Wasps and the Briggait are delighted to present 'Protest & Survive: A Love Letter To Argyll and Bute', a solo exhibition from Claire Curtin and the first of our Test Space exhibitions in the Briggait Sunken Space.
Exhibition Opening and performance: Friday 4th October, 6-8pm
Exhibition continues: 7th - 31st October, Mon-Fri, 9-5
A small nuclear exchange would kill millions of people indiscriminately and have a permanent and devastating impact on the world’s climate causing a drop in temperatures making some places uninhabitable.
This exhibition tells the stories of my experiences exploring the area’s of Faslane and Coulport. I spent so much time there I claimed this military landscape as a studio of my own; making art, walking and swimming in the context of nuclear disarmament and freedom to roam.
Intimidating interactions with the police and the navy have fuelled a great deal of my work, most significantly at Coulport where I was held by the police while they deleted my photos, carried out a background check and threatened me with a visit from the MOD. In response to these exchanges I started to carry out temporary interventions; quiet, personal and playful protests, irritating and evading the police, honing my ideas to ‘bend the rules’.
I entered this landscape with trepidation, expecting a dark space built on a military culture alien to my experience and beliefs. What I found was a stunning natural landscape, and an intriguing community of peace campers, naval officers, bored police and conflicted civilians. Most surprisingly I developed a fascination in the on-going military occurrences, an obsession with nuclear submarines and an unconditional love for the Satellite Callibration Target which features in my work.
I gave my time to this place and it gave me so much more back. Helensburgh, Faslane, Garelochhead, Mambeg, Killcreggan, Dunoon and Coulport were my studio and these places and their people fed my work.
Claire Curtin is a Glasgow based interdisciplinary artist working in photography, printmaking, video and time-based media.
She completed her undergraduate degree in Fine Art Printmaking at The Manchester Art School in 2009 and Master of Letters in Fine Art Practice at Glasgow School of Art in 2019. Since graduating she has worked in education and widening participation teaching Printmaking and Art and Design in art schools across the UK.
Claire’s practice centres around freedom; using the act of walking as a starting point to explore notions of personal freedom and land ownership through photography, printmaking and video. She spends periods of time alone in a place and later translates these experiences through her studio practice.
Recently she has been exploring the area around Faslane where Britain’s nuclear submarines and warheads are based, walking and swimming in the context of nuclear disarmament and freedom to roam.
All of her work considers scale and uses her moving body as a reference point to investigate the impact of military culture in our landscapes.
Unseeable Trace, Outlier Gallery, Glasgow (2019), Rites of Passage, Project Space, Glasgow (2019), Bankley Open, Bankley Gallery, Manchester (2016), Warrington Contemporary Arts Festival, Warrington Art Gallery, Warrington (2016), Spectrum, PS Mirabel, Manchester (2016), På Papper, Folkets Hus, Umeå Sweden (2016), Greetings From A Distant Land, Brooklyn Art Library, New York, US (2015), Short Printmakers 20:20 Exchange Exhibition, Leeds College of Art, Leeds (2015), Warrington Contemporary Arts Festival, Best of North Art Gallery, Warrington (2014)
Dumries House, residency with the Royal Drawing School (2019), Frans Masereel Centrum, Belgium (2018), Crypt Gallery, St Pancras Church, London (2016), La Wayaka Current Panama, Guna Yala Comarca, Armila (2016), Artist in Residence at Ricklungården, South Lapland, Sweden (2015), Utopia School, Dome of Visions, Copenhagen (2015), Play Your Part, People’s History Museum, Manchester (2014)
Graduate Test Space
'Protest & Survive: A Love Letter To Argylle and Bute' is the first of our Test Space exhibitions. Test Space is a space release programme by Wasps that facilitates the usage of the sunken exhibition space centered around the Briggait's medieval Steeple. Test Space encourages experimentation; emerging Graduate Artists and Curators have the opportunity to exhibit new works, develop and experiment with ideas within the space and given time frame.
Accessibility: Please note that the Sunken Space is unfortunately not fully accessible.