Scots council urged to remove “vile and offensive” art installation of opened legs in heels at public park


A Scots council has been urged to remove a “vile and offensive” art installation featuring a pair of parted legs from the gates of a public park.

Scots have been left outraged by artist Rakel McMahon’s “The Gate of Assumption” installation on the gates of Festival Park in Govan, Glasgow.

The large installation features a pair of legs wearing red heels that open when people enter the public park.

The controversial art work - Scottish News
The council are now removing the art installation.

Images of the controversial feature have been circulating across social media since it was installed earlier this month.

Locals have found the theme and location of the piece particularly insensitive following an alleged sexual assault against an 18-year-old girl in the park in February.

Now, social media users have hit out at Glasgow City Council and urged them to remove the piece branding it “offensive” and “vile”.

Twitter user @defiaye tweeted about spotting the installation yesterday, writing: “Glasgow City Council needs to remove this vile and offensive installation from a public garden.

“@glasgowCC especially in the current climate of misogyny & violence against women.

“I don’t care that the artist has a certificate in gender studies.” 

Hundreds of shocked followers have retweeted and commented on the post.

@Scotlandthefree said: “I’m not a woman but besides being offensive, who was the moron that approved this? What’s happening to Scotland?” 

@yona1959 added: “OMG how utterly vile.

The artist shared the feature on Instagram - Scottish News
The art installation is located in Festival Park, Govan.

“Would they have that on the gates of Botanic Gardens? Or Rouken Glen Park? Naw! Instead they insult working class women in Govan.” 

@SgothanGeal said “I’d like to know why the council thinks a park in Glasgow should look like something from the seedier part of the Reeperbahn.

“Why when they’re cutting services are they spending money on utter s***e like this.

“It’s not even good. Who commissioned this? At what cost?” 

Rakel McMahon shared images of her artwork on Instagram earlier this month urging members of the public to visit.

She said: “If in Glasgow you might want to head down to @ltd_ink_corporation in Govan for the fantastic ‘Safari of sorts’ 
“Might get a chance to walk through the gate of Assumption – to be in context or not to be in context, that is the question.

“#assumption #tobeornottobe #incontext #safariofsorts #ltdinc #glasgow #artinpublicplaces”

One user replied: “I’d be interested to understand more about this work. A teenager was raped in this park in February.

“It’s not uncommon for women to be raped in parks; there were three reported in three different Glasgow parks in the space of a few weeks.

“In that context, I’m not sure I can appreciate this work but I’d rather not make ‘assumptions’ could you tell us more?” 

Rakel replied: “I am aware of the horrible attack in that park as I did research on the area especially looking at safety for women. 

“As parks and green areas in a city are in general not safe places for women. Especially after dark. I’m currently working on a project that comments on sexual harassment in parks and public spaces.)

“As a feminist I was aware of that it might be interpreted as sexist but at the same time it is trying to point out that we should not assume anything, not by how people are dressed, shirt skirts or high heels.

“The work is two legs in high heels, are they female? I feel the work touches upon the discourse on victim blaming in sexual harassment as well as giving the park area a feminine vibe that these green areas need.” 

“As for now parks, in Iceland, Glasgow or any other city are not safe for everybody.” 

An 18-year-old woman was allegedly attacked in the Festival Park area on February 19 this year.

A 30-year-old man was charged in connection with the attack but made no plea and was remanded in custody.