By her own admission, Glasgow-based artist Jacqueline Donachie is fascinated by public space.

Her drawings and sculptural work seem to be, on the surface, devoid of people. Yet look closely and it becomes clear the artworks she creates around public spaces come to life when fingerprints, footprints or even bicycle prints are all over them.

Last year her most recent large commission took her to Australia, where she created Melbourne Slow Down, which saw the wheels of 100 bike riders create a city-wide artwork of coloured chalk lines using chalk-dispensers made of recycled bottles.

The project had its roots in a smaller-scale commission in the Aberdeenshire market town of Huntly. In 2009, in collaboration with the ever-innovative Deveron Arts, Donachie staged a three-day festival called Slow Down, an experiment in what our small towns would look like without cars which also examined the effect cycling and walking have on our daily lives.

It is typical of Donachie, who trained at Glasgow School of Art (GSA) in the early 1990s in the influential Environmental Art department, to take her art outside gallery spaces. Be it in housing estates, hospitals or public parks, she is not one to shy away from talking to people from all walks of life to find out what makes us all human.

Since several members of her family, including her late father as well as her brother and sister, were diagnosed with a form of inherited muscular dystrophy in 1999, she has had an abiding interest in genetics and life sciences. Her last major exhibition in Glasgow was held at the University of Glasgow's Hunterian Museum in 2006. Tomorrow Belongs To Me, in collaboration with geneticist Darren Monckton, was a very particular mix of the scientific and the intensely personal; a methodology which typifies all Donachie's work.

She is now taking the scientific study one stage further by being two years into a PhD with the University of Northumbria at its Centre For Life Institute, which has a close relationship with the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art in Newcastle.

Last week, Donachie was revealed as one of more than 100 artists who will take part in Generation, a series of exhibitions celebrating 25 years of contemporary art in Scotland. For Generation, Paisley Art Gallery and Museum will revisit Information, an exhibition staged in 1989 in the museum by a group of then-emerging artists from GSA, including Donachie and her husband, artist Roddy Buchanan.

Although there is a public element to Donachie's work, it suits an intimate space. Next Saturday, a new exhibition opens at small-space gallery Patricia Fleming Projects in Glasgow's Merchant City. This new body of work focuses on her precise drawings on paper and in print, and also introduces a new sculptural work.

Last week, in Donachie's studio in Glasgow Sculpture Studios, I had a preview of this new sculptural piece, made with steel and aluminium key clamp scaffolding parts - a recurring medium in her work. This skinny anthropomorphic piece of metal is topped off with a livid red nylon "head" and "hair" and a bright yellow helmet made of a similar nylon material unravelling at the bottom.

"There is an element of self-portraiture in this," Donachie told me, pointing to a drawing on the wall behind it of a street light. "I keep coming back to me and my sister. Her neck is now bent over with this genetic condition she has."

This new exhibition offers the opportunity to engage with Donachie's work on a small scale. "I am always trying to relate the public work to the personal," she says. If that's not a good reason to see this exhibition, I don't know what is.

Jacqueline Donachie, Patricia Fleming Projects, Studio 225, South Block, 60/64 Osborne Street, Glasgow G1 5QH (, November 23-December 21