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Installation shot from 'Deep in the Heart of Your Brain' (2016) Jacqueline Donachie, photo Ruth Clark

Installation shot from ‘Deep in the Heart of Your Brain’ (2016) Jacqueline Donachie, photo Ruth Clark

This time last year Deep in the Heart of Your Brain* had been open for a couple of weeks and the excellent reviews for the exhibition had started come in. Roll on one year and the artist Jacqueline Donachie, along with the Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh, has won the inaugural Freelands Award and is currently making new work for the exhibition in Edinburgh later this year; Glasgow Museums now has a capsule collection of her works acquired for the City with the support of the National Fund for Acquisitions; over 40,000 visitors attended the exhibition; and 2105 people attended 52 events, talks and workshops as part of the public programme.

The Deep in the Heart of Your Brain symposium** was a significant aspect of the public programme. It was exciting to programme in response to the exhibition and be a part of the amazing discussions that happened that day. We were delighted when Moira Jeffrey agreed to write a response to the symposium and are now even more delighted to be able to publish it online here. Field Notes from the Heart’s Frontier.

GoMA are very grateful to Moira for her wonderfully considered response to the day and her enthusiasm for taking on a very open brief! We would also like to thank Jacqueline Donachie for feedback, Angelo Nese for copy editing and Kirsty McBride for a fantastic job on the design.

*Deep in the Heart of Your Brain, 20 May–13 November 2016, Gallery 4, Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA), Glasgow, the symposium and Field Notes from the Heart’s Frontier  were commissioned by Glasgow Museums with support from a Wellcome Trust Arts Award. Jacqueline Donachie also re-ceived support to work with GoMA from the National Lottery through the Creative Scotland Open Project Fund.

**The Deep in the Heart of Your Brain symposium was held at Platform, Glasgow on November 4, 2016, to develop the themes of Jacqueline Donachie’s exhibition of the same name at the Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow. The symposium was co-produced by Katie Bruce and Jacqueline Donachie and chaired by Alison Stirling, Projects Director, Artlink, Edinburgh. Its aims were to bring artists, institutions, academics and interested individuals together to dis-cuss care, bravery, lived experience, autoethnography and expert cultures in relation to the ethics and practice of knowledge exchange/public engagement in the art/medical research field.

The contributions were:
Jacqueline Donachie, Artist. Illuminating Loss
Karen Guthrie, Artist and filmmaker. The Closer We Get
Sarah Cunningham-Burley, Professor of Medical and Family Sociology, Assistant Principal, Research-led learning and Dean of Molecular, Genetic and Population Health Sciences in the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, University of Edinburgh. Making the private public: lived experience of health and illness.
Jason E. Bowman, Artist with a curatorial practice, writer, researcher and educator. MFA: Fine Art Programme Leader at the Valand Academy, University of Gothenburg. Curating as Care Making

Internet Cat Video Festival, Gallery 1, GoMA

Internet Cat Video Festival, Gallery 1, GoMA

GoMA and the Glasgow Film Festival were delighted to host the Scottish Premiere of the Internet Cat Video Festival 2014 a month ago. The event was an idea that grew out of early conversations with the Walker Art Center about their Open Field programme and the relationship to work about play, public space and encounter in GoMA’s exhibition ATELIER PUBLIC. The idea started to shape last year when we were able to bring Sarah Schulz, then director of Education and Public Practice at the Walker Art Center, over as part of the 2014 Velocity Talks programme. The idea then became a reality in discussions with Glasgow Film Festival for the GFF15 exciting programme and part of GoMA’s experimental Spring Programme for Gallery 1.

None of us were prepared for the interest in the Internet Cat Video Festival which followed the GFF15 press release last December. The wealth and quality of the film festival as a whole brought in a lot of coverage, with the Internet Cat Video Festival as part of that. Tickets sold out fast and the need for extra screenings at the GFT occurred. In the week leading up to the event the BBC were in filming for broadcasts on the Friday. During the two days there were great interviews recorded and plenty of great photographs from photographers present.

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For GoMA the interest was in how the Internet Cat Video Festival brought people together into a shared social space around the simple act of watching cat videos together. The idea of ‘mutual curiosity’ is something the gallery has been exploring with aspects of the Public Programme and more recently through the Associate Artist programme. This combined with an inquiry into the role of GoMA as public building and the opportunities it opens up for programming led to a more experimental programming season in February and March of this year. There is also something interesting about the Internet Cat Video Festival as it doesn’t fit neatly into the art gallery, but neither does it fit into the film world. It slips between the gaps of them both, but for us that creates an interesting opportunity to explore with visitors.

