7 January 2016
The Herald (p.3)

Scotland’s arts funding body has insisted that a controversial Β£15,000 grant for an artist who will not leave Glasgow for a year must go to her personally.

Ellie Harrison, who is behind The Glasgow Effect which has provoked a storm on social media, had suggested the money would be paid to her employer, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design in Dundee.

In return, the lecturer would be allowed paid research leave to complete the project.

The college, part of the University of Dundee, also understood this to be the arrangement.

However, Creative Scotland now says this was not allowed under its Open Funding rules.

The university, which employs the artist on a part time basis, is now in discussions with the lecturer over how the situation can be resolved.

A statement from Creative Scotland said: “The Β£15,000 funding that was awarded to Ellie Harrison for the project, originally titled Think Global, Act Local!, through Creative Scotland’s Open Project Fund was to support the artist in her work on this project and the development of her creative practice.

“The funds will not be paid to Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design to cover the costs of her teaching post. This complies with our criteria for funding through the Open Project Funding route which states that it can be used to support ‘the time to research, develop or create work or content including artist’s bursaries to support practice development.'”

A spokesman for the university said: “Our agreement with Ms Harrison to free her time for the project has been predicated on costs being provided to cover her teaching time at the University.

“We are now in discussions with Ms Harrison in an effort to find a resolution.”

The Glasgow Effect, is a well known phrase for discussing the poor health and low life expectancy of the most deprived areas of the city.

The project’s Facebook page is illustrated with an image of chips, which people on social media said offended them.

However she stressed the project, which was initially called Think Global Act Local, is not primarily about poverty or deprivation in the city.

Ms Harrison said the bulk of her work in Glasgow will be setting up a “radical alternative” to existing funding systems, called the “Radical Renewable Art + Activism Fund.”

The artist, who has lived in Glasgow since 2008, also published the full text of her application to Creative Scotland online.

She adds on her Facebook page: “The fact that this university (Duncan of Jordanstone), like most others in the UK, now requires its lecturing staff to be fundraisers and is willing to pay them to be absent from teaching as a result, should be the focus of this debate.”

Phil Miller