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PULSE: a project with and for Barras Calton

Marc Cairns , Director at Pidgin Perfect

PULSE was a joint initiative between Glasgow City Council Department of Regeneration Service, Action Barras Calton (ABC) and VELOCITY.

PULSE was a series of permanent artworks by Glasgow based artists Jacqueline Donachie and Iain Kettles, and temporary community led artworks situated along London Road connecting Glasgow Green and the Barras Calton in the East End of the city. Both worked to enhance the visual and pedestrian experience and create new focal points along London Road that referenced the industrial legacy of the area whilst celebrating the legacy of the Games.Outwith the installation of the artworks, an essential element of the project was a commitment to working closely with community representatives and groups to support proposals that respond to local context. The winning of the Herald Society Award is very much owing to the involvement of the community of the East End of Glasgow.

It was identified early on in the process that most realistic way to involve the local community was by engaging with established groups within the East End to help frame the proposals. This also served to disseminate information locally on behalf of the creative team as well as supporting activities that these groups were already delivering and as such became a two-fold collaboration.

Additionally, we worked with local groups and across several generations, involving people in a wide variety of creative activities that would feed into the overall outcomes of the project. We were conscious to present information back to the local community using engaging and creative tools which directly connected back to the street and to the wider public realm. This included a reminiscing workshop with Calton Sheltered Housing, as well as a number of urban interventions around the Barras Market with PEEK Project. Picture Window also produced a series of projections which communicated the community work that was undertaken; giving an idea of what was to come as part of the PULSE as well as a glimpse into the rich industrial and social heritage of the Barras Calton through historic images and film.

We also worked with The Pipe Factory, utilising their local knowledge to engage with people in different and creative ways. These workshops were designed to ask participants to explore the Barras Calton in new ways as well as connecting them to the working process of artists.

Further interventions during the Games included a series of inflatable sculptures by Iain Kettles, installed in locations across the Barras Market; during daylight these created an imagination and vibrant journey the historic Barras Market, capturing imagination and highlighting important community assets. Out of these grew an evening of artists films along London Road by Picture Window, displaying video artworks from local, national and international artists from a programme that was curated in collaboration with Patricia Fleming Projects.

The concluding element of the community engagement for the project resulted in a Community Exhibition at the Winter Gardens in the People’s Palace until October 7th; a celebration of 18 months of extensive and wide reaching community participation with PULSE.

Acknowledgements: PULSE was funded by DRS through the Calton Barras Action Plan and curated and deliver by a collaborative team based in Glasgow: Pidgin Perfect, Patricia Fleming Projects and Picture Window. PULSE Temporary Artworks; Artist Films was delivered in collaboration with Calton Community Council and supported by Celebrate Big Lottery Fund UK celebrating the 2014 Commonwealth Games through arts, sports and community celebrations

Collaborators:Calton Heritage & Learning Centre, Calton Area Association, PEEK Projects, Fabric Bazaar, Woodcraft, St Lukes Church, Thenue Housing Association, The Pipe Factory, Hugh Kelly, Mark Moore Gallery, Shaun Gladwell, Cheryl Pope, Torsten Lauschmann, Roderick Buchanan, David Sherry, Jane Topping, Criodhna Costello, Patrick Jameson, Hans Peter Auken Beck, Luca George, Sacha Airlie, A Visual AgencyTokyo Bikes