Language Matters

Kathleen Stein Smith, Ph.D

Why Is London’s creative talent leaving for Glasgow?

“A certain radical chic is attached to the city, which is denied to artists based in London, who are in this respect rather tainted by their geographical proximity to the commercial infrastructure of the global art market. Glasgow’s status as a haven for young artists is, indeed, often counterpointed with London’s perceived decline as a consequence of the soaring cost of living, compounded by the painful irony that the colonization of any rundown area by a group of artists only pre-empts its co-option by property investors. Glasgow offers, or seems to offer, an alternative: a city of relatively low rents and no cliques, collaboration rather than competition, focused on artist-led projects rather than commercial representation. The distinction between scenes extends to aesthetic principles, too: whether accurately or not, Glasgow is loosely affiliated with a rougher, more abrasive style than that of London’s brasher, shinier successors to the Young British Artists.”

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Languages do matter!


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