Join our mailing list for latest news and features

  • Interests:

Build Hollywood

Build Hollywood

Build Hollywood

Build Hollywood


When the Art Comes to the Audience – Extending the Gallery into Public Spaces

Glasgow International returns to locations across the city for its 10th edition, with a total of 43 projects running from 7 – 23 June. With new commissions and open call submissions, emerging and established artists, the festival promises a luminous celebration of Glasgow’s diversity. JACK ARTS Scotland joins the festival in supporting the extension of three festival projects into posters in public spaces around the city.

This partnership amplifies the inclusivity of the festival: by extending these projects from the gallery spaces into the streets, the art comes to the audience, rather than the other way round. Part of marginalisation is the way some groups have to work harder to reach culture, so part of successful inclusive practice is to lessen this extra labour. Delaine Le Bas’ Declaration of human rights extends her wider exhibition Delainia: 17071965 Unfolding, at Tramway, Glasgow. The artist presents a sickened Mickey Mouse alongside all 30 human rights in the UDHR, which the 2005 Conservative government wanted to take away from Romani people. Delaine wants her mixed-media approach to create ‘conversation[s] with as many people as possible’. The reiteration of this textile piece into poster form reaches across Glasgow, bringing a wider range of people into these conversations about Romani histories. The poster form, combining text and image, popular culture and law, also makes Delaine’s complex research and extensive exhibition punchy and instantly impactful: they stand alone as complete work, as a slice of the Tramway exhibition dropped into 8 sites across Glasgow.


Words by Laura Baliman

JACK ARTS Scotland’ city-wide campaigns also help reclaim the very spaces that Glasgow International seeks to represent. Rosie’s Disobedient Press has commissioned Teneu: a group publication that takes poster form with its series of illustrated ornaments by Sasha Staicu, alongside lines from the text in English and Gaelic. Teneu’s question: ‘a ruin for whom, ruined by whom?’ asks who makes, builds, and tears down Glasgow and its people. Teneu also explores the mythology of Glasgow’s forgotten mediaeval first mother, so placing this mythology onto her streets reinforces their heritage. Extending programming from galleries into public spaces links the city, its walls and its stone, more to its people and culture, rather than the property moguls that own those walls and stone, or the devastating austerity of the UK government that tears them down. Crucially, the number of privately-owned public spaces is rising: it must be a city’s priority to not only keep public spaces public, but also to inhabit them with local art, thought and culture.

The research and concept behind Monuments for the Present demonstrates by itself why public art on billboards is so important. Co-created by the creative initiative Monuments for Equality and the Maryhill Integration Network Art Group, the participatory action project will be presented as part of two exhibitions and a public art project at CCA, and at the School of Health and Wellbeing at the University of Glasgow. The works resist traditional Western European monuments, offering new forms of monuments made from a variety of media including video, collage, and even soap. In the extension of these works onto  JACK ARTS Scotland’s poster sites, different fabrics intersect in a spiral burst of vibrant diversity that juxtaposes a dreich sky of bottomless grey. Various forms of architecture, fashion and nature are collaged: a cactus, dry yet teeming with life, extends to the top of the poster, towering over its expanse and answering the question that lies beside it: ‘what is a monument?’

The trouble with the materiality alone of Western European monuments is that stone leaves no room for discourse, or the fluidity and impermanence of cultural priorities. In London, the Fourth Plinth Programme addresses these issues by commissioning contemporary sculptures to display temporarily on the empty fourth plinth of Trafalgar Square: the newest to launch in September 2024 being 850 Improntas by Teresa Margolles – 850 casts of the faces of trans people from London. By bringing the people of the city up onto the fourth plinth, the sculptures confront the muddy histories that populate the square.

Taking this even further, the 2D monuments of the Glasgow International x JACK ARTS Scotland posters enact an even greater fluidity than sculpture. They can be put up and taken down, altered and reevaluated – they are changeable year to year, month to month, day to day, and they are just one part of a multi-directional conversation with artists, programmers, marketers, and audiences. All the posters across Glasgow, from publishing to charity campaigns, take part in these conversations and contribute to the diverse and ever-changing culture and priorities of the city. The sheer number of posters across Glasgow is instantly more representative of its teeming diversity than a handful of rock-solid monuments that can only further entrench inequality. There’s a communal joy to a poster campaign as well: on the Monday before the festival opened, the Maryhill Integration Network Art Group were delighted to see the posters go up on Maxwell Street, enacting the very values of the group to bring together people seeking asylum, refugees, migrants and settled inhabitants in Glasgow. The posters create a new kind of monument that is more about love and community than anything else.

The draw of impermanent and fluid public posters is similar to the draw of festivals like Glasgow International, a biennial that can move with time and produce a wide range of events that can better represent the diversity of the city and the globe.

Neither billboards nor festivals are likeable to stone: posters are more like the postcards bought from gallery shops and pasted on the wall above your desk, a snippet of the programme, a condensed souvenir of June 2024 and all the thrilling, diverse artwork that will come with it.

Previous article

Your Space Or Mine

GOD SAVE THE TEAM: Artist Corbin Shaw takes on Euro 2024

Next article


Creative collaborations where traditional meets contemporary