Glasgow readies itself for a riot of colourful artworks

Alex Frost's Maverick
Alex Frost's Maverick
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ART is to be conjured up from a free lunch, the summer riots in England and a collection of 2,529 discarded sports trophies, according to the programme unveiled today for the Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art 2012.

The 18-day arts festival, which will run between 20 April until 7 May, will showcase the work of more than 130 artists across nearly 50 of the city’s best permanent and temporary exhibition venues.

Among the highlights of the festival, the city’s fifth, are a new solo exhibition by Adrian Wiszniewski, the first ever exhibition of works on paper by Richard Wright, who won the Turner Prize in 2009, and a new exhibition by Mexican artist Teresa Margolles inspired by the riots in London.

Margolles arrived in Glasgow for a three-month residency at the Glasgow Sculpture Studios just as the riots in England began last August. She immediately travelled to London and will be modelling her exhibition from material she found on the streets.

The festival will also be hosting a range of ground-breaking exhibitions that cross over a range of disciplines.

One installation, entitled No Meal is Complete Without Conversation, involves members of the public attending a free lunch at a private house in Glasgow, where tables, chairs and plates will have all been created by artists.

The diners’ conversation will then be filmed, sketched or recorded and so become another, separate piece of art.

There will also be a major installation at the Tramway Theatre which will see the National Theatre of Scotland collaborate with Scottish artist Graham Fagen, the theatrical director Graham Eatough and the photography director Michael McDonough, on an artistic cross between promenade theatre and a film set.

Katrina Brown, the director of the festival, said next year’s event would shine a light on Glasgow’s visual art scene at its liveliest and best, and include “a remarkable array of outstanding emergent talent, as well as some of the most significant artists of our time, in a great line-up of local and international figures”.

Acclaimed Polish artist Aleksandra Mir will be bringing Triumph, an art installation made from 2,529 discarded sporting trophies donated by people in Sicily, where he works.

More than 90 per cent of the work on display will be new or previously unseen in Britain, with the festival also featuring newly commissioned works that draw on disciplines including dance, film, music, performance and theatre.

In recent years Glasgow has produced more Turner Prize-winners and nominees that any other city outside London, and has developed an international reputation for its art.

Yesterday, Gordon Matheson, leader of city council and chairman of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said: “Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art is one of the most anticipated on the city’s biennial cultural calendar and reflects Glasgow’s global reputation as a centre of excellence for cutting-edge contemporary art.”