10th June 2019

A new community art project will see women who have been victims of domestic abuse create a stained glass window to illustrate their experiences.

GlassWalls is led by Dr Emma Forbes, whose PhD thesis explored victims’ experiences of the court process and accessing justice. Her work included listening to stories of many women across Scotland and she now wants to turn her findings into a major piece of art.

Fifteen women from the Daisy Project based in Castlemilk, which is an advocacy service for those who have experienced domestic abuse, have started a training course learning the principles of designing and making stained glass under the tutelage of artists at WASPS studios, led by Charles Provan.

Emma, who recently completed her PhD at the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research (SCCJR) based at the University of Glasgow, is working closely with the women and artists to create a piece that she hopes will raise awareness of domestic abuse.

She said: “The installation will depict the sweep of progress made in Scotland to address domestic abuse through words and pictures, etched into vibrant, bright-coloured tall glass panels on light boxes.

“I want women’s voices to be strongly represented in the piece so we will use calligraphy alongside the drawings to highlight the challenges still faced by those who have experienced abuse.

“The purpose is to create a challenging social commentary of a dark issue that is purposefully dynamic, beautiful and bright.”

One participant said: “I look forward to this every week, it’s the first time I have switched off.”

Another told us: “This has helped me at the most difficult time.”

The workshops have been supported by grants from the Robertson Trust, Big Lottery Fund, Corra Foundation and St James’s Place Partnership but now attentions have been turned to fundraising for the main glass installation, for which the project has commissioned Brian Waugh, an award-winning artist.

Emma has launched a Crowdfunding page with an ambitious target of raising £15,000 to purchase glass panels by 30 June 2019.

The group has already seen early success after winning a place at the Glasgow School of Art exhibition for International Women’s Day where they showcased their early work of a collage of stained glass daisies.

Once completed, it is hoped the stained glass will be exhibited across Scotland towards the end of the year in a bid to help continue the conversation around how we improve the experiences of women seeking justice as victims of domestic abuse.

Please visit the Glass Walls Art Crowdfunding page and consider making a donation to their campaign.

Gender, Crime and Criminal Justice