Susan Philipsz: Lowlands @ Clydeside Walkway

Article by Adeline Amar | 20 Apr 2010
  • Susan Philipsz, Glasgow 2009

When Glasgow-born Philipsz stumbled upon a bunch of flowers marking a suicide by the River Clyde railings, she decided that this would be the perfect location for her site-specific work commissioned by GI. The artist recorded herself singing the traditional tune Lowlands, which is now playing every twenty minutes by the three Clyde bridges – a relevant lament for the melancholic sights of the river from the path underneath the bridges.

There are actually three versions of the same song, with slightly different lyrics that sometimes overlap. The result is a cold and disembodied voice that echoes on the constructions and is sometimes lost in the nearby traffic. The unaware passers-by may not realise the work is there, and the song at times sounds exactly like the horn of the train on the Caledonian Bridge just above.

Lowlands is a faithful reflection of the artist’s usual themes of sound, song and place, and is perfectly fitted for the location. The industrial bridges and walkabout graffiti suddenly become a meditative place, a physical memory that will haunt the passerby even when back in the loud Clyde Street traffic. [Adeline Amar]

Daily between 10am and 8pm; every 20 mins

http://www.glasgowinternational.org