7 amazing reasons to visit Tramway in Glasgow

7 amazing reasons to visit Tramway in Glasgow

27 Sep 2023

For the next in our series on smaller arts institutions, we head to this Glaswegian centre of contemporary art and dance, located in a converted tram depot

Industrial spaces make for great art spaces, such as this interior shot of Tramway. Image: courtesy of Tramway 

Where can you find Tramway?

This former tram depot on Glasgow’s south side is now an incredible multidisciplinary arts centre, with stone arches and iron rail tracks that recall its industrial past. It is accessible by car and public transport, with Pollokshields East station and several well-connected bus stops only a few minutes away. 

The gardens at Tramway. Image: courtesy of Tramway

Why should you visit?

Tramway has been considered a cutting-edge cultural venue since the 1990s, thanks to ambitious programming that fills its cavernous exhibition and theatre spaces. It is also home to the Scottish Ballet, with a purpose-built sunshine-yellow building forming part of the complex. Along with the lovely café and bar, don’t miss the opportunity to take a turn around The Hidden Gardens. Tramway backs on to this beautiful green space, a charitable endeavour that features vegetable and wildlife planting, community-focused workshops and an impressive 30-metre brick chimney.  

Billie Zangewa’s Every Woman, 2017. Image: courtesy of the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, Seoul and London

Which exhibits are a must-see?

Dont miss a major exhibition by Malawian artist Billie Zangewa. The artist is known for her beautiful hand-stitched textile collages incorporating raw silk, which reframe the narratives of Black women by upending historical stereotypes. This show features a new commission in the form of a massive panoramic piece reminiscent of a classical fresco. It opens 29 September and closes 28 January 2024.

Part of Jasleen Kaur’s exhibition Alter Altar.  Image: courtesy of Tramway

What’s on this month?

From 29-30 September Tramway and The Hidden Gardens will be hosting Sonica Surge, a staging of truly innovative audiovisual art and experimentation for visitors to dive into. Also catch artist Jasleen Kaur’s show Alter Altar (on until 8 October). Raised in nearby Pollokshields, the artist has filled the spaces with installations and kinetic, musical sculptures.

Any particular artistic connections? 

Tramway has hosted and curated the city-wide Dance International Glasgow since 2015. The biennial not only showcases contemporary and heritage dance works, including those by live-performance artist Suzi Cunningham and the Abhinaya Dance Academy, but has a rich programme of educational and outreach events, to spread the joy of dance far and wide. 

Precious examples of stained glass at the Burrell Collection. Image: Alan McAteer 

Make a day of it!

Head to Pollock Country Park (25 minutes away via public transport), a beautiful green space that features a grazing area for Highland cattle and several walking trails. What’s more, it is home to the award-winning Burrell Collection – recently named the Art Fund Museum of the Year 2023. The collection houses over 8,000 works of art and antiques amassed by the collector William Burrell and his wife, Constance. The recent multimillion-pound revamp offers a chance to see more objects than ever before. (Discover our ‘8 things you need to know about the Burrell Collection’ here.)

A view into The Hidden Gardens. Image: courtesy of The Hidden Gardens 

Here’s a fun fact…

Search around The Hidden Gardens and you will find five circular poems inscribed into sandstone waymarkers by artist Gerry Loose. They are messages of peace and spirituality relating to the five tenets of Islam and Hinduism’s five holy trees.  

Find out more at tramway.org

Going local 

Do you live close by – then why not join the local Arts Society?

Local Societies include:

The Arts Society Bearsden & Milngavie – tasbam.org.uk

The Arts Society Stirling & Forth Valley – theartssocietystirling.org.uk

The Arts Society Lomond & Argyll – tasla.org.uk

Upcoming lectures include The Romans Who Shaped Britain by Sam Moorhead on 10 October (organised by The Arts Society Lomond & Argyll) and Musical Fruits and Empty Bowls: American Art and Music in the 1930sby John Francis on 9 October (organised by The Arts Society Bearsden & Milngavie). 

About the Author

Holly Black

is an arts and culture writer


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