Our six artists from six European post-industrial cities are preparing to embark on the second of their six residencies, this one in Levadia, Greece. I am so excited to know what the artists are thinking and have glimpses of what might be, like glittering reflections on the water. Siegfried from Ostend who works with spray paint, is identifying some young people who make graffiti art in the city. Will they work on one particular wall in one particular space to create work together? Will they work on their own work and also help the artist create a new mural for the city?
Another glimpse into what might be possible has come to me from our own Scottish socially engaged public artist T.S. Beall who is planning to involve women washing clothes in the river: just as they would have done communally in centuries past. The rivers of Europe were once full of women’s voices: the singing of the traditional songs, the slapping of the cloths (or Clutha on Glasgow’s river Clyde) on the wet rocks: taking ownership of space and place. This work is so exciting for me because it seems that part of what is missing from our post-industrial waterfront heritage zones is that sense of belonging: we have lost the right to the city through industry, property development and issues of land ownership. Through the work of these artists, can we glimpse once again what city life might be like if we could take the ownership of our streets and waterfronts once again?
– Liz Gardiner (Scotland)