Our Art in The Middle of Our Street

Street art is important. It opens up our world to some incredible work by artists that we otherwise might not see. It brightens up our lives and makes the mundane no longer so mundane.

Glasgow is full of some hidden, and not-so-hidden, artworks that fit perfectly within their surroundings and that attract a huge amount of attention from tourists and the residents who live here.

 

And it’s not only Glasgow; street art is being practised, praised and celebrated all around the world.

Melbourne, Australia, is just one example of many places that is hugely popular for its street art. Regarded as ‘The Street Art Capital’, Melbourne’s art attracts tourists from all over the world and even contains areas of the city that have been approved purely for the purpose of creating street art.

Due to the vast amount of artwork that is engaging tourists, and showcasing remarkable talent, galleries in the city have even begun to exhibit some of the work, showing that street art is something that should be noticed and taken seriously.

The possibilities of what can be created are endless and it’s great to see that people are becoming more open to welcoming it.

Not only can street art look incredible, but like all art, it’s also demonstrating that it can break some major ground and bring up important social matters – proving that it can be both enlightening and educational to those who see it.

Shamsia Hassani is known as the first (most recognised) female street artist in Afghanistan. Hassani, who has a master’s degree in visual art, is successfully brightening the streets of Afghanistan and aims to spread a message of hope and light to her community.

Created using spray paint, Hassani’s street art is vivid and full of vibrant colour.  In an interview with Street Art Bio, she said “I want to cover all bad memories of war from people’s minds.”

Back to Glasgow, using ‘The Mural Trail’, which can be found online, is an easy way to help you find your way from one mural to another.

Following the trail is not only a great way to witness some seriously interesting art, but  it’s also a fun way to discover Glasgow’s City Centre which is full of interesting sights and places.

The murals are incredible and varied and feature work created by amazing artists such as Rogue One, Smug and James Klinge.

Off the mural trail, you will even see other pieces of street art along the way including painted faces which are dotted around Glasgow (especially the West End), as well as many other small pieces:

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In total, there are twenty two murals to go and see and, luckily, each mural is just a stone’s throw away from the one before making this art adventure a simple, yet fun, trip.

Glasgow’s first mural is The Hip Hop Marionettes by Rogue One.

These two wacky characters turn a standard building into a masterpiece that livens up the street that it resides in and injects it with character – not to mention that the sheer scale of this work alone is impressive.

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In order to see all of the murals, you would probably need to spend a couple of hours around the city. This, of course, depends on how you get to each mural and how long you plan on staying to look at each one.

However, what is strikingly obvious and clear to see when visiting these murals is how much people seem to love, and appreciate, them. The amount of people who stopped to get their photographs taken with the artwork, or to simply look at it, proved this and its reassuring to know that this talented work does not go unnoticed.

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I was lucky enough to have a chat with Bobbie McNamara (Rogue One), an artist from Glasgow, whose amazing work can be spotted all around the City in various locations.

How much time goes into planning your next piece of street art and how do you go about choosing your location?

“Planning for a piece can be instant and come naturally but sometimes it can take a while of organisation. A lot of the art is commission work so locations are chosen by those commissioning the murals.”

What is the longest amount of time you’ve spent on a piece of street art?

“The longest amount of time on a piece has been 2 months.”

What’s the set up like when you’re out painting?

“The set up on a large mural is, firstly, a lot of paint, a lot of paint! And the equipment often used is a cherry picker or scissor lift. A friend or work colleague is sometimes brought in to be there for safety reasons. I work from morning to night, basically as long as it’s daylight.”

How do you come up with your ideas? 

“Everything inspires me. Movies, culture, fashion, history. . .”

What’s your favourite piece of street art that you’ve created?

“I have many favourites. I try my best to make all my work look good. To be honest some mural designs are created by those commissioning the art and I’m asked to just paint it, so it’s the ones I design and do myself that are my favourites.”

What are your future plans?

“Future plans are just to keep painting and hope that big murals keep coming my way. If they don’t I will still continue to focus on my own paintings.”

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In a society where we are made to shy away from a career in art, it’s great that we are becoming more and more exposed to it. Street art is successfully showing people that a career in art, or a life surrounded by it, is not only exciting, but that it isn’t such a ridiculous or impossible concept.

Plus, it looks cool too.

You can check out a post on another mural here

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