HIDE OUT, Shetland Arts Sandwick Jr High & Mareel, May 22
Gal Gael tenement veg garden mural April 22
I was commissioned by Carmondean Community and West Lothian councils’ to create a series of public artworks . These would enhance six of their bus shelters & four underpasses. I created twelve designs for the shelters in the area. These shelters are just up from the underpass mural sites that were also produced as part of this commission .This was a great opportunity to bring together some of the drawings & ideas generated from the creative workshops with local young people . I wanted to bring awareness of the areas heritage . I learned so many interesting facts that I hope people can also enjoy when waiting in these spaces&using these services . Perhaps learning or reminiscing of the past .
The designs include a continuity of roundabout patterns and motifs as well a nod to the logos created to distinguish districts by local children in 1993 as part of a Livingston development corporation competition.
These designs located on Dean South Road include facts about the gala days that originated from the mining days . ‘Silicon Glen ’ a term coined for the area in the eighties during the influx of electronic production in Livingston and the prominence of Bangour village hospital as a site for wounded soldiers during WW1 . Of course further alien and spacecraft drawings relating to the incident on Dechmont Law. These illustrations were printed full colour on dibond aluminium sheets.
I had the assistance of Alice Brown in colouring & text layout in print production . Lettering work by Ellie Mills & Duncan Peace.
Underpass 3 / Raeburn Rigg to Herd Green
This location is situated near Deer hill in Carmondean , So often these can be spotted in the area. I was very excited to make this super cute fawn and deer mural to brighten up this dark underpass that so many young people use next to junior and senior schools. I abstracted some shapes into this landscape that was inspired by hanging flowers ,the leafy bushes ,hedges and the curvy concrete bowls from the nearby skate park . I met so many lovely mums on the school run . During my consultation a local resident suggested the theme of Armetis the greek goddess of childbirth . She would always be accompanied by or take the form of a deer.
I wanted to make reference to the Livingston skatepark. A historic place for the sport in Scotland and a free space for young people . Its cultivated some of the best professional skateboarders and hosted some big names from all around the earth . This adjacent wall honours that an it’s future generation . It features five skateboarders flying in mid air in front of the shale bings . A site of reparation from the years of mining and a refuge for rare wildlife. Its reddish heaps make it look like a Martian landscape. From above it looks like five fingers , a big hand….A big high five ✋ this site is fondly called the five sisters. So maybe these are five high fivin’ supportive wome. In my community consultation I met these wonderful teenagers at the park who suggested I bring some images of powerful active woman into the themes.
Underpass 2 /Located beside Deans Community High
This underpass was inspired by the rich and rare flora and fauna found in the Shale Bings nearby. I referenced a UFO trail I took with friends , enjoying the wildlife and walks up Dechmont Law Forrest . I was fascinated with the Robert Taylor incident of 1979 that happened in these woodlands. As one of the only UK investigated Alien encounters ,this local history became a theme in the creative activities for my facilitation & consultation . I worked with designs generated by the youth club participants , Scouts, Cubs, Beavers and Brownies. I asked them to imagine visitors from beyond coming to their neighbourhood . They created spacecrafts ,Secret coded symbols and alien drawings that I mixed in with my design to show the adventures they could encounter on their own outdoor explorations.
Underpass 3 / Harburn Avenue to Lanark Avenue Carmondean centre
‘ We love you … Peace , Love & You will have a fun time’ A message generated from engagaments with young people on what they would say to a visitor from beyond. Local groups were engaged in creative activities & worksheets on the theme of the Dechmont Law UFO sighting also know as Robert Taylor’s 1979 incident . I collaborated with lettering artist Duncan Peace.
I asked him to create a wavy glitchy feature of these words.
This underpass brings together all the amazing imagined Dechmont aliens & outer space flying crafts generated by the young people. I worked these over a motif of nature inspired mandalas & roundabout shapes distinct to Livingston. These murals are also a homage to David L.Wilson’s NORgate copper & stonework sculpture that is part of the Landmark project ,the last funded public artwork by the Livingston Development Corporation. I have reimagined it as two big walking legs & have created characters from this. Bringing a bit of humour and imagination to how we view our surroundings.
Underpass 4 / Located by Lanark avenue to Raeburn Rigg
This design worked in the old Deans south estate that no longer exists. The first residents of this new garden city moved to this area from overcrowded housing in Glasgow. During my consultation lots of memories were shared of life on this estate. The last remaining playground equipment features , on the adjacent mural a face looks back into this past. I wanted it to be a bit of a time warp with the bands of colour but also a celebration of the town turning 60 & reaching new status .
I reflected on aspects of this New towns past ,large international electronics companies moved to the area employing thousands of staff. The fringes of this wall continues into a window motif design where I wanted to include on site consultation. I had different generations excited to get involved , contributing drawings & messages .
‘Everyone is equal’ ‘no discrimination , ‘being kind ‘, ‘Thank you NHS ‘ are just someof the positivity & caring meessages they wanted to share with their neighbours & those using the walkways after a pandemic.
I collaborated with lettering artist Ellie Mills. She created a bespoke pixel typeface. Following the themes of the UFO incident on Dechmont Law I asked the young people in the area what messages they would give to visitors from beyond. I received this beauty…’We welcome all of your beautiful species ,we will treat you like you are the best and …only best friends forever …we’ll share food, water, toys and hug each other.’