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Progressive — Market Gallery, Glasgow, 2017

This was a performance for the ‘Bodybuilding’ exhibition, Market Gallery, Glasgow, December 2017. The artists were asked to respond to the area local to the gallery, Dennistoun in the east end of the city. This performance was made in response to Graham Square, the site of the former entrance to the agricultural market and labour exchange fairs, which gave way to political organising, now a facade leading to new appartments. The east end of Glasgow has undergone significant regeneration projects in the past decades, the script recited as a speech on this site used some of the language used to promote these regeneration projects, but adapted to the first person and referring to the artist’s heavily pregnant body.

“I was nine months pregnant, there was no getting away from that fact. The performance  had to incorporate this physical reality. As I looked at the the language used in local regeneration schemes their themes of new life at the sake of destruction of the old, seemed to echo the progress of my body at the time. The Baby Box, another state sanctioned scheme, which held items which seemed like a basic list to keep this new life alive, neatly doubled as a podium to (barely) keep my pregnant weight aloft, and allowed my self-turned political speech to be heard over the crowd.”

The work was later acquired by the University of Edinburgh Art Collection. It is currently on show at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in the sixth NOW exhibition

Performance at Market Gallery: Dressed by Soft Play  Photography by Matthew Arthur Williams

Installation view: NOW VI, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art One, October 2019, National Galleries of Scotland. Photography © National Galleries of Scotland.

The script was subsequently recorded which can be listened to here.

An air of neglect pervades me.

Change is a familiar theme for me.

I had an incredibly high intensity of activity.

The relationship between myself and my surroundings has changed over the past decade. No longer are there unbroken runs of activity. rhythmic

swathes of vacant space motion to face emphasise the lack of activity and quietness in the core area. Motion to body

Artist have moved me, however I still lack vibrancy, during the week, offering nothing to the street in terms of atmosphere and activity. Lower tone

This suggests hysterical that an overall plan and agreement needs to be reached on how I operate, when I operate
and how synergy can be developed between them to help me to be more active and intense.

But what are the critical actions that would create that positive trajectory for me? For me.

This performance is intended to provide a framework for the kind of collaborative action that will be necessary in bringing about beneficial change.