Thursday, 28 July 2011

Guest Blogger - Alec Galloway

We've invited a number of people who are supporting or involved with the campaign to write pieces for the blog about their own ideas, experiences and suggestions. First up is Greenock born artist Alec Galloway who has a long standing connection with the Sugar Sheds. Alec provided stained glass artworks for the sheds a number of years ago, and most recently worked with local schoolchildren to create banners celebrating the areas sugar trade, which were hung during the Tall Ships as part of an arts project for Sail Inverclyde. Here, Alec outlines one suggestion for future activity in the sheds...

Artist In Residence
As an artist, I would like to be given the opportunity of working with the Sugar Sheds before it finally succumbs to the developer’s makeover. It is wonderful that the building will continue to be a part of Inverclyde’s geography and that future generations will come to know it, but as it stands now it still resonates with something of the atmosphere of the distant sugar industry even though the building is now disused. The aroma of molasses still seeps from the walls and floors and I would like to try to draw out some of those energies in a series of focused initiatives. A body of work would be produced and stand as a lasting record of the building before the architects move in and the scaffolds are erected. Once this stage is reached the building will be beyond the reach of artists and be transformed forever…

As part of this scheme we would

  • Highlight the historical significance of the building through a series of creative initiatives across all artistic media that will stand as a legacy to the history of the building.
  • Raise profile of public art as part of the regeneration scheme, focusing on creating new work as well as displaying and using past commissioned work already in place.
  • Announce the importance of the structure as the centrepiece of new James Watt Dock development.
  • Create a new portfolio of original work as a historical document to be preserved in Inverclyde.
  • Create an outward focus that would publicise and celebrate the sugar sheds as a world-renowned structure, a genuine “unique selling point”
  • Implement a new blog and webcam where people from around the world could tap into updates on the progress of the art and artists, as well as gaining an insight into the regeneration project itself
As with all artists in residence programmes the idea would be to stimulate interest and focus on an iconic building through a series of art initiatives driven by a central artist. The programme is very personal to me as my family were all sugar people and indeed I have direct family connections to the space.

I also feel sure that I could involve a number of high profile artists/writers /songwriters to help celebrate the sheds in other ways.

Central to all of this would be connections with local schools and community groups to invite the areas younger aspiring creative forces to become involved, to see that there is a future in being creative locally.

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