Adorning the front of the Grade I listed Harris Museum & Art Gallery from 25 January – 3 June will be a 13-metre neon art work, the message of which is both appealing, and sometimes hard to believe. Martin Creed’s Work No. 203: EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE ALRIGHT is picked out in half a metre-tall white neon letters; it can be read as either confident reassurance, or an anxious cliche. From 27 January onwards, it will also be the introduction to an exhibition of the Turner Prize winning artist’s work at the Harris, which draws on the ARTIST ROOMS collection of international contemporary work, jointly owned by the National Galleries of Scotland and Tate (see also the ARTIST ROOMS: Andy Warhol exhibition at the Whitworth).
Featuring sculpture, neon, painting, video and performance work, the exhibition includes several pieces on display outside London for the first time. The Harris will also be the first gallery to show Work No. 960, an installation of 13 cactus plants, and Work No. 1340, a large-scale painting directly applied onto the wall. Other works include the Turner Prize winning Work No. 227: The lights going on and off – which, in a fairly self-explanatory way, involves lights in an empty gallery going on and off at intervals – and a series of portraits that Creed painted without looking down at his progress. Creed himself has said that his work is “50% about what I make and 50% about what other people make of it” – which sounds like a challenge to visitors if ever there was one.