Top Artists Dive Into The Past To Save Historic Govanhill Pool

Top Artists Dive Into The Past To Save Historic Govanhill Pool

Posted: 14th March 2011 By Govanhill Baths

Our unique auction in a swimming pool, celebrating ten years to the day of the struggle to re-open the baths, launches 7pm, March 17th 7 -9pm, viewing Friday and Saturday 10-6pm, Live Auction 7pm Saturday 19th.

Lord Provost Macaulay Stevenson, who laid the foundation stone of the baths on 3rd July 1914, will no doubt be turning smiling and approving in his grave on Thursday next at 7pm when our Charity Art Auction launches, uniquely, in the deep end of the Govanhill baths main pool! MSP Frank McAveety will introduce the event.

So too will be present, these 97 years on, the spirit of the baths’ designer, Alexander Beith McDonald, the Glasgow City surveyor, who inspired their development “to promote health, hygiene and recreation”. All contemporary evidence shows these needs are the same, if not more so, now as then.

More so will the hundreds of thousands of people who swam and learned to swim there until March 17th 2001 be able to celebrate this ten-year community struggle to see them re-opened.

At this celebratory and artistic event members of the public will be able to view work from some of the world’s leading contemporary artists, including: Turner Prize winner Douglas Gordon with Jonathan Monk, Turner nominee Lucy Skaer and Becks Futures winner Toby Paterson and the prestigious work of; Nathan Coley, Sam Ainsley, Claire Barclay, Kate Davis, Alan Michael, Ilana Halperin, Nick Evans, Sigga Bjorg Sigurdardottir, Erica Eyres, Ross Collins, Jane Topping, Lorna Macintyre. It will be auctioned in a “live” auction on Saturday 19th at 7pm.

Our “silent” auction comprises work generously contributed via our open call and over 40 emerging, local, national and international donations have been accepted displaying a wide range of subject matter, media and aesthetic. As a special feature, and thrill for them all, children from the local primary schools are also exhibiting their work.

Gavin Strang of Lyon and Turnbull Fine Art and Antique Auctioneers has generously volunteered his time and expertise to conduct the live auction on Saturday 19th March at 7pm when refreshments will be provided.

Go to to see the full catalogue and more details of the auction.

Money raised will be used in Phase 1 of a restoration plan which can now begin after Govanhill Baths Community Trust has been granted a licence and secured sufficient funds to refurbish the front section of the B-listed building. The first step will be to create offices and a public space, returning the historic site to community use.

An art auction in an empty swimming pool is a completely unique event. Some magnificent art is on sale and all for a great local cause! We wish to publicly thank all those who have contributed their work most sincerely.

Curator Seth Orion-Schwaiger said: “This is a unique event that gives everyone the chance to see work which has never been shown in public before and to buy pieces from outstanding artists. We have been amazed at the response of the people we approached to take part and absolutely every one, even those who could not take part because of other commitments, is incredibly supportive of the Trust’s work in Govanhill.”

Trust Chairman Andrew Johnson said: “The baths were closed on March 17th 2001 at about the same time this exciting auction launches ten years on to the day and time. The Trust is delighted to hold this event as a celebration of the Govanhill community's ten-year campaign and struggle to see them re-opened and sincerely thanks all the contributors.

“We are also delighted to be able to use the building for this event with the support of the Glasgow City Council and its, ‘development of arts and cultural activity in the city through its support of individual artists, performers and arts organisations and through actively encouraging access and participation in the arts among the widest possible range of people’.

“Everyone will be welcome to visit the exhibition and auctions.”

See also The Herald, 110311

The Scotsman 140311

and Glasgow City Council


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