Academics at UWS are playing a key role in an artist residency project in Gdansk, Poland, which runs from 26 August to 2 September 2017.
This artist residency project, which takes place on the anniversary of the Solidarity movement, coinciding with days of signing the iconic Gdansk agreement in the 1980, is part of the UWS and Fablevision collaborative initiative Riverside Solidarity.
This initiative, which is funded by Creative Scotland, and delivered in partnership with, the Baltic Sea Cultural Centre, Metropolitanka, the European Solidarity Centre and the European River Cities network, seeks to answer the question ‘what should be the future for our now redundant industrial heritage?’.
Like Gdansk, Govan's proud shipbuilding history is now in the past. Govan has even lost its iconic cranes that defined the skyline. As part of this UWS-led initiative local members of the public from Govan, supported by internationally acclaimed artists Andrew McAvoy, t s Beall, John Mullen, Ben Parry and Lee Ivett, are exploring what should happen next with, for example, Govan's iconic Victorian Dry Docks.
The Scottish delegation to Gdansk includes UWS academics Professor Katarzyna Kosmala, Graham Jeffery and doctoral student, Liz Gardiner, who are leading the delivery of a number of artist events in Gdansk from 26 August to 2 September.
These include artist John Mullen setting up a display of his memorial sign design for the shipyard at the European Solidarity Centre's event ‘Solidarity of the Everyday’ on the 26 August.
Between 28 and 31 August, artist Ben Parry and architect Lee Ivett will recreate the form of a recent sculptural intervention delivered in the historic Graving Docks in Govan. The installation will be on a derelict site within the Gdansk Shipyard. On Sunday 27 August, Ben Parry will also lead the International Peripatetic Sculptors Society’s workshop at the shipyard’s premises with Gdansk residents and visitors.
On the 31 August artist and architect, Andrew McAvoy will showcase his Detonation Shed’s film project, in collaboration with Kris Kesiak, to a local audience at the St John’s Centre in Gdansk.
On the 2 September, artist t s Beall will lead a walk with members of Metropolitanka around the Gdansk shipyard area, highlighting and celebrating the use of poetry and song during the Solidarity movement. This event will also share songs and poetry from industrial actions in Glasgow.
The visit includes a two-day seminar, hosted by Gdansk’s own Baltic Sea Cultural Centre from 31 August to 1 September. On 31 August, artists will present their projects followed by a guided visit around the shipyard to the sites of their interventions. Local Gdansk’s artists will join with the Scottish artists to share ideas and learn from each other.
Professor Katarzyna Kosmala of University of the West of Scotland’s School of Media, Culture & Society said: “We are delighted Scottish artists’ projects, presentations and their live interventions in Gdansk will coincide with such important annual celebrations of the anniversary of signing the Gdansk agreement of the 31 August 1980, linking with heritage of Solidarity, in parallel with local cultural public events.”
For more information on the Riverside Solidarity Project visit https://waterfrontheritagenetwork.wordpress.com/