I took the intercity bus from Edinburgh airport to Glasgow city centre. The bus ride was ideal for a first impression of Scotland. The green fields of the countryside made way for the Glasgow urban jungle. Leaving Buchanan bus station, I was immediately impressed by the architecture of the city centre. It had an aura of past-time grandeur. Strangely, the whole atmosphere also felt a bit grim, reminding me of Gotham City in my old superhero Batman comic books. So I was sure this would be a very inspiring week!
I was mostly surprised by the River Clyde in Govan which is so beautiful and wild but not easily accessed. There aren’t many spots to sit and enjoy it. The Viking history, the Govan Stones and the architecture of the buildings were stunning. I liked the people in Govan a lot, they were very warm and hospitable. Especially the day that we visited GalGael where they work with wood, and we had meal together, and afterwards we all sang. I got a taste of Celtic culture and how people keep their traditions alive.
I was both nervous and delighted to welcome the Memory of Water artists to Govan. I first moved my studio there in 2009, after looking around Glasgow for reasonably priced studio space. Someone recommended Unit 7 on Clydebrae Street in front of the Dry Docks (also called the Govan Graving Docks), now derelict. I instantly fell in love with the place, and took the studio literally because of its proximity to the dockyard. I was amazed by the majesty of the Dry Docks, and took many long walks on site; I thought of them as Glasgow’s Parthenon.
Our Govan Research Residency .……..
….was an exciting rollercoaster of meeting people and projects: including a taste of local culture (haggis and whiskey) and the honour of a civic reception from the Lord Provost of Glasgow who welcomed us with hospitality and encouraging words.
I had no idea that Govan had once been bigger than Glasgow. I was excited by the decorative buildings, monuments and the stories of engineering innovation and rebellion, solidarity and kindness by Govan’s great men and women.
A cycle along the banks of the Clyde with the persistent drizzly rain made everything seem very familiar. There were parts of the Clyde where I felt I could have been cycling by the River Shannon in Ireland, with overhanging willow trees, the odd cormorant diving (presumably for eels), and the slow, deep water rising and falling with the tides.
After meeting representatives of community groups, I realised that the solidarity and support that Mary Barbour had harnessed still existed and was visible through networks of community groups and social enterprises. The social fabric of this city is a complex one.
The dry docks (they weren’t dry, it rained that day too!) surprised me, the community of trees and plants here are well established. I sat for an hour watching the locals quietly go about their business, the pigeons that live under the bridge, the butterflies feeding on the buddleia, the bees, spiders, the ducks, a young magpie family. All these creatures call this place home.
Our residency was constructed as an intensive cultural mapping process. The objective: to support our visiting artists to uncover as much as possible in the history, heritage, landscape, people, story, myths, legends, architecture and memory of Govan and its context within Glasgow.
Our overall aim was to start with the big picture: like a drone eye in the sky overlooking the Strathclyde valley with the scope of the whole River Clyde gradually zooming in to look closely at identified people and places of interest.Read More
Sharing visions on the development of YOUNG CITY (MLODE MIASTO) was the main topic of the second meeting within CITY LABS’ programme of„Memory of Water” project (MemoryofWater-EU Creative Europe). It took place on 14 March 2019 in the Old Town Hall in Gdansk (the venue of the BSCC).
Our CITY LABS offer the space for public discussion on forms and directions for developing post-shipyard area in Gdansk, taking into consideration its cultural heritage value both tangible and intangible. This proces, initiated by people connected to art, culture and science fits , so popular in Europe nowadays, method of culture-led regeneration.Read More
The Baltic Sea Cultural Centre is proud to launch the public debate STOCZNIA OD NOWA (Shipyard Anew) in Gdańsk: collecting dreams for a new vision.
Under this slogan STOCZNIA OD NOWA, a group of independent artists and cultural activists in Gdańsk want to jointly develop a complex social vision for the regeneration of post-industrial shipyard waterfronts, in conjunction with the Creative Europe Memory of Water project and local partner, the Baltic Sea Cultural Centre. This process is seen as the legacy of the long-term activities of Kolonia Artystów (Colony of Artists) in the former Gdańsk Shipyard area.Read More
The River Clyde has the label “post industrial” in the 21st Century, as vast swathes of derelict land peppered with fading ship building and other industrial infrastructure compete with crumbling quay walls and silted basins to ensure the image is decaying heritage rather than future building. Turning the Tide On the Clyde is a Clyde Docks Preservation Initiative project designed to address how the River and Firth of Clyde could be better connected and more active as a diverse maritime region. The launch event for this initiative was created in partnership with Memory of Water (a pan European, 6 Cities project exploring the role of artists in post industrial community settings) Fablevision, Govan Docks Regeneration Trust and a wide range of stakeholders with an interest in a thriving post industrial (or increasingly it seems, re-industrial) River Clyde.Read More
From 3-9 October 2019, the research residency in the framework of the project Memory of Water took place in Gdańsk. four of the project artists were present: Mary Conroy (Ireland), t s Beall (Great Britain), Siegfried Vynck (Belgium), Jonas Myrstrand (Sweden). They were accompanied by Artistic Director, Mary Conlon (Ireland).