8 January 2016
The Times (p.17)
The artist who was awarded £15,000 to spend the year in Glasgow says that she has been used as a “middle class punchbag”.
Creative Scotland’s decision to give the cash to Ellie Harrison, after she pledged to remain within the city boundaries for the duration of this year, has triggered an angry backlash.
The artist was accused of sneering at the city after calling her project The Glasgow Effect, a term which refers to its poor health record, and promoting it with an image of chips.
Harrison, 36, a lecturer at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, stood by her project last night and claimed that she had been abused because of her affluent background.
“I was aware of the issues around class this would throw up, but I wanted to expose the ‘tale of two cities’ which is highlighted by two similar-sounding phrases: the Glasgow Miracle, commonly used in the art world to refer to the city’s post-industrial renaissance as a global centre for culture, and the Glasgow Effect, which, as we all know, is its antithesis. I sincerely hope that the discussion provoked will be constructive for our city.”
She added: “Although I’ve had to deal with a barrage of personal attacks, I don’t regret the decision to change the project title to The Glasgow Effect.”
Creative Scotland has defended its decision to fund the scheme.