Reid Lane Mural, Glasgow School of Art
What I did: workshop planning and delivering, mural design, mural painting, graphic design, hand lettering
What the client needed
The Glasgow School of Art’s public engagement team was looking for an artist to develop a mural in the Reid Lane based on workshops with students from St Aloysius’ College and Zig Zag Arts at the Garnethill Multicultural Centre. The aim of the street art was to brighten up Reid Lane, which has recently become a high-traffic area for students and pedestrians due to the closure of Renfrew Street. The mural is situated between the GSA Reid building, a modern structure designed by Steven Holl, and the St Aloysius’ College campus. The theme of the graffiti was ‘care for our common home and looked to create an artwork which would delight the local area with the vision of things local kids liked about Garnethill.
My part of the project
To begin the design process I ran four workshops with the S3 group from St Aloysius College and Zig Zag Arts based on skills and ideation. With S3 we had a workshop on idea generation, mural planning scaling up and painting. With Zig Zag Arts I developed ‘Garnethill Island’ which invited the kids to design islands based on their favourite parts of Garnethill.
In the workshops, I hoped to find out about the things local kids liked about Garnethill, and what would make them feel happy and safe. The workshops revealed wildlife, cats, community gardens, birds, foxes, sweets, swings, the bread oven, a rock and imagination as key factors. I was inspired by the Garnethill Community Garden and old tenement tile designs, to create a mural in which wildlife and the imagination could roam free.
In my experience, murals bring a lot of joy to an area, particularly when local voices are being heard. Passersby are thankful for the colourful wall and say that the design makes them happy. What before was a dingy lane, now is a place in which people can imagine benches.
“It’s joyous and makes me smile everytime I walk on by!”
Stephen Bottomley –
Head of the School of Design at The Glasgow School of Art
“It looks wonderful! So great to have some colour in that lane!”
Garnethill Multicultural Centre