STEP is an exciting new work by internationally renowned artist Jacqueline Donachie, created for Glasgow International 2020. In this work, Donachie’s explores Glasgow’s architectural heritage, much of which was designed and built in the Victorian era, and examines how these built materials provide and/or restrict access to arts and culture in the city. During its creation Donachie undertook an audit of the access points for many of Glasgow’s much loved arts venues as well as temporary venues used for the GI festival; this research will form the basis of an exhibition of new work at Govan Project Space, and a public work temporarily sited in the historic but now abandoned Graving Docks on the River Clyde nearby. This cast concrete sculpture will create a vibrant place to commune and begin new discussions that examine and determine how everyone can, and should be able to access the city’s cultural heritage. In addition to the artworks, the project team will host a symposium, Step To, in collaboration with Glasgow City Heritage Trust to discuss the issues of accessible urban space in our changing cities.
To support the creation of the public sculpture SPG facilitated an Acquisition Partnership between the artist and SWG3, an arts and events venue based in Glasgow. This is a new model for the organisation, one which seeks to address an issue that many artists find themselves in when trying to realise new, ambitious works. Namely, how do I find the money to make a large sculpture for a festival and what do I do with the work afterwards if I can’t afford to store it? The Acquisition Partnership formed for STEP enabled SWG3 to co-fund production of the STEP public work in exchange for taking ownership of it afterwards. Employing this model will enable Donachie to create an ambitious new work which would not otherwise have been possible and also allows the sculpture to continue to have a life beyond the festival without any financial burden to the artist.
Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic Gi 2020 has been postponed until 2021 and the STEP commission will now be completed for the revised event next year. Please keep an eye on our website or that of Gi for any updates.