Volunteers and placements


We are very grateful to GoMA’s current students, Angelo and Dimitra, on their internship as part of the MSc: Modern and Contemporary Art: History, Curating and Criticism at the Univeristy of Edinburgh, for developing their upcoming event: Swipe Right. Swipe Right is part of the GpMA’s Public Programme engaging diverse audiences in the current exhibition programme specifically around two exhibitions Please Turn Us On and Polygraphs


4.45 – 7.45pm
Gallery 4


Swipe Right is a performative and discursive event with engaging talks, illustrated poetry and comedienne Clare Summerskill will be presenting her stand-up and comedy songs. The event opens up a discussion around LGBT+ identity and self-image after the Web 2.0.

The proliferation of online dating applications and social platforms has brought a change in the way people perceive themselves and construct their own image. Specifically, the image of LGBT+ people changed across the years, building an identity over old and new stereotypes that seemed to become gradually different from the 1970s and partially less politically involved. In an open dialogue with the history, culture and political struggle of the gay liberation movement since the 1960s, this event attempts to explore the development of the self-image of the individuals through mainstream and new media (TV, cinema, video, social network, dating applications) as well as through various forms of visual culture (illustrated poetry, visual art, performance) in the last four decades.

Swipe Right with contributions from:

Dr Michael Bachmann, Theatre Studies, University of Glasgow

Dr Lucy Weir, Modern and Contemporary Art, University of Edinburgh

Professor David Kinloch, Poetry and Creative Writing, University of Strathclyde

Clare Summerskill, Comedienne, actress, writer, singer


4.45pm-6.30pm Talks and Q&A

7pm – 7.45pm Clare Summerskill performance



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We had a lovely launch last week to celebrate the work done by the brilliant filmmakers as part of the Ripples on the Pond – Artist’s Interviews project. This work is now officially launched and available in Gallery 4 as part of the Ripples on the Pond exhibition. It presents a series of engaging and enlightening short films made by a group of volunteers, from Glasgow Women’s Library (GWL), interviewing artists whose work feature in this exhibition. The project was developed by GoMA and GWL to create an opportunity for women to learn documentary filmmaking skills and contribute to ongoing research of each institution. For the project the group worked with Helen de Main to identify the artists and coordinate the interviews and final films.

During the course of the project the group has received training and support, developing skills and confidence to enable them to produce these films. This has included bespoke tours of the exhibition and the GWL’s archive developing their research skills and knowledge about the artists, as well as hands on film making training covering all aspects of practical production, from cameras to sound to editing. This dynamic group of women has worked together tirelessly, bringing their individual skills and personalities to the project. As first time filmmakers, they have supported each in other in the production of this impressive series of films.

The films provide a fascinating insight into each of the artist’s working practices, told in their own words, and reveal some of the inspiration behind works featured in Ripples on the Pond. They make a valuable contribution to recording and archiving women’s creative practice, a core aim of GWL and this museum’s collection.

The films will be also released on the GWL website between January and April 2016, along with interviews with the filmmakers by a GWL intern Camilla – the first one with Morgan Fraser is online , along with the interview with Helen de Main here.

Ripples on the Pond film’s were created by Mel Bestel, Louisina Currie, Morgan Fraser, Jenny Kelly, Una McBurney, Lucy Stewart and Esme Williams
With special thanks to Lou McLoughlan

We would like to thank all the artists for their generous and thoughtful contributions, Jacqueline Donachie, Helen de Main, Sarah Forrest, Shauna McMullan, Ciara Phillips and Jacki Parry.

Project was supported and funded by Glasgow Life / Glasgow Museums and Glasgow Women’s Library

This gallery contains 10 photos.

After dinner it was time to make a consensus as a whole group on how to spend the evening together. Everyone brainstormed and ideas such as make something, music and dancing, write a manifesto, discuss the “Dark Days” topic, quiz night, games, no set plan, make a “tower of awesome” i.e. a chair tower, etc. …

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Exactly a month ago today, the final arrangements were underway for the Dark Days event. One hundred CAMP MANUALS ( camp-manualFINAL-print ) were printed, stapled and folded, GoMA’s gallery one space was being cleaned, Tripod were preparing their flip charts, Lock Up Your Daughters were getting ready for filming, the photographers were setting up their cameras and chairs were running out. What seemed to be on everyone’s mind was the question: What was going to happen?

As the clock struck six participants flooded through the doors. People were already forming orderly lines and mingling as participants began chatting to each other about the event and what was to be expected or unexpected! I had the fun job of registering everyone in the event and checking if people had any allergies that we needed to know about. Surprisingly a lot of people seemed to be allergic to penicillin like myself, but we reassured one another that unless someone was to randomly bring in penicillin we should be fine for the night.

