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Glasgow artist led charity, Strange Field announces its first major exhibition and events programme

Glasgow East End-based and artist-led charity Strange Field announces its first programme of major exhibitions and events.

Glasgow artist led charity, Strange Field announces its first major exhibition and events programme

Article Source: Strange Field
Last Updated: 4 April 2024 13:25

Beginning in May at its French Street venue in Dalmarnock, the programme, which operates alongside its regular community events and open source programme, includes a series of large scale solo exhibitions from early-career and under-represented artists, queer-led performance events, and a marquee Heritage & Community Exhibition showcasing the photography of Chris Leslie.

This 2024/25 exhibition and events programme is designed to test the limits of the French Street exhibition space and provide artists a rare opportunity to operate at a large scale with a budget not often available to artist-led organisations.

Beginning the major exhibition series at the former 19th century Barrowfield weaving factory, French Street is Flywheel, a film and visual arts installation by Harriet Rickard showing between Friday 31 May and Sunday 23 June – coinciding with the city’s festival of contemporary visual arts, Glasgow International. Rickard’s work draws on humour and the absurd, with concepts of the body and childhood permeating her art in unexpected ways. Flywheel will premiere her new film in the UK, a surreal moving image work that explores movement, music and memory. The project is the result of an extended period of international research, including trips to Iceland, Japan, Austria and various other places in the UK to document ideas around literary nonsense, with the exhibition designed specifically for the exhibition space at French Street.

The next exhibition in the space will be Chris Leslie’s Heritage & Community Exhibition, Beyond The Games, the culmination of a six-month residency with Strange Field. Marking ten years since the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Leslie revisits his Disappearing Glasgow collection which documented the displacement of residents from Dalmarnock in order to demolish and rebuild the area ahead of the Games. This work was spread far and wide, being featured in a BBC documentary, book, and the Glasgow Life collection, placing Dalmarnock and its community at the centre of a national conversation. Beyond the Games is open to the public from Friday 5 July until Sunday 28 August it is supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund and William Grant Foundation.

A well-known face in the area, Leslie is holding Open Studio Oral Archive sessions between January and June 2024, alongside more informal conversational and photographic sessions to document the changes that have been made to Dalmarnock since ‘Disappearing Glasgow’ as part of his Strange Field residency. He will be discussing the exhibition with Dalmarnock residents he met a decade ago, aiming to amplify the voices of the members of the community where Strange Field now calls home and is committed to providing artistic support, facilities, and opportunities.

The autumn sees the final two exhibitions of Strange Field’s 2024 programme take place. Performance artist Philip Ewe holds court from mid-September, bringing their iconoclastic commentaries on social behaviours and public spaces to French Street. His work is large-scale and site specific, with unpredictable and absurdist interventions interrogating audience relationships and the politics of space – marking this performance exhibition as one of the most ambitious builds in the space to date. Finally, local Glasgow-based visual artist Morwenna Kearsley exhibits Devilled Eggs through November. Inspired by the industrial manufacture of albumen papers in the 19th century and the motifs of the wishbone and the egg, the work tentatively connects rituals of process and prophecy, drawing on tangled anxieties lying just below the surface, like veins under the skin. For her first major-scale solo exhibition, Kearsley transforms the old Dalmarnock weaving factory into an immersive space with a new series of large-scale photographs and a moving-image work. More details on all exhibitions will become available closer to their opening.

Several one-night-only performance events are peppered throughout the year between these major exhibitions, hosting several artists with strong ties to Glasgow and its East End communities.

Just before Harriet Rickard’s opening exhibition, Strange Field hosts four artists on Saturday 18th May. An alum of Glasgow School of Art, artist William Joys has co-curated an evening of performance with Strange Field Programme Director Jenny Tipton. An evening exploring the dynamics that change the status of a performer and an audience; from intimacy to indifference, the holistic to the hooligan, from a teacher to a tyrant, from the prosecution to the defendant and vice versa. Joys takes his cue from the theatre of Bette Bourne and the Bloo Lips; and influences drawn from the teachings and writings of the mother of the acting method, Stella Adler; England’s raconteur Quentin Crisp; the histrionic plays of Maxwell Anderson; Machiavellian and Marxian analysis; and Oscar Wilde.

Joining Joys will be Wales-based absurdist basket-maker Lewis Prosser, who will be working with themes of intoxication, anonymity, paganism, hooliganism and social etiquette in an improvised score using wearable wicker. Two Glasgow-based artists join Joys also, as performance artist and theatre-maker Stephanie Black-Daniels and British-Moroccan visual artist Tamir Amar Pettet take to the French Street space, with music and sound supported by artist Dirt Brooks.

In late August, Glasgow firebrand artist Trackie McLeod brings a performative dinner party to Dalmarnock in collaboration with Durty Beanz and Len Goetzee. McLeod is a long-time collaborator with Strange Field, having hosted their first solo exhibition at The Pipe Factory, and created the first piece of purchased art that now hangs in the French Street venue. McLeod’s work is often humorous and touches on subjects such as nostalgia, British culture, masculinity, and growing up queer in nineties Glasgow – concepts that have shone through recently in his collaboration with Scottish band The Snuts for tongue-in-cheek billboard advertisements for their latest album Millenials. For this dinner party, McLeod will curate an evening inspired by tea at your gran’s, with creative courses made by Durty Beanz and accompanying performance by up and coming artist Len Goetzee.

More performance events with a mix of early-career and high-profile artists such as Christian Noelle Charles and Chao-Ying Rao are to be announced in due course.

Further plans for late 2024 and into 2025 include innovative talks and events on the concepts of intersectional radical care and governance, further large-scale exhibitions, and more events that place the Calton and Dalmarnock communities at the centre of what Strange Field do.

Jenny Tipton, Programme Director for Strange Field, said: “We’re very excited to launch our first-ever major exhibition programme. Strange Field is very proud to provide artistic opportunities within our communities in Calton and Dalmarnock, and we’re very thankful to our funders for making our largest-scale series of artist-led performances and visual arts exhibitions possible in our evolving French Street venue.

“We have been looking to work with Harriet, Philip, and Morwenna for some time now, so it is extremely exciting to bring all three of them to our space for their major exhibitions and to explore their ties to the space and our communities. Having worked with Chris Leslie in his residency with us over the past months, we also can’t wait to see the result of a decade’s worth of work with Dalmarnock residents past and present following 2014’s Commonwealth Games. It will be a real event by and for the community, which is at the core of what we do, and we couldn’t be happier to have Chris on this journey with us.

“This will be an exciting 18 months, as we expand and evolve our approach to sustainably developing artist led spaces at French Street and The Pipe Factory alongside our programmes. We hope to see a lot of familiar and new faces come through our doors to experience exciting and unexpected approaches to art and performance”.


This programme has been made possible through support from The National Lottery through Creative Scotland, The National Lottery Heritage Fund, The National Lottery Community Fund and The William Grant Foundation.

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