COP26 in Glasgow

I have been quite busy recently volunteering at the COP26 conference in Glasgow, I was based in the City Chambers in George Square in a Protocol role, this basically was a meet and greet role at the many Civic Receptions being held there. It was good to see the reaction of many of the delegates to the mosaic of the city’s coat of arms at the entrance to the building, and the many other mosaics found throughout the building, on the ceilings and domes, with an estimated 1.5 million individual tiles used and laid by hand. However, the greatest surprise was shown by many delegates when confronted by the marble staircase, made entirely from imported Italian Carrara marble, they were stunned to hear that it’s the biggest of its kind in Western Europe, meaning it’s one storey taller than the one in the Vatican City.

COP26 gave some of our artists a chance to put up some new related works with some on the arches at SWG3 facing towards the SEC Campus. Although I was disappointed to see Guido Van Helten’s badminton player disappear from Wilson Street, I was pleased to see a new mural by the Fearless Collective showing the faces of indigenous leaders who have been at the forefront of the COP26 conference. If you look closely at the top of the mural you can see the top edge of the shuttlecock, a little bit of Guido’s legacy left behind.

While travelling around the city during the conference, I did manage to catch some good street art, with an especially nice piece by Frodrik at the side of CASS Art on Queen Street, a good mural about youth homelessness in Midland Street opposite James Kling’s portraits, but what really pleased me was a little charcoal type drawing of a figure in a doorway on Candleriggs, I noticed that as I made my way down the street after having a rather good pizza in Nonna Said with it’s ghood artwork by Conzothrob, he also pooped up in the St Enoch Centre with a funadvert for the new cinema there.  I’ve also included a mural from Mikaku on Queen Street painted by Rogue One.

On the Town

I had a bit of a pub crawl on Friday, I had arranged to meet my son Graeme for lunch starting off with a pint in Brewdog’s Doghouse on Hutcheson St. Looking for something different for lunch we went round to Mikaku, Glasgow’s new Japanese Izakaya-style restaurant on Queen St. Lunch there was brilliant, the Ramen and Yaki Gyoza’s were excellent, all washed down with a nice pint of Asahi. The large Blade Runner styled mural by Rogue One along the main wall made it more enjoyable for me.

Graeme had to collect some records from Mono in King St., where I bumped into Nick, a friend from the Barn in the Gorbals, so we stayed a while for a beer with him. We were joined later by some of Nicks mates, including Conzo & Globel, (which reminded me that I hadn’t posted my wide angle shot of their Yardworks piece, you can see it above).

A good few pints later we decided to move onto the Scotia Bar on Stockwell St, this turned out to be a great choice, the beer was very good and we happened to be sitting next to a guy called Danny, Danny, a visiting American music teacher, who had his fiddle with him, was desperate to play some of his traditional music in Glasgow, we eventually convinced the staff there to let him play, we, and the punters in the pub, really enjoyed his playing and he was asked for more and more tunes. After a few too many beers and eventually after getting Danny on a train to Edinburgh, I drifted home after a really great day out with Graeme, I certainly felt a wee bit fragile in the morning.


Yardworks Weekend 2019

I had a great weekend at Yardworks, the weather for a change was brilliant.  The crowds turned out and the artists working put on a tremendous display.  In addition to the local favourites, many national and international artists created some tremendous work.

There was something for all the family in a carnival atmosphere, skateboarding and art experience for the kids and plenty of street food and bars for the adults, definitely something to add to the diary for next year.

Some of the photographs I took over the weekend can be seen here.


Jim Jimmies Revisited

I had a ‘cracking’ day in town yesterday with my mate Jim.  We were pleased that our efforts at the Kilt walk raised over £900 for Cancer Research UK, not bad for a couple of old guys out for a Sunday Stroll.  We also were able to go over our plans for our coming trip to San Francisco, Vega and New York, deciding what we are going to do with our time there.  After a nice lunch in the Shilling Brewing Co. we headed over to Paisley Road Toll for a beer in the Old Toll Bar and to see how Rogue-One’s latest work there has progressed since my last visit.  Jim hadn’t seen them before and he was very impressed, especially by the one of Mark McManus.

Wednesday Wander

As I am still in training for the Kilt Walk on the 28th, I decided to do a bit of walking today. I started off in Commerce Street for a Physio Appointment then headed off to the Old Toll Bar at Paisley Road West, I managed to meet up with Rogue-One and we had a rare old blether, and I got a sneak preview of his current work in the downstairs function room, so far he has finished James McAvoy, Mark McManus and Gerry Rafferty and he was putting the finishing touches to Billy Connolly while I was there.  They all look fabulous, with tremendous attention to detail, and I was told that there are more to come on the other walls in the room, I can’t wait to see the room finished.

