This weekend’s Glasgow Open House Art Festival does exactly what it says on the tin: it’s a festival. Of art. Open to all. Showcased in houses. Just over half of this year’s programme will take place in and around the artists’ very own homes, reflecting the strong sense of community that is so crucial to the success of Glasgow’s thriving art scene. Family, friends, neighbours and strangers alike will experience Glasgow’s famous in-home hospitality along with the art; sculptures; music; performances and stories.
The rest of the festival will occupy overlooked and unusual spaces right across the city, including art installations in the Botanic Gardens (Bleachfield will see a body of work displayed across the grand 1800s gardens, artists Fionn Duffy; Josie Rae Turnbull; Mikey Cook; Abigale Neate Wilson; Leo Arnold and Sharif Elsabagh scrutinising human’s meddling with nature over 200 years on the banks of the River Kelvin), a number of shows in disused railway arches, a photography exhibition in an East End launderette and art you can walk on in the city centre. Glasgow Open House is an artist-led, not-for-profit organisation that was founded in order to meet the needs of the city’s grassroots art community. Many of Glasgow’s artists live in tenements, which make up the majority of venues during the festival, with artists exhibiting and performing in front rooms, bathrooms, basements and kitchens.
In CHAR NAH! HOR, 2012 Turner Prize nominee Marvin Gaye Chetwynd, Jedrzej Cichosz and their young son, Dragan Cichosz, will remodel their home in Glasgow’s South Side — getting up to all manner of artistic endeavour, directly onto walls, floors, ceilings… whilst Christopher MacInnes’ bedroom will be given a new look by the New York-born artist, friends Sam Dransfield, Stephanie Mann and Aymeric Tarrade reimagining the space as a pristine white cube in SimStim. By ‘removing’ art from conventional spaces and embedding it within the very fabric of the city, Glasgow Open House Art Festival transforms the Scottish city — and puts art in front of a wider audience. I just feel sorry for whoever has to clean up afterwards.