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Ruth Ewan

'The Glasgow Schools'

Scotland Street School, 225 Scotland Street, Glasgow, G5 8QB

20 April – 06 May 2012

'The Glasgow Schools' was a project by artist Ruth Ewan. It mapped out the city’s Proletarian, Socialist Sunday and Socialist Fellowship Schools, part of a network of alternative educational organisations that once spread across the UK, of which Glasgow was a particular centre. The schools explored a spectrum of left-wing ideologies with children and young adults, from the Marxist revolutionary zeal of Tom Anderson’s Proletarian Schools (1918 – c1939) to the Christian leaning ethics of the early Socialist Sunday Schools (1896 – 1965), which later evolved into the Socialist Fellowship (1965 – 1980).

The exhibition brought together, for the first time, archive material relating to the schools from a number of public and private collections. This was accompanied by an events programme of talks and discussion, song, performance and magic. Ewan presents a series of poster works, this artist’s pamphlet, and a new documentary, made using archival footage and first hand accounts of the movements, exploring the affect they had on the lives of those involved. The project’s chosen exhibition space, Scotland Street School Museum, purposefully brings this influential and largely hidden movement into the wider context of Glasgow’s educational history.

The project was curated by Kitty Anderson and Siobhan Carroll in association with The Common Guild as part of Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art.