connections made by the team at the very start of the project.
The trail will follow the Drumchapel Way, a 7.5 km walk that skirts the periphery of the area, and mark sites along the ancient Roman Antonine Way which runs through the back of Drumchapel. While the trail celebrates the ward’s recent history – from towerblocks and the water tower to an Irn Bru fence – public engagement in the project was themed on local Roman history, with workshops in clay sculpting, stone carving and flag making which were offered during ‘D in the Park’, a major community event in the Drumchapel calendar.
“Love the Irn Bru fence. Love it all –but that’s my favourite!”
PROJECT COORDINATOR, G15 YOUTH PROJECT
WAVEparticle worked with:
The Antonine Wall Project | Drumchapel Arts Workshop, DRAW | G15 Youth Project
Drumchapel Thriving Place | Forestry and Land Scotland | D in the park co-ordinators, D 60
Councillor Elspeth Kerr
Maryhill (Ward 15)
Artist: Louise Nolan
A Chance to be Reflective
Louise interacted with a cross-section of people in Maryhill by organising a wide range of engagement opportunities. All the workshops, which were shaped by consultations with local people and community groups, included the following: Storytelling and Film Making – working with Addaction and those who attend their services to capture a flavour of the grand storytelling culture in the city; Textile Recycling Workshops with a local recovery women’s group, making tweed brooches to show and sell at Maryhill Hub’s Craft and Art Fayre; drop-in Portrait Cafés where attendees drew, and shared what they thought creativity brings to their recovery and well-being journey; Badge-Making and Ceramics – collage workshops which grew into designs for plates.
Much of the work Louise led in her ward was about connecting different groups in the community, and giving people space to trade views and opinions, and to be reflective, often exploring barriers to participation, mental health and wellbeing. She would like to see more activity which can help overcome these obstacles, and enrich community identity.
“being creative keeps your mind alive whether
it’s a poem or a painting”
Louise Nolan worked with:
Stephen Farrell | Maryhill Integration Network | GHA/Cube Housing | Homestart North West
North West Recovery Communities | North West Recovery Communities Women’s Group
Maryhill Burgh Halls | Glasgow Connected Arts Network | Addaction
Maryhill Park Gala Day | Homestart
Canal (Ward 16)
Organisation: Glasgow Sculpture Studios (Mitch Miller)
Drawing on the Claypits to connect with the community
Glasgow Sculpture Studios’ residency, led by visual artist Mitch Miller, was developed in direct response to the redevelopment of the Hamiltonhill Claypits – a space and a project that the local community is already heavily invested in, which helped bring people together.
Mitch focused on mapping out the different communities of interest involved in the Claypits through making a dialectogram – a complex drawing made in collaboration with people he met – and to find ways of amplifying the stories and perspectives of local residents. During his residency he also led an oral history training session for local community members, and engaged with a youth group to help redesign their community space.
The residency culminated in the creation of a gigantic collaborative map at the Canal Festival, to get people talking about their community and to gauge their interest in shaping further creative activity there.
Mitch Miller engaged with:
The Grove Young People’s group | Hamiltonhill Claypits Local Nature Reserve Management Group
Claypits Management Committee | The Grove Breakfast and Concrete Garden Dinners groups
Hamiltonhill Barbecue | Visitors to the Canal Festival