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Heavy Lifting
Elke Finkenauer
Window | Domestic
All day: fri | sat | sun | mon
Venue 5:
148 Hill Street,
G3 6UA

Visual Art

‘Heavy Lifting’ is a two-panel, appliqué window-hanging depicting a giant, outstretched arm, four metres long, propped from underneath by two smaller hands that strain with the effort of supporting the arm. Above the giant hand, cascading letters spell out the words ‘Heavy Lifting’. Stitched from recycled towels and clothing, it is installed across two windows of a tenement flat in Garnethill which was formerly nurses’ accommodation for the adjacent Glasgow Royal Cancer Hospital.

This artwork refers to the (often invisible) role of support and care in sustaining communities. Depicting small, work-hardened hands supporting a giant arm, it suggests a discrepancy in responsibility for support work (often gendered, racialized and delegated to the precarious classes) that continues to be highlighted by the circumstances of the pandemic. It is motivated by the questions of: who cares for the carers? and what needs to change in economic models, policy and decision making to value care as an activity of sustaining which is integral to producing?

As well as considering the value of support, ‘Heavy Lifting’ speaks to the experience of sustaining an art practice during the pandemic. Funding pressures, increased competition for fewer opportunities, and alienation from audiences and outcomes demand re-thinking ways of making and doing, and the ways in which artists’ provide and experience support.

Elke Finkenauer is a New Zealand/German visual artist based between Glasgow and Auckland. Working in drawing, print and sculpture, she examines incongruities in social, professional and economic structures. Through thought experiments, improvisation with materials and methods, and a sense of the ludicrous, she works according to her own, continuously changing, criteria. Her subjects are often chosen in an attempt to reconcile an apparent contradiction or to dissect something she has taken exception to. The results of this practice have been displayed as bead curtains, padded doors, soft-drawings, micro-texts, embossed prints and unnameable objects.


The artist states:

  • The pavement where the window is viewable is wide enough to accomodate a wheelchair or pram etc.

*Please get in touch with the artist directly if you require more details.*

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