Originally designed for Mayfest (an annual arts festival in Glasgow that ran from 1983 to 1997) 7m high Mhtpothta/Maternity had a previous life. Known as Just in Case, the piece was initially created with the idea of having a safety pin that could hold together a broken global elastic. The artist also had the intention that this playful sculpture could hold up Glasgow’s knickers in case they ever fell down. It was installed at Glasgow Cross in 1996.
Following Mayfest, the work toured the world from Portsmouth, England to New York, USA. After the demolition of Glasgow Royal Maternity Hospital (known locally as ‘Rottenrow’), it found a permanent home at a new green space built on the site of the hospital. It was purchased by the University of Strathclyde in 2004 with all parties agreeing the sculpture was the perfect fit. Mhtpothta/Maternity now pays tribute to the birth of thousands of Glaswegians into the world.