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‘Poverty safari’: Glasgow art project comes under fire

6 January 2016

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Glasgow Grant to Artist Sparks Outrage | Social media appears to have a new bête noire in the form of artist Ellie Harrison, who has come under fire for a publicly funded project called ‘The Glasgow Effect’. Harrison’s idea is to spend an entire year within the city limits of Glasgow (where she has lived since 2008) without leaving at all. Her intriguing idea sparked online vitriol almost as soon as she announced it on Facebook, as commentators criticised her for engaging in a ‘poverty safari’ – a tag no doubt linked to the fact that Harrison decided to illustrate her inaugural post with an image of a plate of chips. The main cause of contention seems to be the £15,000 of public money Harrison has been granted. Creative Scotland, which provided the cash, has defended the initiative.

Maria Eagle Appointed Shadow Culture Secretary | After Michael Dugher’s less than graceful departure from the Opposition front bench yesterday, Maria Eagle has been announced as his successor as Shadow Culture Secretary. Interestingly, the former Shadow Defence Secretary has an even thinner track record on the arts than her predecessor. She has so far criticised Conservative arts cuts and spoken in defence of the BBC. It will be intriguing to see whether she picks up Dugher’s latest initiatives where he left off.

£2.4 million Raised for Renovations to Turner’s House | Good news for Turner fans. After an enthusiastic fundraising campaign, the Turner’s House Trust has raised £2.4 million of public and private money to renovate the artist’s former home in south west London, with the aim of eventually reopening the property to the public. Around £155,000 is still needed to complete the project, but in light of the money already raised, the challenge seems comparatively easy. For more on Turner’s relationship with the area, see our report from 2013.

Wildenstein Trial Delayed | Further procedure of the trial of businessman and art dealer Guy Wildenstein has been delayed due to questions raised by his defence lawyers. Constitutional issues over whether Mr Wildenstein was unfairly being persecuted twice (for administrative tax charges and criminal charges) have meant that the trial is now delayed until 4 May.

Xavier Bray Explains how he Curated ‘Goya: The Portraits’ | In today’s Guardian,  Xavier Bray, who guest curated the Goya show at the National Gallery, tells the story of how he procured high profile loans for the museum’s blockbuster exhibition. Apparently, the process involved many shooting trips with private owners to earn their trust. But ‘it wasn’t as if they said “if you shoot five partridges you’ll get one Goya, but if you get 10 you’ll get two”.’ Good to have that cleared up, then.

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