Archives for posts with tag: stories

Our final group blog post is from Ceramicist Jen Smith who worked with The Women’s Creative Company.  If you missed the chance to view their work at South Block then read on for a teaser of where to see it next! 


As a ceramicist, I usually start a piece of work with a clear image in my mind of what it will be, right down the curve of a handle or the flashes of colour across the surface; this project was entirely different and liberatingly so.

Coming into an established group as welcoming, enthusiastic,  and outspoken as the Women’s Creative Company has been a total joy. It was clear very early on from our discussions and clay maquettes that there were several ideas that we wanted to communicate through our statue so talk turned to the best methods of using all of these sources without confusing our message.

I proposed a collaged surface which allows separate images to find new context through placement and association. We workshopped ideas by making test collages and reflected on how the meanings developed in ways we could use on our statue.

Through this organic method of working we found a shared voice and it became clear to have a woman in a wheelchair who represents every woman. Her feet are her roots with historical imagery of slavery and the suffrage movement, the plants and leaves growing there are wilting and stifled.

Her torso is collaged with photos of the many women who deserve statues in Glasgow surrounded with blooming flowers, their names embroidered alongside them – a nod to the textile industry in the Merchant City and to ‘women’s work’.

Her face lists the many professions and achievements of the women she represents alongside common derogatory words women often have to endure on their way to those respected positions. Her face is purposefully looking to somewhere in the distance, an acknowledgment that there is still somewhere more to go.

It is a celebration of what women have achieved and have yet to achieve; as colourful, glorious and diverse as the wonderful women who helped to make her.

Our statue will also be used as part of the Merchant City Festival performance by A Moment’s Peace Theatre working with Terra Inconita Arts so you can get a closer look there!


Terra Incognita_Missing Statues_Lady 2


Date & Times for Hidden Footprints at Merchant City Festival

  • SAT 29 JUL 201712.00PM – 1.00PM
  • SAT 29 JUL 20172.30PM – 3.30PM
  • SAT 29 JUL 20174.30PM – 5.30PM
  • SUN 30 JUL 201712.00PM – 1.00PM
  • SUN 30 JUL 20172.30PM – 3.30PM
  • SUN 30 JUL 20174.30PM – 5.30PM

Three more stories, inspired by our As I See It Walking Tours. Thanks to the members and staff of Shanti Bhavan and Fred Paton Day Centres.

Emmanuel under the tree 2

Bridgeton – Andrew

I’m a Bridgetonian. Born ten minutes from Bridgeton cross. I supported the Clyde football team which was twenty minutes’ walk over the river. I used to go play football in Glasgow Green. One part of it was an open gymnasium. I grew up near one of Glasgow’s gangs, the Glasgow Billy Boys. There were gangs all over Glasgow at the time. It was just a crowd of young guys, late 1930s through the Second World War right up into the 1960s. My uncle was one of the lead guys. King Billy they called him. I remember seeing them when I was young. You’ve heard of the collections – every pub and shop in the area of Bridgeton had to pay them money. I don’t know much about them… I don’t get out to parks much anymore but I am out all day. I go on a pub crawl! I don’t drink a lot, it’s just for company. It’s either that or sit in the house.

A farm in the Highlands – Margaret

I was born in Govan and lived in Glasgow for a bit but then we moved to the Highlands and I was brought up on a farm. I used to feed the wee lambs with a bottle of milk. We had sheep, we had cows, we had pigs, we had hens, we had everything on the farm. I used to go up and down in a horse and cart as a wee girl. I wanted to move back to Glasgow when I was an adult because I came from Glasgow. That was a long time ago now.  It felt like coming home.

On Glasgow – Ashghar Ali

When you look around Glasgow we have some amazing parks, so many parks. There’s so much to see in Glasgow, a lot of greenery. Some people complain about the weather, but I don’t think we should. I think it’s how you feel inside. If you feel good inside it doesn’t matter what the weather is like. The people of Glasgow are very friendly. If you’re looking for directions, if they don’t know they’ll stop somebody else on your behalf and they’ll try and help you. They’ll go out of their way to help you. It’s definitely a place to visit. If someone’s looking to go places, to see places, Glasgow is definitely the place to be.

