Glasgow International: When is Scotland's biggest contemporary visual arts festival taking place and what can I see?

After being cancelled by Covid last year, Glasgow will this week host the first major arts festival in Scotland since the pandemic hit.

Glasgow International will bring a whole host of artists to the streets and venues of Glasgow, creating a treasure trail of contemporary visual art.

Here’s everything you need to know.

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What is Glasgow International?

Glasgow International is a free biennial visual arts festival that first took place in the city in 2005.

By its eighth edition in 2018 the festival took place across over 70 venues in the city, with hundreds of exhibitions, works and installations on display.

The 2020 events was postponed until this year, when there will be 70 exhibitions, events, performances and talks over 30 venues across the city and online, showcasing work by over 100 artists.

GIasgow International will be curating Scotland s pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2022, where the country will be represented by Alberta Whittle.

Glasgow International will take place in venues across the city from Friday, June 11.

When is Glasgow International?

Glasgow International will take place in the city from Friday, June 11, until Sunday, June 29.

Individual venues will have different opening days and times, all listed in the programme.

What can I see?

Highlights include work from Ana Mazzei, France-Lise McGurn, Franki Raffles, Margaret Salmon, Georgina Starr, Ilana Halperin, Ingrid Pollard, Jimmy Robert, Laura Aldridge, Leanne Ross, Judith Scott and Nirbhai Singh Sidhu.

The programme notes reveal: “The festival’s theme is Attention, which amongst other things, invites us to think about how we pay attention to things and people around us, and the place of art in this. For a further curatorial introduction to the Attention theme, and how this has shifted over the past year”.

What if I can’t make it to Glasgow?

There is a digital programme accessible to all, featuring around 30 artists from across the city representing their in-person exhibitions online, as well as work made specifically for online.

It also includes a commissioned film from Anne-Marie Copestake featuring artists from across the programme.

What safety measures are in place?

The festival will be operating in a Covid safe way, with free ticketing to some events, managed capacity in others, clear signage and one-way systems to ensure social distancing, hand sanitiser at entrances, regular and thorough cleaning of handles, rails, and toilets, and all staff and visitors will be required to wear face masks.

Organisers add: “Capacities will be clearly indicated at the door. They have been determined in line with regulations and to ensure you can enjoy a relaxed, uncrowded visit. If you find the venue is at capacity, we ask you to queue patiently in a socially distanced manner until we are able to let you enter.

“We hope that maintaining this more flexible approach to access to much of the Across the City Programme will allow those who have enjoyed a more spontaneous and flowing approach to GI in the past some of that experience, while remaining safe.”

For more information, and to book tickets, visit the festival website.

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