Rule of Thumb was the next ‘Contemporary art and human rights’ programme after Sanctuary in 2003. We worked with key partnerships in Amnesty International and Rape Crisis Scotland, alongside an advisory group which included Wise Women, Glasgow Violence Against Women Partnership, Glasgow Women’s Aid and Glasgow Women’s Library.The lead-in exhibition elbowroom which opened on International Human Rights Day 2004 was a pivotal project for GoMA in the development of working practices with artists and communities and also how we demonstrated publicly the value we place on this type of work within the gallery programme. It was critically acclaimed in the press with Iain Gale calling it ‘a chilling but unmissable exhibition …. An installation which, for all its lack of individual authorship, is as worthy of the Turner Prize as the most recent submissions of Kutlag Ataman and Jeremy Deller.’ in the Scotland on Sunday, January 16, 2005
Barbara Kruger was approached for the 2005 key summer show in Gallery 4 and was enthusiastic about the programme. She presented her signature gallery wrap, using media material directly from Glasgow and Scotland for her installation, which had a huge impact on visitors and our comments board was filled with amazing feedback . There were 8 further outreach projects culminating in an exhibition in February – June 2006, alongside a schools, events, workshop and talks programme.
Feedback from artists, visitors and participants in the wider programme was hugely powerful and ripples and effects from this work still continue to be passed onto the gallery today. There is a publication called Towards an engaged gallery (2008) which goes into more detail about the whole programme. This can be purchased from Glasgow Museums
There are some images from Rule of Thumb: Contemporary art and human rights over on flickr.
A summary of Rule of Thumb here -.Rule of Thumb general info
A timeline of the programme and partners involved here – Timeline
An evaluation of Rule of Thumb by Paul Zealey Associates Rule of Thumb Evaluation Report