Jack McElroy is a multidisciplinary artist that explores subjects surrounding Scottish identity and social history through personal and participatory research with people that then develops and takes the form of an archive.
Born in Glasgow, and being brought up in a working-class background, McElroy has informed his interests in accessibility to the arts, and makes artwork that attempts to attract people who may not typically think of themselves as ‘interested in art’.This usually then takes form of creating spaces out with the gallery to give a platform to share research through artworks that are interactive or require participation from the viewer to bring the work together by facilitating conversations and spaces.
What the “art work” actually looks like is dependent on who the work is made for in mind from photography, performance, sculpture and installation usually made with the intention to be used for something else in mind therefore the treatment to his artwork varies from not being too precious (because it can be made again and is intend on being used for something) to taking care and archiving objects that hold memory and have been collected through the research.
Working and collaborating with people McElroy often takes role of curator, organiser or host, bringing a performative element to the work. He is interested in exploring themes around appropriation art.
With his work being mostly environmental art – performative, event, temporary – he explores ways to which he can document that through sculpture using photographs.
Through this process he concentrates on making those spaces fit to content of the research-based work and start questioning what art spaces are and what it means to make art in them as an artist that makes environmental art.
DEGREE SHOW WORK:
“For the Degree show I wanted to make a site-specific sculpture of a Stage, a recurring motif that appeared in previous projects.
Exhibited against a window space on the ground floor, the Stage would have been built on either side of the Stow college building to give the illusion that the building was cutting through the Stage.
The inside space/ Backstage would have presented two publications on previous projects that explored the importance of the arts and green spaces to our mental health and well-being after event based works made after research into on-going cuts made to arts funding and education and the ongoing campaigns to save green spaces in the city.
Throughout the week of degree show on the outside space/ the Stage would have been a programme of events throughout the week, the events; loosely based around what I do to keep a good well-being, that could be shared with degree show visitors and fellow graduating students after thoughts about the period of time after graduating known as ‘degree show blues’.
The programme of events ranged from a DJ and a drag show on opening night, an afternoon with live music amongst other activities such as life drawing, yoga, a picnic, haircuts and a children’s art workshop.
The Stage and programme would have acted as a platform for me to collaborate with other creative people within and out with the institution.”