An investigation by The Glasgow Guardian has shown that the University has paid over £10,000 on the wire mannequin statues displayed in the JMS.
A Freedom of Information (FOI) request submitted by The Glasgow Guardian has shown that the University of Glasgow has spent a total of £10,700 on the ‘wire mannequin statues’ on display in the James McCune Smith Learning Hub.
The FOI also revealed that of the 50 sculptures purchased in total, only four are currently on display. The four on display are positioned on level one of the Learning Hub and the remaining sculptures are being held in storage on the University campus. Previously, the rest of the sculptures were placed in seating around the Learning Hub in order to act as place-holders to help socially distance students but they were removed during the 2021/22 academic year.
The wire statues were commissioned by artist Vanessa Lawrence to be displayed in the James McCune Smith Learning Hub. Lawrence is a sculpture artist and has created a number of sculptures using the same medium as the statues commissioned by the University. It is not known if the University has any immediate plans to display the rest of the sculptures.
The James McCune Smith Learning Hub was opened in April 2021 after being under construction from 2017. The Learning Hub also contains other art installations, such as a mural by graffiti artist ‘Peeta’ and the ‘Umbrella Project’ which was an installation featuring coloured umbrellas positioned overhead the building’s main entrance in order to recognise the one in five people in the UK who are neurodivergent.