This is an archived page from the Website Archive of British artist Ellie Harrison from Version 3.0 (active 2008 - 2015). New website:

last updated
15th July 2015

This project emerged towards the end of the two years Ellie spent studying on the Master of Fine Art course at Glasgow School of Art. It was initially driven by her desire to find a simple but not didactic way of conveying the immaterial or ephemeral aspects of her activity, within the confines of the conventional gallery setting at the CCA Glasgow - such as her involvement in the national campaign to Bring Back British Rail, the newly formed Artists’ Lottery Syndicate and recent / forthcoming performance spectacles General Election Drinking Game and Fireworks Display.

The Press Release project developed into an exploration of the careerist motivations of young artists (including herself) which Ellie had identified and examined in the introductory sections of her 2010 thesis Trajectories: How to Reconcile the Careerist Mentality with Our Impending Doom. And, as an acknowledgement of the role the media has continued to play in the dissemination of her practice, which has persisted from the earliest days of her press archive to more recent features on BBC News and in The Guardian.

So, for the final three weeks of term, Ellie took the deliberate risk of not preparing a specific exhibit for the MFA Degree Show 2010 at the CCA Glasgow. Instead she decided to turn her studio into a ‘press office’ and to work full time to directly solicit press coverage, which, if successful, would then become her exhibit in the gallery. With the self-engineered fear of having nothing to show, Ellie was forced to enter into a series of lengthy negotiations, meetings and ambushes with journalists. As as a result she managed to secure full page articles in both of Scotland’s national broadsheets The Herald and Scotland on Sunday on the two consecutive weekends before the show opened. These were then exhibited on plinths alongside a printed copy of the ‘press release’ which had been used to garner attention.

For more information about the project and for a further critique of its driving concepts, you can download and read the ‘press release’ itself and the resulting articles by clicking on the links to the right under ‘Further Reference’ - particularly see Moira Jeffery’s The Finished Article which was published on page 7 of the Review section of Scotland on Sunday on 6th June 2010.