Glasgow Aye: grassroots festival has a lot to say (even if its tongue is firmly in its cheek)
Visual art festival conceived by GSA students as an alternative to Glasgow International
'You could say it's a good way of ripping the pish out of an big established event', artist Jack McCombe says of the Glasgow Aye festival, which he co-founded alongside David Stinton. The 'established event' he is referring to is Glasgow International: a world-renowned biennial festival of contemporary art taking place in the city this month. In case you didn't get it, the 'pish-ripping' is the tongue-in-cheek name of their event: G Aye? (just like the GI, geddit now?)
'It felt almost like a duty to respond to GI in a truly typical Glaswegian way by creating a platform for up and coming artists not involved in the official program to extract a grassroots alternative', he continues, and that's exactly what this festival is about: providing local artists with an opportunity to take advantage of the increased arts audience present in the city over the month of April.
Both McCombe and his festival partner Stinton are final year students in Glasgow School of Art's fine art photography department. Together, they have created this event, which features work from 22 artists across six venues, which utilises alternative spaces in an 'open house' format.
The festival takes place from Fri 22–Sun 24 Apr, so it doesn't quite cover the entire duration of the GI (which takes place Fri 8–Mon 25 Apr), but it does run during its final weekend.
All G Aye festival participants are students and recent graduates of GSA, and the featured work comprises photography, painting, sculpture, installation, sound and video.
Speaking on the festival, Stinton said: 'We were looking for a way to take advantage of the fact that Glasgow International draws so many people to the city, it seemed like an opportunity we couldn't pass up.
'It's a very down to earth affair, collaborating with so many talented young artists in bringing this together has been a lot fun.'
G Aye?, Various Venues, Glasgow, Fri 22–Sun 24 Apr