Moira Hargreaves (About Common Grounds) 

      The Glasgow School of Art, Master of Fine Art Dept,

 “About Common Grounds” by Moira Hargreaves.Poem in shorthand notation. Inkjet on newsprint.

It occurred to me they were striving,
necessary to replace.
This was a theory
intended to encourage
a common ground.

In collaboration with other people.
Although their projects’ differed, there was a perspective,
a struggle.

Architecture (old and new)
and wide open spaces.
These views were important to stimulate a discussion of difference.

With the reflection of images,
those of a monument,
familiar to me as a Glasgow resident,
they sought the shapes
to define a structure.

And trials of normal and artificial light.

The effect of this,
the exceptional drawings all done,
would leave the artist dissatisfied.

In 2019 at the Glasgow School of Art where I was studying my Masters of Fine Art Degree along with 29 other students, my grandmother Moira Hargreaves visited the MFA department as a visiting tutor.

Throughout the academic year, the MFA staff would invite established local and international artists, curators, philosphers and writers into the department to meet with its current students and discuss their ongoing work. 

Students would have the opportunity to “sign-up” to see the visiting tutors they feel most interested in, and whom may offer valuable insigt and context to their work and practice. A biography outlinging the accolades and interests of each visitor coming into the department would be posted on the communal notice board, next to which a sign up sheet would also be posted for students to reserve their time with the visitor.

For Thursday the 16th of November, I convinced the MFA staff to invite my grandmother into the department as a visiting tutor. Although having no formal training in the arts, Moira has always had a deeply critical curiosity into my own practice and my decisions to persue a career as an artist.

The students who signed up to see Moira were unaware of my relationship to her and simply made their decision to have a studio visit with her from reading her biography posted on the notice board.

By using extracts from the shorthand notations she made during each of the tutorials, Moira produced a shorthand poem entitled “About Common Grounds”.