Artist in Residence at Paisley Arts Centre


Renfrewshire Leisure and Imaginate are delighted to be working with Clare McGarry as Artist in Residence from January - December 2018 based at Paisley Arts Centre.  As part of the residency, Clare is creating a new piece of theatre for age 5+ called Cosmopot that will tour in the Renfrewshire area from 13 - 21 October 2018.  You can book tickets for Cosmopot here.

I am delighted to be the Artist in Residence at Paisley Arts Centre for 2018. This is a phenomenal opportunity that will allow me the time and space to develop my practise and try something new. It also allows me to make strong connections with community groups in Renfrewshire as well as furthering my relationship with Paisley Art Centre and Imaginate.

Clare McGarry - Artist in Residence

In October I will make a new performance for 5-8 year olds that will perform at the Spree Festival in Paisley before touring other venues in Renfrewshire.

The theme of this new show will be food, which is a common theme of my work. I love talking about the rituals of how people prepare food, and of course the celebration and social gatherings of eating. Food is a great topic for people to begin to talk about their wider life experiences and social histories. I have started talking to different groups of all ages to get their stories and will be meeting more over the next few months.  I will be organising a midnight feast that takes place late at night, and a teddy bear’s picnic in a real wood.


I also want to learn more about making my work inclusive for a wide range of 5-8 year olds.  Although I always aim to make my work accessible I feel it’s something I could investigate much further.  I hope to have a short residency in an ASN school in Paisley so I can try out some ideas, as well as meeting with various folk who already do this really well.  

I am really interested in dome structures and making something for a smaller capacity.  My idea for the show at the minute is to make a performance in a giant teapot. Inside there is a secret, sensory environment and children have to slide down the spout of the teapot to enter.

I want to create something that fills children with utter delight and excitement;  and for there to be various sensory activities inside that the audience gets to explore on their own before any elements of performance start.


I’d love to play with some of these:

These are called Super Wubble Bubble Balls!  You can squish them, imagine how amazing they would look lit up!  I also imagine a giant block of ice that children can touch, maybe in a box that could have to put your hand through to feel.  And a little train that goes around the teapot, bringing new materials to the actors.  I’d love there to be real eating and smells.  Maybe everyone makes a slush puppy? 


Music is always an integral part of how I make work, this is a photo from The Pokey Hat where we tuned irn bru bottles like a xylophone! I am excited about finding more innovative ways of integrating music in this piece. 

I will also be running a play day session for artists where we can try out the themes of my project. 

Any events open to other artists will be advertised on Imaginate's Opportunities this space!

Renfrewshire Leisure - residency hosts

Renfrewshire Leisure are extremely excited following the appointment of Clare McGarry as our Artist In Residence. Clare has a wealth of experience, talent and creativity in addition to a real energy for the role she will be undertaking. We are delighted to have Clare on board to undertake this valuable project, providing the ideal opportunity to engage and stimulate many local communities and hard to reach audiences in the Performing Arts, the groundwork for which is currently well underway. Clare has already displayed a real vision for the performance itself which really does bring an element of intrigue and sense of what will be revealed further down the line.

With Clare's clear vision to instil food as the main theme of the performance, there will be no doubt a real appetite (excuse the pun!!) to see the finished article. Watch this space!!

If you would like to discuss this project, or Imaginate's creative development work, contact Fiona Ferguson Creative Development Director.