For the screening itself we wanted to keep to the idea of bringing people together for the *unique* and *authentic* experience and decided not to screen it on a loop but make a festival of it. We were also keen to bring in aspects of the wider museums service, like the fabulous Open Museum and the library service, knowing that many of the audience had said they were first time visitors to the gallery (two people flew up from Bristol for the Sunday festival!).

The Learning Team also had a great time planning workshops and thinking up cat puns to describe them. Cats Protection also approached us before we had a chance to get to them and were very generous in their time and resources with a stall on both days. You can see a little of our preparation over on the Pinterest board, along with articles we pinned.

Audiences were slightly different each day and created a great atmosphere with lots of fun and poses. The festival were compered on the Saturday by artist Anthony Schrag and Sunday by Radio XFm DJ Fraser Thomson, with Fraser providing the soundtrack for the days with a little help from his breakfast audiences . The feedback was really interesting as people came for all sorts of reasons and it was great to see people immerse themselves in the festival. The Cat Wall brought out the craziest and cutest of the audience’s cats and it was definitely a close competition in each of the “cat”egories on both days.

It’s amazing what Internet Cat Video Festival sparked off. We had a PHD student who came for both days and will use the interviews she took as part of her thesis on cuteness; Radio 4 were up, recording for a programme about cats and their owners for later this year; and here are a few short films made over the two days.

The Skinny: Internet Cat Video Festival
The Guardian
GoMA Team

Thanks to the Walker Art Center for lending us the work, to the Glasgow Film Festival team for all the support, everyone who volunteered and worked on events and to all the audience who made it the brilliant two days that it was.

Monday 2nd – Sunday 8th March 2015 This week-long event was created to celebrate the artist Alasdair Gray who lives and works in Glasgow and has just turned 80. Born in Riddrie in the east of Glasgow in 1934, he attended the Glasgow School of Art in the mid 1950s. Gray is a prolific poet, playwright, novelist, painter and printmaker, and is often described as a creative polymath – an expert in many art forms. The concept of ‘Up a Snake and Down a Ladder’ was to introduce a larger and more diverse audience to Alasdair Gray in a fun, inviting and interactive way. The learning team at GoMA opened up the main Gallery 1 space to the public and invited them to learn and create by adding to the installation over the week. This event was low cost in terms of budget and resources therefore a key part of the success of the event was partnership working with the wider GoMA team including the library downstairs. The event also complemented the Spheres of Influence show in Gallery 3 which looks at the key influences of Gray and also those he now influences in current art practice. The idea of how artists, musicians and the like can influence one another gave the ideal starting point to develop into a week-long event. Through discussion and mind-mapping the learning team were able to create a wide variety of creative activity in the gallery from musical performances, jewellery making workshops and theatrical performances to book readings by Alasdair Gray and Tom Leonard. It was important to have something for all ages and to that end we collaborated with the Wee Write festival and offered storytelling sessions for visiting schools and nurseries. Along-side scheduled workshops and performances the main feel for the gallery was that of an open studio where the public could dip in and out of a wide selection of self-led activity including a library corner, giant games and board games. A highlight of the week was a chess tournament with professional chess players playing on a chess board from the contemporary art collection held in GMRC. ‘How the West was Wild’ by Victor Tiede (Canadian) was an instant hit with the public, people were very pleased to see something that had been in storage for so long especially as it was being used for its original purpose.

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I was particularly interested in Ellie Harrison’s Dark Days project when applying for the placement position* at GoMA because of the intersecting of art, society and science within Harrison’s work. Dark Days shows the potential of art as a cultural vehicle and platform to create awareness about climate change and the role of public space.

It’s now only a week to go until Dark Days event at GoMA and all planning seems well underway! Over 100 participants have been contacted now with how to commit to the project and have been issued with the camp manuals, so now it is just the fine details. Once the final 100 are signed up, the remainder of the 800 applicants will be contacted by Tuesday 10 February. Dark Days will (hopefully!) explore the potential re-use of public buildings and public spaces in the future. It will examine how 100 people form a pop-up community and the politics that arise with communal living within the great hall.