While there I was impressed by the friendly staff and the range of good beers on tap, I had a great pint of stout to send me on my way.

Leaving the bar, I continued walking along Paisley Road finishing off in Govan hoping to take the ferry to the Riverside Museum but it wasn’t running so I had to walk back to the Science Centre and crossed the river there.  Lunch in SWG3 then back into town before a pint in the Raven before home.  16k was my final tally so I think I should be OK for the Kilt Walk.

Glasgow North

I had to go over to the north of the city for a physio appointment the other day and while in the area I thought I would visit one of my favourite Rogue-One murals, the Cowlairs Incline, on Endrick Street, just off Keppochhill Road.  That led me on to the corner of Hawthorn Street and Balmore road to photograph another of his pieces I have intended photographing for a while, his depiction of a speedway rider advertising the local team, The Glasgow Tigers.  As it was a nice sunny day, I then took a stroll along the banks of the Forth & Clyde canal where I spotted a nice wee naive mural in a wall near the Ruchill church, I couldn’t find out anything about who painted it and why.

You never know what you will find when out wandering, while at the canal bank, I met 2 young guys who were ‘magnetic fishing’!  Instead of a hook on the end of their lines they had strong magnets, their catch so far that day was a bicycle, a couple of scooters, several bunches of keys and a knuckle duster.  For some reason or other, they didn’t want their photograph taken.

On the Paisley Road

I decided to head down to Paisley this morning to see Mark Worst’s latest piece of work. I was very impressed with the painting of his mate Scott. It’s in a little ‘garden’ area next to Leisureland on the High Street, some may remember his mural with a fox on the same wall.

Walking along Paisley High Street towards Leisureland, I noticed that the Little Book Transfer murals are still there on the empty shops, they can be seen on the LBT page here.

While I was on the Paisley Road I stopped off at the Pacitti Community Gardens to see Rogue-One’s latest work. This spectacular piece attracted plenty of media interest, it was on the front page of the Scotsman, in the Evening Times on Tuesday 19th March and The Metro even covered the story, well earned praise indeed.  Also on Paisley Road West is another nice community mural created by Rogue-One and EJEK using a design created by the local school pupils, as you can see, there was bright sunlight when I took this image, I’ll return later and get a better shot.

I will add all these images into the relevant pages in The Artists section.

Fae Fife

Following on from my International Woman’s Day post, I was reminded that World Book Day was last Thursday (7th March) so as it was a nice sunny day and as I had to pop up to Glenrothes for a meeting with an old work colleague I decided to hunt out some books on walls, rather than indoors in libraries, and I wasn’t disappointed.

I hunted out two created by Rogue One to celebrate World Book Day in 2013, the first was in Buckhaven in Fife, where his mate EJEK lent a hand, the other one I found on the library in Bonnybridge.

You can see how the Buckhaven Mural was created in this video and the Bonnybridge Mural in this video.

While in the Fife area, I discovered work by a local Fife artist Kerry Wilson, a large mural in Cowdenbeath depicting the areas link to mining and some fun pieces on a couple of Glenrothes’ underpasses.

Watch the Cowdenbeath Mural creation here.

It was quite fortunate to finish off in Bonnybridge as I was able to visit my niece Lesley, who lives there, for a coffee and a blether before heading home, it was great to meet up with her and her family and to catch up with all the latest news.

The week gone by

I’ve been busy over the last week volunteering at Celtic Connections 2019 so I’ve not had a chance to get out and about taking photographs. This week, I was on duty at the CCA, for John Paul White supported by Lyla Foy, then it was the Mackintosh Church, for Iain MacFarlane & Ingrid Henderson (with special guests Hamish Napier and Finlay MacDonald) who were supported by Hecla, I met some great people and heard some fabulous music. The week was topped off by Grace & Danger: A Celebration of John Martyn in the Concert Hall, I had a great week and I’m looking forward to next week at the Mitchell Theatre and the O2 Academy.

On the way up to the Mackintosh Church, I was blethering with the driver and we got talking about street art as we were passing Firhill Stadium so I had to point out Rogue One’s nice mural on the outside wall of the city end of the stadium.  Due to the length of this piece I’ve split it into 2 panoramic shots.