23 January 2016
The Herald (p.3)

An artist is to speak in public about her decision to accept Β£15,000 for a project which will see not leave Glasgow for a year.

Ellie Harrison’s The Glasgow Effect caused consternation in some quarters because the phrase refers to the unexplained poor health and low life expectancy of some of the city’s inhabitants.

Questions were also raised about why national arts funding body Creative Scotland awarded her the money.

Ms Harrison is to discuss the project and the furore at a new event in Glasgow on February 3 as part of Imagination, Scotland’s Festival of Ideas.

It will also feature two writers who wrote critiques and comment on The Glasgow Effect, Katie Gallogly-Swan, a strategist for Common Weal, writer and blogger, and the musician, rapper and writer Darren McGarvey, also known as Loki.

It is the first event of the year for the festival “a discussion of the cultural debate that catapulted our year into a fierce stooshie.”

It will be taking place at The Glad Cafe in the southside of the city.

Co-organiser Roanne Dods said: “Ellie Harrison’s Facebook page hit a nerve that has triggered a huge and painful reaction in Glasgow.

“The already complex issues of poverty, class, culture, art, artists, money, funding and the psychology of social media are intertwined with gender, respectful relationship, humanity, conflict resolution and silo-ed thinking.

“We hope that this event will be the first of many thoughtful discussions to help untangle these issues further – particularly for the benefit of all of us who care about Glasgow.”

Tickets for the event can be booked now.

The organisers said that there will be “plenty of room for respectful and mindful audience participation in the discussion.”

Ms Harrison, who studied at Glasgow School of Art, is calling her work a “action research project/durational performance”.

Ms Harrison’s project drew a mixture of responses on social media, from scorn to amusement, as well as hostility.

Phil Miller