5 January 2016
The Herald (p.1)
A decision to award an artist £15,000 to stay in Glasgow for a year as part of a research project has prompted a fierce backlash on social media.
Ellie Harrison was given the cash by Creative Scotland to fund The Glasgow Effect, which aims to look at the pressures faced by artists and academics to leave home to find work.
The 36-year-old will not leave the Greater Glasgow area until 2017, except in the event of the ill-health or death of a close relative or friend.
The artist said the experiment would enable her “to cut her carbon footprint and increase her sense of belonging, by encouraging her to seek out and create local opportunities.”
However critics took to the project’s Facebook page to question the project’s objectives.
Alex Nisbit posted: “Wouldn’t 15k be better spent introducing working class kids to art instead of an individual floating about for a year?
HiFi Harry posted: “This type of project should be funded through philanthropy, not a public funding body that has a limited pot, & whereby projects that need the funding a lot more, are overlooked.”
Lara Connolly said: “There are undoubtedly many people who will never have left Glasgow due to long term unemployment and poverty, and surely they themselves could better tell their experiences instead of some artist?”
Other were critical of the title of the project. The Glasgow Effect is a term regularly used to describe the city’s poor public health record when compared to other places in the UK and Western Europe.
A Creative Scotland spokesperson said: “Ellie’s project met the criteria for Open Project Funding to develop her practice and we await with interest, the outcome of her project.”