‘Upsetting’ spread-legged artwork provokes outrage at park

A young woman was allegedly raped in the park in February.

‘Upsetting’ spread-legged artwork provokes outrage at park STV News

A councillor has demanded to know why an “upsetting” artwork featuring a women’s spread legs was installed in a family park. 

Glasgow City Council rushed to remove the installation on the Festival Park gates in Govan this morning after fury erupted online. 

A young woman was allegedly raped in the park in February. 

Glasgow City Council said it did not commission or approve the piece, which was created by Icelandic and Irish artist Rakel McMahon. 

Govan councillor Allan Young, of the Scottish Greens, said: “I think it is right we give space for controversial and provocative displays. But in this example, it is clearly upsetting to many given the recent alleged attack in the park.

'Upsetting' artwork featuring a women’s spread legs installed at Festival Park, Glasgow.STV News

“For the council we need an explanation about why this was installed.”

He said the council could learn from the incident and how to involve communities.

Councillor Young added: “It is a community space open for everybody to enjoy.”

The park sits beside a school and features a children’s playground.

The artwork featured a pair of legs wearing red high heels, which sparked fury online.

A Glasgow City Council statement said: “We know there has been a lot of concern regarding images that had been attached to gates Festival Park.

“Council staff removed them this morning.

“We cannot find any evidence the images were commissioned or in any way approved by the council, or any of its arm’s-length bodies.”

It is understood the piece was part of a series of creations from artists in an exhibition entitled Safari of Sorts organised by Ltd Ink Corporations. 

Explaining the piece on Instagram, Ms McMahon pointed out the work raises the issue of victim-blaming in sexual harassment.

The image of the work was shared online by Glasgow residents and provoked hundreds of comments.

Story by local democracy reporter Sarah Hilley