Joe at the monkey puzzle with group

Inspired by our As I See It walking tours of the Botanic Gardens, here are a collection of stories from the Creative Writing group at Visibility.

Thank you to all those who contributed.

A park in Dubai. by Jen Worrall

It was quite warm.  Unlike other parks, it was very clean.  In Dubai, they have a high standard of cleanliness, everything is spotless, and, for example, the toilets are sparkling clean.  It was a children’s   park that we were going through; it was a bit of a short cut.  It was just nice to walk around.

This was about three years ago.  There was also a wee mini train that took you around part of the park.  The train was very small – it was mainly for kids, so we were squashed into our seats.  It’s too hot for flowers, but I could smell the smell of sunshine and food and chips.


Untitled by Amy Henighen

The Sunday before Gary and his family left for Australia, I remember Ava going on the swings and the flying fox, which is like a big roundabout.  It was a happy day but tinged with sadness because they were leaving the next week.

Forres Morayshire  by Jane Chisholm

As I sit here at the top of a green hill.  I look around me and see the turbine wind mills.

I watch them dance round and round, as they supply the power to the folks all around.

Untitled by Isobel Haddow

Glasgow is full of lovely parks.  They were made during the time of the ‘Industrial Revolution’ – so that the workers who worked under hard, terrible conditions after the hard work, they could relax in these lovely green places.

I don’t work know but still I love these parks.  My friend and I often go to the Botanic Gardens after tea and believe me, going there is a joy.  The things you see aren’t just the lovely trees and flowers, it’s the folk who go there – all shapes and sizes, kids, scooting around on their scooters and of course, being Glasgow, everyone speaks to each other.  The chat is something you don’t want to miss!

The Music by Isobel Haddow

The first wee part I heard sounded like big waves crashing on to the shore or buildings.  It sounded exciting.  It reminded me of all the lovely holidays I’ve had.

Now it’s louder, it sounds very dramatic.

It makes me want to get down to the beach and sea.  Wonderful feelings.

It reminds me of when I learned to swim – down at Rothesay and the pier there.

My Aunt Peggy taught me to swim there – right next to the pier but importantly, there’s  something I’ll never forget – my Mother couldn’t afford to buy me a bathing suit so my Aunty Peggy knitted me a costume.

You can imagine, I’m sure, what happened when I tried to get out of the water – yes the swim suit nearly fell off me in the water – and the beach .

Sometimes you meet someone for only a few minutes, but they leave an impression on you for a lifetime.

In 2007 I spent a few months working in the Limpopo province of South Africa. The region was referred to locally as Venda. Venda had been a Bantustan, or homeland, during apartheid. Black South Africans were made involuntary citizens of these Bantustans, and were stripped of their South African citizenship. This action was part of the government’s efforts to remove all black people from South Africa. These Bantustans were extremely unpopular amongst South Africa’s black population – they were areas of extreme poverty, offered few job prospects and people were often made citizens of Bantustans they had absolutely no connection with. If black South Africans did not move to a Bantustan, which had self-governing powers, then the government felt justified in their discrimination and violence towards them.

After more than five long and aggressive decades, apartheid was finally brought to an end. Bantustans were dismantled and Venda was reintegrated with the rest of South Africa. Venda is now part of a new province of South Africa called Limpopo, but the fact that locals still refer to the area as Venda is testament to the affect Bantustans had on the identity of South Africa, and the scars of apartheid go much deeper than the names of the country’s provinces.

South Africa taxi

A South African taxi

Whilst working in South Africa, I travelled on transport known as taxis – public minibuses. On one journey from the main town to my accommodation I was joined on the back seat of the taxi by a man who was in his sixties. He greeted me as he sat down, asked me where I had come from and what I was doing in South Africa. Then he took my hand in his and held it tight. He had grown up and lived most of his life under apartheid rule and, as a result, had seen and experienced some truly horrible things. He smiled at me whilst holding my hand and said, ‘It is so nice that we can sit here together, like this, you and me.’

He was black and I was white and we sat hand in hand for the rest of my journey home that day. We didn’t talk much more but silently basked in the joy of each other’s company.

I never saw that man again, but I feel truly honoured to have met him.


– VB