A series of events this weekend at Market Gallery, an artist-run space in the Dennistoun district of Glasgow, mark the culmination of a two-month residency project led by artist/filmmaker Gayle Meikle. Friday evening sees the closing event for ‘Warm Minds’, a group exhibition by artists involved in Meikle’s project, whilst on Sunday afternoon the gallery will host the speed dating-style Skill/Swap event and the launch of The Market Directory.
For her residency ‘Skill/Trade’, Meikle invited academics, local residents, businesses and artists to engage and participate in a programme of talks, workshops and screenings centred on the themes skill and trade. The gallery became a research space as Meikle worked towards publication of The Market Directory (Vol 1), with visitors free to add, change and omit information already collected by the artist. The directory aims to demystify the artist’s role by setting out existing and tradeable skills available to the user, with a view to widening the contribution, and reception, of artists in their own community.
For Sunday’s Skill/Swap event, participants will sit down, discuss their skills and swap them for services provided by others. Meikle says: “It is dressed up as fun but it has the serious undertone of getting people to recognise they have skills whilst creating a framework for creative exchange. As a resident in Dennistoun and an active participant of the Glasgow art scene, I recognise the need for galleries to become more open ended and for spaces to be better utilised between and during shows.”
Market Gallery works with local creative practitioners as well as those from outwith the city, including internationally, and looks to be inclusive of non-art audiences in its programming. Meikle’s project in particular tackles what the non-art world often refers to as ‘exclusivity’.
By working and trading with artists’ ideas, Market is functioning as a gallery whilst developing the community’s ownership of a publicly funded space. As the gallery’s programme activates socio-economic interaction, between exhibitions the space will now be a public resource. More volumes of The Market Directory, developed by other artists with expansive ideas, are planned.
Closing event: Studio Project 33, 21 September, 7pm; Skill/Swap, 23 September, from 2pm, both at Market Gallery, Glasgow. www.marketgallery.org.uk