The genesis of 21Common was an artist-centric, artist-led collective born from a friendship and collaboration between Gary Gardiner, Lucy Gaizely, Ian Johnston, Louise Irwin and Adrian Howells.

21Common enabled a group of passionate and enduring artists to make work which ruffles feathers and challenges the accepted and expected ways of being.

In 2011 Lucy Gaizely produced a two-year residency led by internationally acclaimed artist Adrian Howells at The Arches in Glasgow and at Sense Scotland, a charity supporting those with profound disabilities. Exploring ideas of intimacy and vulnerability, it was an attempt to engage adults with complex learning needs, isolated by society in art and to potentially provide mentoring for any emergent artists made visible by this process. Ian Johnston became one of those artists and it became clear as our good friend Adrian said ‘There is only one other person who dances like Ian and that’s Gary Snake hips.’

Our show Dancer developed from this realisation and research after a long and detailed fruition period. It became Adrian’s final work when he died in 2014.

Although Adrian is gone his approach to practice is still vitally present throughout every single thing we do.

Since then we have produced several new works and projects and we are thrilled to have been awarded RFO status by Creative Scotland for the period 2018-21.


We work with many people but our key team is

We are grateful to our current Board Members, who are:

  • Vanessa Thomson (Chair)

  • Lisa Peebles

  • Gillian Garrity

  • Ramesh Mayyappan


21Common is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation, SC047513.

For all enquiries regarding any of our projects please contact 21Common Executive Producer Louise Irwin at louise@21common.org