Workshops such as consensus decision-making are organised by trained facilitators, Tripod, for the evening. Consensus decision-making aims to be non-hierarchical, where rather than voting for decisions, which leads to a majority’s support; consensus decision-making aims to provide everyone with an equal voice, resulting in a decision that everyone can agree with or at least cooperate with. This in itself highlights the utopian vision of consensus decision making, but the effectiveness of such a technique will be explored on the night. This is the first public overnight stay at the GoMA, so the possibilities of what could transpire are very exciting!

Dark Days is an outcome of Harrison’s year as one of the associate artists at the GoMA, as well as her Early Warning Signs project, which is running for a second year at the GoMA. The Early Warning Signs project is comprised of four signs all stating ‘Climate Change’. Each year they go to separate venues to promote consciousness of climate change and form discussions about methods for a more environmentally friendly environment. 2015 is also Glasgow’s Green Year focusing on sustainability, where the city ultimately strives to become a European leader in environmental, social and economic sustainability, resulting in the perfect time for Harrison’s work.

Rhona MacGuire

* This is part of my  Modern & Contemporary Art: History, Curating & Criticism MSc at the University of Edinburgh

So with roughly a month left on my internship I’ve handed in my portfolio and paperwork of all my work from the last year to be evaluated. The last year has been so fast and exciting it was nice to take some time out and reflect on all the projects I’ve been involved in.

The main project that I’ve hinted at in the last few posts has been the Glasgow Life Co-Production as part of the GENERATION Public Engagement programme. Over the last ten weeks I’ve been working with my colleague Jenny and a group of 12 young people from across Glasgow. The project takes place over an initial 12 week period where the group learn a new creative skill each week; drawing, sculpture, animation, photography, blogging, filming, music production, and print making to name a few!

The group, who have aptly named themselves Brave Generation will use these newly acquired skills to host an exciting event in Tramway in September this year.

However, after ten weeks of hard work it seemed only appropriate to have a bit of a celebration about how well they’ve done. On Tuesday we hosted a one day pop-up exhibition in Tramway with all the work that’s been produced over the last ten weeks. The atmosphere was great as family, friends, teachers and staff from both GoMA and Tramway came to view the mass of work.

It was an important moment for everyone involved with Brave Generation as it gave time to reflect on the project and get geared up for the next stage!

 2(Exhibition Set Up – Behind the scenes glimpse!)

 

Brave Generation have certainly lived up to their namesake in the last ten weeks, not only are they the creative minds of the future but they have been brave at taking risks, trying new things and meeting new people.

As my internship draws to a close and I start to make tentative future plans I take my inspiration from Brave Generation and hope to do the same.

Thanks to everyone who took part in GoMA’s Big Big Bus tour on Saturday 17th May 2014. The day was a great success with record numbers visiting the gallery. People took part in bus tours and creative art sessions while being entertained by a variety of choirs and samba bands.

Bus tours left from GoMA to many different places of worship around Glasgow including St Andrew’s Cathedral, Pollokshields Gurdwara and the Central Mosque. Participants were encouraged to get creative and be inspired by these impressive buildings by joining a themed bus tour. The choice of tours included Architecture with Dress for the Weather, Illustration with Little Book Transfers and Creative Art with Dave Sherry. All the art produced on the day was displayed in GoMA.

This event was designed to complement Nathan Coley’s ‘Lamp of Sacrifice, 286 Places of Worship, Edinburgh’ (2004). It was great to get a Glasgow perspective of such iconic buildings.

Thanks also to the West of Scotland Regional Equality Council, all the venues we visited, choirs, bands and the Big Big Sing!

our transport for Saturday 17th May

our transport for Saturday 17th May

Join us for this special all day event. Creative bus tours inspired by Nathan Coley’s brilliant installation ‘Lamp of Sacrifice’ (a 3D artwork representing 286 places of worship). As the bus winds its way through Glasgow’s city centre, you can hop off the bus taking in some of the city’s iconic religious buildings such as Glasgow Cathedral or the Central Mosque. On board will be artists, illustrators or architects to encourage you to get creative. Once you jump off back at GoMA you will be able to display the work you have created in a special installation around our balcony area while being entertained by a selection of musical performances. Choirs and samba bands will perform throughout the day. A great day out for all the family, not to be missed!
This is part of the Festival of Museums weekend: http://festivalofmuseums.com/goma-big-big-bus-tour/
More information and bus timetables coming soon.

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