The Empire Pavilion 2016

Kinning Park Art


Elena Mary Harris recently completed her Artist in Residency with ARTPARK Glasgow at House for an Art Lover. Bringing part of her work to KPC we explain the background to project The Empire Pavilion 2016 and why she chose to install remnants of the Pavilion in our community garden.


Empire Pavilion 2016 at ARTPARK

The Empire Pavilion 2016 included a series of engagement activities with the local organisations and communities in the South West area of Glasgow. The idea was to build a Pavilion based on conversations with the local community where they could engage with the project and help create a Pavilion and that speaks for the people. During the research process Elena spoke to local residents that recall the British Empire Exhibition in 1938 at Bellahouston Park, they felt that it had very little to do with the community.

The Empire Pavilion at KPC

This week Elena installed the roof panels from the Pavilion into our community garden. Each structure has been installed to be seen when you enter the garden, immediately creating a new visual dynamic to the space. Being able to re-purpose part of the Pavilion into the garden signifies reusing materials to create something new; reinforcing the ethos of KPC’s climate challenge funded project Waste Not Want of up-cycling and reusing materials to reduce waste.

The panels are made from liquid latex and over time they will dissolve themselves as a result of exposure to the environment.


Latex starting to dissolve

Speaking to Elena during the installation she explained why the KPC garden was an appropriate place to install the panels and how the space links to the materials  used.

Where did the idea come from to install part of the Pavilion at KPC?

The Empire Pavilion 2016 project aimed to build a pavilion that documents and considers the voice of Glasgow South West. I feel that KPC is a space that reflects these aims, creating an environment in which people can come together and share their ideas and opinions. Throughout my residency at House for an Art Lover I have spent time at KPC, building conversations with its community. For me, it seemed a natural progression of the project to house a part of the structure in the community gardens - to extend the lifespan of the pavilion by re-imagining its form.

How did you choose the materials for the roof panels?

Latex casting played a big role in the project. I had conversations with various local groups about which structures in Glasgow South West define the area for 2016. These buildings were then cast using liquid latex. It is these sheet casts that have been used as the material for pavilion walls. I hope that by using actual samples of buildings, The Empire Pavilion 2016 can be rooted in the fabric of the local area.

Why did you want the panels to wear away over time?

Latex is a material that will naturally degrade over time when kept outside. I like the idea that during their time at KPC the panels will adapt to their environment and become part of the landscape. I wanted to maximize the lifespan of the pavilion, changing its form to allow it to be reused. As the framework of the pavilion will eventually be adapted into a small growing space at ARTPARK at House for an Art Lover, it seems fitting that the panels spend a part of their journey in a space dedicated to promoting sustainability.

Elena with Syyid one of KPC's regular visitors

Elena Mary Harris - website

The Empire Pavilion 2016 is a project funded by House for an Art Lover and 02 Think Big

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Author: KPC