Posted on Jan 5, 2016

    Everyone's Taking The Piss Out Of An Artist Who Got £15,000 To Live In Glasgow For A Year

    "Doesn't a high percentage of Glasgow do this every year already?"

    Ellie Harrison is a 36-year-old artist who was born in London but has been living in Glasgow, Scotland, for the last few years.

    Creative Scotland, a national development agency for the arts, recently gave Harrison £15,000 for a project called "The Glasgow Effect".

    The premise of the project is that Harrison is not allowed to leave the city of limits of Glasgow for an entire year. The project is supposed to test what is possible if she invests all of her time and energy into one particular city.

    By setting this one simple restriction to her current lifestyle, she intends to test the limits of a 'sustainable practice' and to challenge the demand-to-travel placed upon the 'successful' artist / academic. The experiment will enable her to cut her carbon footprint and increase her sense of belonging, by encouraging her to seek out and create 'local opportunities' - testing what becomes possible when she invests all her ideas, time and energy within the city where she lives.

    The comments on the Facebook event are mixed, to say the least. Some are optimistic about what the project could do for the city's local creative community.

    Others are not totally sure what to make of a project that appears to be nothing more than an artist getting money to live in a city.

    There are also many who are angry that one artist is paid to stay in Glasgow, when hundreds of other artists do not.

    Some are even calling Harrison's project a poverty safari.

    But for the most part, Facebook users are just trolling the hell out of out the Facebook page.

    There are fake polls.

    Fake suggestions for how Harrison can spend her funding.

    And, uh, other comments.

    There's also now a website called http://15kbetterspentinglasgow.com/ that has a button that generates "better" things Creative Scotland could have done with its £15,000.

    There's also an Indiegogo page for an art project called "The West End Effect".

    "The West End Effect" is raising money for two artists to investigate what living in a posh area would do to a person.

    The West End Effect is a decade long 'action research' project / durational performance, in which artists Darren 'Loki' McGarvey and Becci Wallace will investigate what living in a 'posh' area does to a person. Among other things they will live in Glasgow's West End for at least a year at some point in the next decade to gain a true understanding of how this hostile environment affects people.

    Aaaaannnnddddd, there's the "Alternative Glasgow Effect" now as well.

    "The Alternative Glasgow Effect" looks at what happens when you don't spend a year being a delusional wanker.

    The Alternative Glasgow Effect is a year-long durational performance in which Scottish normal person Gordon Scott attempts to spend one year without being a posh, egocentric and delusional wanker.

    This event has the monetary backing of 15 hours a week work at minimal wage.

    Gordon's charity of choice is Alzheimer Scotland.
    www.alzscot.org

    BuzzFeed News has reached out to Creative Scotland to see if the negative backlash will affect Harrison's project. But as of Monday, the group was standing by the project.

    “Ellie’s project met the criteria for Open Project Funding to develop her practice and we await with interest, the outcome of her project," a spokesperson told The Daily Record

    UPDATE

    Creative Scotland have issued a longer statement about the controversy. They said that their funding requires an evaluation following the completion of the project.

    Ryan Broderick is a senior reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York City.

    Contact Ryan Broderick at ryan@buzzfeed.com.

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