This project introduced the local arts community to the urban wasteland adjacent to Glasgow Sculpture Studios and increased public access by providing visitors with a chance to explore the land’s particularities, ecology, users, and future potential. The process – part colonisation, part investigation, part landscape design – cleared pathways through the Japanese Knotweed and created meeting places, temporary signage, structures and interpretation tools. Items found fly-tipped on the wasteland and leftover from Glasgow Sculpture Studios became the materials of choice: traffic bollards, ‘for sale’ signs, road barriers, pallets and packing crates. At the periphery of the site, two large shipping containers were stacked. Pallet steps were constructed so the upper container could be used as a viewing platform from which to overlook the wasteland.
Following the opening, artists Jen Sykes and Ane Østrem were invited to occupy the Duplex for a week-long residency. Running parallel to this one-week residency was a public program which included foraging experiments with Japanese Knotweed, a film screening and social gatherings.
Yorkhill wasteland site:
An area of urban wasteland lying adjacent to the recently re-located Glasgow Sculpture Studios. The area is owned by Glasgow City Council, it is unclear how long it has been left vacant. The land is blocked by a mound of imported rubble (perhaps brought in by the council to deter illegal fly-tipping and access to the area). The adjacent car park is used by a ‘park and ride’ service for the nearby Kelvin Grove Art Gallery and as parking space for Glasgow Sculpture Studios by day. A key feature of this wasteland is the abundance of Japanese Knotweed; one of the most invasive non-native plants in the UK. Knotweed is a plant regarded as a troublesome pest in many parts of the UK because of its rapid invasion and domination of habitats, which results in the exclusion of other plants. It can damage property by growing through tarmac and concrete and is costly to remove. It is unclear how long the Knotweed has been present at this site. It is slowly becoming a monoculture, starving the surrounding Beech trees and Gorse. The presence of the Knotweed will undoubtedly influence any decisions made regarding the future use of this land by town planners and artists alike.
Duplex was hosted and organised in collaboration with Lowsalt, supported by Glasgow Sculpture Studios and funded by the Scottish Arts Council.
DUPLEX credits and thanks:
Installation & Production Team: Roland Engebretsen, Neil Davidson, Grace Gallagher, Naomi Brown, Victor Chiriac, Zuzia Kalinowska, Judd Brucke
Sound technician: James Veitch
Opening night crew:
GSS team- Alex Gross, Ginny and Enge, Beth Forde and Andy Miller
Lowsalters- Alicia Matthews, Mark Briggs, Grace Gallagher, Natasha Kurth, Louise Lockhart, Paul Slade, Somya Singh, William Goldsmith
Event documentation (film): Justine Muntford
Photo documentation: Neil Davidson, Spudd, Krisdy Shindler
Commissioned Lowsalty HighVis Safety Jackets-Siobahn Lawson
Overlook – Kinetic Sign for the passers-by. Plastic construction membrane sourced from land, fused recycled plastic shopping bags, cardboard boxes, steel, pine, paint, jubilee clips. Photograph taken from the train travelling between Partick and Charring Cross. Photography: Will Foster
Glasgow Twin Cities distance sign, Vinyl text, FOR SALE sign & Plastic high-vis road barriers sourced from fly-tip on land. Photography: Lowsalt
Overlook access steps – Wooden construction pallets sourced from GSS car park
Overlooked lands twinning agreement. Internally illuminated traffic bollard sourced from fly-tip on land, construction pallet and binoculars.