The event began with a warm introduction from the camp team, as well as an overview of the evening. The first part of the evening would be structured through the facilitators, Tripod, and their planned activities with consensus decision making. While the second part of the evening would be left up to the participants and the ultimate question of “How do you want to spend the evening?” In the introduction it also became clear that there were not enough chairs for the number of participants, which would lead to many discussions about the chairs throughout the entire evening. Chairs? Yes, chairs. Apparently hierarchy can even be instilled through chairs.

To break the ice of being in a room with one hundred strangers, Tripod got us to warm up with the aptly named ‘getting to know you exercises’ where people would form a random group of three or more people and find something in common. Sometimes this was easy and sometimes not so much – but in the end you could always find something.

After the initial trepidation wore off and people became more relaxed, we came together as a whole group while Tripod ran a workshop on consensus decision making. Consensus decision making is a creative and dynamic way of reaching agreement between all members of a group. Instead of simply voting for an item and having the majority of the group getting their way, a consensus group is committed to finding solutions that everyone actively supports – or at least can live with. Some of the key aims that everyone would need to share to reach a consensus were commitment to reaching a consensus, an open mind, respect, a safe space, a non-hierarchical structure and allowing everyone to speak if they wished. (For more information on consensus decision making go to Before the event I have to admit that I was a bit hesitant about the consensus decision making process. For me the first example that came to mind when I thought of consensus decision making was the Occupy Movement and its ensuing dissipation and ineffectiveness. It appeared quite a utopian approach – I wondered if it didn’t work for the Occupy Movement how was it going to work for us? How would it be possible to create a complete consensus with one hundred strangers? However, I was pleasantly surprised at how it worked at the Dark Days event.

After the workshop, it was time to put the consensus decision making workshop into practice! The group was split in half and eight volunteers from each group were provided a topic from Tripod to discuss and hopefully reach a consensus, while the rest of the group observed. The topic was: A stow-away has entered GoMA during the Dark Days event but is one of the participant’s friends. Should they stay? The volunteers were allowed to discuss the topic for ten minutes and would aim to reach a consensus by the end of this time. The group I was in came to a consensus quite quickly as everyone seemed to agree that the stowaway should stay as long as they are not causing trouble. Nonetheless, the process highlighted some of the problems that arise with consensus decision making. Although the process proceeded in a very orderly manner as we went around in a circle and everyone offered their opinions on the matter, as we got nearer to the end of the circle the people at the end mentioned afterwards in our discussion that they almost felt obliged to form a consensus with everyone else before them as otherwise they would be the reason for not reaching a consensus. Furthermore, the time constraint meant that there was not enough time to explore and delve into deeper discussion. For instance, questions such as: how does the stowaway illegally coming into the space change the situation? Does it change the situation? What should be done? Who is going to interact with the stowaway and then mediate between them and the organisers? However, in reality more often than not there are time restraints and so it is better that people would be trained under these conditions. Also questions after the consensus decision making process arose about the role of the facilitator and what authority (if any) is granted to you when you are facilitator? Nevertheless, our group ultimately did reach a consensus, everyone was free to speak, everyone listened attentively and the space remained one of respect.

After this it was finally time for dinner (just as well considering my stomach had started to rumble near the end of the consensus decision making – I know I wasn’t the only one)! People brought and shared food, got to know one another and ultimately had a good old chat.

Rhona MacGuire
Modern & Contemporary Art: History, Curating & Criticism MSc at the University of Edinburgh

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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.

The following post is from Ferran who has been an enthusiastic member of the team in GoMA for the past week. He was on a one week school placement and spent time with different teams in the building. Everything from front of house duties to writing this blog entry.

Thanks Ferran and look forward to seeing you back at GoMA.

The GoMA Team.

GoMA Listened to Me

My experience from working at the GoMA has been really beneficial to my love art and my academic career. I have been here a week for ‘work experience’ and have really enjoyed myself. It’s really thrilling for me to have had an insight to how the gallery is run and, especially, to be so close to the art work.

Before I came, my view of modern art was to an extent quite stereotypical. I didn’t see much artistic license or point in it. Being close to the exhibits and discussing contemporary art with other employees in the building has helped broaden my mind when judging modern art. My understanding is now better. I’ve become more enthusiastic in my want to become an artist. With this better understanding of contemporary art I feel that I have gained a new strength which can help me in a later career in art.

I am even trying to convince more of my peers to take an interest in modern art and not to judge it by uneducated, stereotypical views. For instance, I have recently written an article on Facebook on a Niki de Saint Phalle work, ‘Alter to a dead cat’. I feel that the GoMA has really opened doors for me, not just the experience of working, but also being able understand the art world, what it takes to be a professional artist, what inspires contemporary art, how the art is executed and what I would need to succeed in an artistic career. I’m certainly going to visit more often. I wish more people could share a better enthusiasm for the art on display. It’s really something!

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