24 May 2016
The Herald (p.10)

She was at the centre of a row after being given £15,000 not to leave Glasgow for a whole year.

Now the artist Ellie Harrison has revealed the first fruits of her year long residency in the city.

Harrison is to publish a lengthy document calling for a radical shake-up of higher education on her website.

She is also working on projects to highlight the need to improve public and sustainable transport in Glasgow.

Since January Harrison, who is living on £8,400 of the Creative Scotland grant this year and using the rest of the money for materials and publications, has not left the city boundaries and is travelling by bicycle.

She said she had no regrets over the title or main image of her project – chips – despite the controversy it caused.

Harrison said it was artists’ duty to provoke and pose difficult questions.

She said: “I create spectacles, I like to get people’s attention, if you are not doing that, then what’s the point? And if artists cannot ask difficult questions, then who can?”

“And also the flip side of that, is if you are not putting yourself on the line and prepared to take criticism, then you are not doing your job.”

She added: “There was an anti-art, or an anti-artist thing running through it: I think people find it hard to imagine why someone would expose their own flaws, or draw attention to their own privilege, in order to raise questions about what is going on.”

As part of her year she is working on several projects, including looking at sustainable energy and transport.

She said she was appalled by the building of a new road, the £60 million East End Regeneration Route which goes through residential areas.

Ms Harrison said the money being spent on the road would be better invested in public transport for people in the city.

“Everytime they invest in roads in this city they are perpetuating inequalities, because only 43 per cent of households in the east end have access to cars – households, not people.”

Phil Miller