Glasgow International 2018

Untitled by Najma Abukar..jpg
which i which... by Layla-Roxanne Hill..jpg

Glasgow International 2018, what a fair!     The short post-guide: Glasgow International finishes and this is our take.

by Tiziana Maggio

After almost three very busy weeks, the free GI festival finished yesterday, on a very fortunate combination of the Bank holiday weekend and temperatures reaching a high of 22 degrees. Glaswegians and fair visitors in fact have made the most of this warm weekend visiting and enjoying the festival fully for the last few days.

From artists’ studios through to major museums, several locations across the city were involved, including the Forth and Clyde Canal and Glasgow’s network of subway stations and carriages. The art-hunters started every day touring from the city centre hub of Trongate 103 in the Merchant City where they could grab a coffee and GI map and plan their art walk and even bike tours leading to Tramway, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Kelvin Hall and the Gallery of Modern Art and many other locations.

As the director Parry said ‘I got the Subway this morning and came out at St Enoch and the whole floor of the station was covered in these vinyl artworks. They have transformed the space while not being overpowering. It lets everyone get on with their thing while being very beautiful.’

The performance and works displayed by Yon Afro Collective- YAC (Najma Abukar, Layla Roxanne Hill, Rhea Lewis, Sekai Machache, and Adebusola Debora Ramsay) appeared one of the post-brexit most significant events of this Biennial. Hosted by Govanhill Baths Community Trust and titled (Re)imagining Self and Raising Consciousness of Existence through Alternative Space and (Re)imagined Place, it very effectively pointed the attention on the lives of women of colour in Scotland narrating stories often ignored and and how the Black Other is viewed.

Each YAC artist self founded the event and explored the topic through their media and craft, from paintings, photography to sculpture and text exploring the challenges of women of colour living in different socio-political environments.

Planning already the next fair, the director Parry said he wants to increase access. “Within England, across Europe and internationally, Glasgow is really respected in terms of the artwork on show. And while there are a lot of people who know and love the festival, I think the biggest thing for us to do is to reach and invite as many people as possible to come and discover the amazing work being made here.”

We can definitely say that also this year the festival has again succeeded in drawing a wider attention on the city vibrant artistic production and in positioning the Scottish artistic power-house in the centre of the international art plethora.

Published on Look Lateral Magazine