A colourful new artwork has been created in Sanquhar to mark the crossing point of the Southern Upland Way and the cycle route from Land’s End to John O’Groats.
The mural brightens up the outside of the public loos that are clearly seen by anyone arriving in the town square.
Artists Toubie Jack, Lorraine Melissa and David Rushton worked with Sanquhar Primary 7 pupils over the summer to create the artwork and on Tuesday, 6 November they will formally hand it over to Dumfries and Galloway Council.
David Rushton said: “The pupils and artists chose the theme to celebrate the meeting place of cyclists and walkers on two epic and challenging journeys.
“It was a really enjoyable project for everyone involved and was great for these young people to be involved in creating a piece of art that will last for many years.
“We’re also delighted to have had the opportunity to transform a very plain exterior into something the whole community, as well as visitors from all round the world, can enjoy.”
Toubie Jack showed the pupils how to paint landscape and forest scenes via a live TV link from her studio in Manchester, while David Rushton brought in bike parts and walking gear for the children to draw in the school art class.
Toubie and Lorraine Melissa then worked with pupils at weekends to create the mural.
The silhouettes of two cyclists and a hiker were projected and painted into the landscape and the children developed bike drawings, which David enlarged onto transparent material so that they could be added to the landscape.
An exhibition was also put on at the MERZ gallery, just across the road, that showed how the work of the P6 pupils had been converted into the mural.
A young intern from the US working at the MERZ gallery over the summer documented the whole process with a film crew of P4 pupils. This film and works from the exhibition will be available for viewing on 6 November.
The project was funded through the Council and DGU’s Regional Arts Fund, which is now inviting applications for projects in 2019/20.
Councillor Andy Ferguson, Chairman of the Communities Committee, who will receive the mural on behalf of the Council, said: “This is an excellent example of how getting involved in the arts can help young people learn new skills while creating something really impressive, of which their whole community can be proud.”
Councillor John Martin, Vice Chair of Communities, added: “It’s great to see young people and artists working together to improve their local environment. I think visitors to Sanquhar will find this an attractive and eye-catching new landmark.”
Cathy Agnew, Chair of DG Unlimited, the independent charity which champions the region’s arts, said: “I’m delighted to see the Regional Arts Fund supporting projects like this, which bring people of all ages together to develop their creativity and make a positive difference to their local area.”
- Summerhall TV will film on the day providing arts-news, documentary and archive for TV and social media.