Elena Mary Harris
AiRborne Artist in Residence
Elena will be in residence in ART PARK at House for an Art Lover from June 2016 – September 2016. Information an updates on Elena’s project will be posted here.
Empire Pavilion 2016 is a project initiated by Elena Mary Harris, a recent graduate from BA Fine Art: Painting and Printmaking at the Glasgow School of Art. Over the 3-month period of the AiRborne residency, Elena intends to look at the heritage of the 1938 British Empire Exhibition held in Bellahouston Park and how this has affected the Glasgow South West area up to the contemporary. This exploration will be underpinned by series of engagement activities: both at the ARTPARK and it’s surrounding communities.
In the lead up to the residency, Elena has spent time building conversations with groups and organisations already situated in the area. From these conversations, she has found that many people believe the British Empire Exhibition in 1938 descended onto the Glasgow South West area with a lack consultation with the community and little lasting impact for the local people. The exhibition is painted by most documentation as a ‘beacon of hope in an otherwise dark and grimy city’, however when speaking to local people who attended it, there is a sense that it had little to do with their lives. The aim of this project is to consult with existing groups and organisations to build a pavilion for 2016; a pavilion that considers and documents the voice of Glasgow South West.
Cass Arts have kindly sponsored this residency by providing Elena with a goody bag of art materials.
Over the past few weeks, Elena has been working to build further links within the Glasgow South West Community. She has organised and started to facilitate both latex casting and screen-printing workshops with groups such as Plantation Production’s Bead’n’Blether Group and Govan Housing Association’s Wee Woman’s Group. This work continues to build on conversations around community partnership working and collecting ideas and opinions from wider audiences.
With an aim towards working towards producing a publication documenting the project, Elena has been in conversation with photographer Bejoy Sanjeev and graphic artist Jammy MacArthur. She hopes that through a collaborative process, a publication that truly reflects the project can be produced.
Alongside these interactions, the artist has been working in the ARTPARK space, experimenting with different uses of liquid latex casts. By casting sites from within the ARTPARK and in wider Glasgow South West, Elena has been exploring the idea of using the ‘prints’ of buildings as a form of textile. Playing with forms of soft furnishings and upholstery, the artist will continue to work with this medium and feed this back into the socially engaged side of the project.
The projects development will continue to be documented on the artist’s photo blog at http://empirepavilion2016.tumblr.com