From Grayson Perry to Anish Kapoor to Antony Gormley and several other artists (including Simon Starling, Cornelia Parker, the Chapman brothers and Sir Peter Blake) – there has been an immense number of individuals who stepped up in the Ash to Art project to restore the historic Mackintosh building, which has been gutted by the May 2014 fire. The artworks cleverly use the actual ashes and debris that were left in the wake of the burned-down portions of Glasgow School of Art.
Perry says, “It’s a tragedy. It’s the most famous art school building in Britain. It’s also the masterpiece of [Charles Rennie] Mackintosh. It’s a double tragedy. I was very excited when I received the box of charcoal. I had an idea almost immediately and the idea of making an urn was an obvious thing to do. The idea of memorializing or celebrating the difficulty – honoring the wound. It’s something I’m trying to do. Move on and make the most of it.”
Each artist was sent a specific piece of debris, telling them where it had been collected, and given free rein to make whatever they chose.