Final art exhibition at 1 Royal Terrace
Glasgow’s most exciting artist-run space set to close
The artist-run gallery 1 Royal Terrace is hosting its last exhibition before closing its doors, and will soon revert to functioning as a plain, old (albeit beautiful) Georgian flat overlooking Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Park. Founder and curator Ruth Switalski is moving home and moving on, citing personal change and the need for a new challenge as reasons for the gallery’s closure.
'We feel really proud of 1 Royal Terrace’s contribution to Glasgow’s art scene over the last two years,' says Switalski. 'I hope people will remember it, will learn from it and will see what’s achievable with a moderate space. Hopefully it’ll pave the way for more artists to follow suit who’ll aim to do things right: to go after funding opportunities and pay artists’ fees.'
Over the course of three programmes Switalski and cofounder Petter Yxell made a point of hosting riskier solo shows that might not have been given a hearing elsewhere. Taking inspiration from similar artist-run organisations like The Duchy and Switch Space, their aim was to be as ambitious as possible. And with a slot in Glasgow International’s supported programme earlier this year, it evidently paid off.
'Looking back, the most surprising thing about it was how quickly 1 Royal Terrace came to be a name people acknowledged, how quickly it was accepted as a legitimate gallery space,' says Switalski. 'We kept asking ourselves why it was so easy: we thought "there must be something we haven’t done right!"'
For emerging artists and entrepreneurs thinking about emulating 1 Royal Terrace, Switalski says go for it – but that the scale of the undertaking shouldn’t be underestimated.
'Running an artist-run space is difficult. It’s difficult working with artists: communicating in a way that’s effective and professional. Giving up your own personal space is extremely hard, it’s completely intrusive and it invades your personal space completely. The whole thing can completely take over.'
'But for all that, it is easy. We were up and running in no time after the initial idea. You just have to get on and do it.'
1 Royal Terrace’s final exhibition Sub Plot is on until 12 June, open Sat & Sun 12pm–5pm.