In May 2014, The Glasgow School of Art’s Garnethill campus was significantly damaged in a fire. Its famous Mackintosh Library was destroyed entirely.
Two J. Walter Thompson creatives, Bill Hartley and Giles Hepworth, came up with an idea to help the School Of Art (GSA) – to use the old building to create the new building.
The pair approached the GSA with this idea: Why not send bits of the burned building – charred timbers and debris such as burned books and furniture – to the world’s top artists? Ask each of them to create a new piece of art with it and sell it all in an auction to raise money for the rebuild campaign.
Hartley and Hepworth commented, “It seemed appropriate to use a by-product of the School’s fire as the tool of its rebirth. By putting debris from the fire into the hands of artists, it places the future of the School firmly in the hands of the UK’s creative community.”
Self Portrait with Ishbel at Glasgow School of Arts by Chantal Joffey
A small dedicated team from GSA and JWT London worked “hell for leather” to two years make the idea work.
Site 11 by Antony Gormley
There are now 25 pieces of art completed by artists including Simon Starling, Sir Antony Gormley, Grayson Perry, Cornelia Parker, Jenny Saville and Douglas Gordon.
They will be auctioned at Christie’s London on March 8 during the Post-War and Contemporary Art Day Sale.
Art is Dead Long Live Art by Grayson Perry