Glasgow east end-based and artist-led charity Strange Field has announced its first programme of major exhibitions and events.

Beginning in May at its French Street venue in Dalmarnock, the programme, which operates alongside its regular community events and open source programme, includes a series of large scale solo exhibitions from early-career and under-represented artists, queer-led performance events, and a marquee Heritage & Community Exhibition showcasing the photography of Chris Leslie.

The 2024/25 exhibition and events programme is designed to test the limits of the French Street exhibition space and provide artists a rare opportunity to operate at a large scale with a budget not often available to artist-led organisations.

Beginning the major exhibition series at the former 19th century Barrowfield weaving factory, French Street is Flywheel, a film and visual arts installation by Harriet Rickard showing between Friday 31 May and Sunday 23 June – coinciding with the city’s festival of contemporary visual arts, Glasgow International.

The next exhibition in the space will be Chris Leslie’s Heritage & Community Exhibition, Beyond The Games, the culmination of a six-month residency with Strange Field. Marking ten years since the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Leslie revisits his Disappearing Glasgow collection which documented the displacement of residents from Dalmarnock in order to demolish and rebuild the area ahead of the Games.

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The work was spread far and wide, being featured in a BBC documentary, book, and the Glasgow Life collection, placing Dalmarnock and its community at the centre of a national conversation. Beyond the Games is open to the public from Friday, July 5, until Sunday, August 28, it is supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund and William Grant Foundation.

The autumn sees the final two exhibitions of Strange Field’s 2024 programme take place. Performance artist Philip Ewe holds court from mid-September, bringing their iconoclastic commentaries on social behaviours and public spaces to French Street. His work is large-scale and site specific, with unpredictable and absurdist interventions interrogating audience relationships and the politics of space – marking this performance exhibition as one of the most ambitious builds in the space to date.

Finally, local Glasgow-based visual artist Morwenna Kearsley exhibits Devilled Eggs through November. For her first major-scale solo exhibition, Kearsley transforms the old Dalmarnock weaving factory into an immersive space with a new series of large-scale photographs and a moving-image work.

Several one-night-only performance events are peppered throughout the year between these major exhibitions, hosting several artists with strong ties to Glasgow and its East End communities.

Just before Harriet Rickard’s opening exhibition, Strange Field hosts four artists on Saturday May 18. An alum of Glasgow School of Art, artist William Joys has co-curated an evening of performance with Strange Field Programme Director Jenny Tipton.

The Herald: Lewis Prosser, Penrolio, 2024Lewis Prosser, Penrolio, 2024 (Image: David Sinden)

In late August, Glasgow firebrand artist Trackie McLeod brings a performative dinner party to Dalmarnock in collaboration with Durty Beanz and Len Goetzee. McLeod is a long-time collaborator with Strange Field, having hosted their first solo exhibition at The Pipe Factory, and created the first piece of purchased art that now hangs in the French Street venue. For this dinner party, McLeod will curate an evening inspired by tea at your gran’s, with creative courses made by Durty Beanz and accompanying performance by up and coming artist Len Goetzee.

More performance events with a mix of early-career and high-profile artists such as Christian Noelle Charles and Chao-Ying Rao are to be announced in due course.

Jenny Tipton, Programme Director for Strange Field, said: “We’re very excited to launch our first-ever major exhibition programme. Strange Field is very proud to provide artistic opportunities within our communities in Calton and Dalmarnock, and we’re very thankful to our funders for making our largest-scale series of artist-led performances and visual arts exhibitions possible in our evolving French Street venue.

"We have been looking to work with Harriet, Philip, and Morwenna for some time now, so it is extremely exciting to bring all three of them to our space for their major exhibitions and to explore their ties to the space and our communities.

"Having worked with Chris Leslie in his residency with us over the past months, we also can’t wait to see the result of a decade’s worth of work with Dalmarnock residents past and present following 2014’s Commonwealth Games.

"It will be a real event by and for the community, which is at the core of what we do, and we couldn’t be happier to have Chris on this journey with us.

“This will be an exciting 18 months, as we expand and evolve our approach to sustainably developing artist led spaces at French Street and The Pipe Factory alongside our programmes.

"We hope to see a lot of familiar and new faces come through our doors to experience exciting and unexpected approaches to art and performance”.