Garcia Washington, a new artist-run space, opened earlier this month in the southside of Glasgow. We speak to the artists and ask them what they’ll be getting up to.
Alexander Kennedy Who are Garcia Washington?
Garcia Washington We are an artist committee-run exhibition space currently based in temporarily empty residential premises on Prince Edward Street, Queen’s Park, Glasgow. The committee at present is Kendall Koppe, Ruth Barker and Douglas Morland, and we feel that despite the buoyancy of the arts scene in Glasgow at the moment, the dust is beginning to settle and the roll call of venues available to artists in the city is becoming all too familiar. Our aim is to provide an alternative and flexible space in which to show the work of both local and international artists, with an emphasis on those who are maybe gaining a track record outside of the city but aren’t showing regularly in the more familiar local spaces.
AK Do you have a specific aesthetic that they’ll be exploring? Does Glasgow need another space like this?
GW It’s our intention to deliberately avoid any one particular aesthetic when it comes to the artists’ work on show. We strongly feel the need to expand the range, type and location of arts spaces within Glasgow. The fact that we are based on the southside is in itself a small shift from the regular north-of-the-river axis of venues and is indicative of a desire to broaden the gallery-going experience in the city.
AK Who will you be showing?
GW Starting with Sigga Bjorg Sigurdardottir seemed right for us in the sense that she is an Icelandic artist, living in Glasgow but probably more widely shown in the rest of Europe and beyond than in the UK.
AK Is this the beginning of a larger project? How do you see this developing?
GW We are looking to house two or three shows in the present space in the coming months and are currently organising premises for several more shows in mid 2007. We wish to remain as flexible as possible in terms of location and approach to programming so. Hopefully, having begun this project without funding, armed only with a space to show the work, a good roster of contacts and a desire to encourage and strengthen discourse surrounding the visual arts in the city and beyond, others may be similarly inspired to begin a project like this. We’re surprised more people don’t. Who knows what the future holds? At the moment our agenda is centered on exploring a creative space that would have to be more flexible than a commercial gallery would allow.