‘Art Making for Earthly Survival’ is a series of workshops and a resulting exhibition curated by Rachy McEwan and supported by GSA Sustainability and GSA Exhibitions.
The workshops aim to help participants question their own practice and ideas by offering future solutions and inspiration to create art in a more ethical, environmental and sustainable way. The workshops on offer range from book-making; to discussions of art practices in community settings; group drawing whilst travelling on the ‘Clockwork Orange’; to gaining inspiration from a guided walk in The Botanics, identifying trees and lichen.
The workshops are led by Vita Lerche, Emma Lawrance and Rachy McEwan & Raya Gray. There was an opportunity to see work made from the workshops in an exhibition in Reid Gallery, The Glasgow School of Art on 28 & 29 April.
‘Art Making for Earthly Survival’ is part of GSA’s yearlong programme ‘Close of Play: Climate Emergency and Creative Action’, which explores the ways in which creative actions and multi-disciplinary practice can address the climate emergency, sustainability and climate justice.
Commingling, Production and Reproduction led by Rachy McEwan and Raya Gray
Rachy McEwan and Raya Gray lead a joint two-day workshop that considers new modes of knowledge production, collaboration, and art-making. Over the course of the workshop, they guided a walk through the Botanical Gardens, going on to do physical work making in the Reid Gallery, the workshop mediating between research and activities developed in the space, and the built environment of Glasgow.
Book/Plant/Archive (actions for the climate and other emergencies) led by Vita Lerche
Led by external artist Vita Lerche, this workshop consisted primarily of bookmaking. Using digital editing, drawing, collage and book binding participants developed a 15 page booklet that visually explores themes surrounding climate action or other current emergencies.
Following the exhibition, each participant had the task of ‘planting’ their book in a local public space. These books and their messages will be left in the public's hands to circulate, affecting those who happen across them.
A digital archive will be kept of each book developed in this workshop series and where it has been planted.
Art Practices in Community Settings led by Emma Lawrance
This workshop looks at how artist practices can be applied to working with and strengthening community groups. Artists participating in this workshop were interested in working with community groups and those who felt they had an art practice they loved but felt like they were just not getting out enough and tired of the studio yet curious about arts and culture outside the gallery, passionate about social justice and interested in disrupting the everyday.