Glasgow: it is a city known for its industrial past and commercial present, to be sure.It is also a city of murals.
There is quite lot of it, in fact, to be found on the city’s walls.
The murals on the walls of Glasgow buildings are as varied as the city’s interests.
Many are those to do with sport, some having been created for the Commonwealth Games. Some mark events and people of history, recent, ancient, and in between.
There are those in which whimsy, fantasy, and Glaswegian wry humour have a part, too.
Here are several of my favourites of Glasgow’s murals.
This is a modern day portrait of the city’s patron saint, Saint Mungo, who is also known as Saint Kentigern. He is said to have built a church where the present Glasgow Cathedral now stands, and ministered in the area, during the sixth century of the Christian era. One of his miracles was to restore to life a robin who had died (that’s why there ai a bird on Glasgow’s coat of arms).
In this large mural the saint is seen in modern dress, with a robin perched n his finger at whom he looks with a kind smile. The artist is Sam Banks, who goes by the name SMUG in his art. The mural is on a gable end at High Street, not far from the Clyde.
Nearby is another mural by SMUG, this of a mother tenderly holding her baby in her arms. As lovely and touching as this image is, these are not just any mother and any baby, though.
The baby is the infant Saint Mungo, and the woman is his mother, Saint Enoch, who is also known as Saint Thaney. Nearby Saint Enoch Square is said to have been the location of a chapel dedicated to Saint Enoch. I hope it gives her a smile to know she also has a subway station and a shopping center named for her.
One of the nice things about Glasgow’s murals, especially in current times, is that you can walk around the city center and beyond to see them, staying out of doors.
When you tire of walking, though, wouldn’t you like to take ride in the world’s most economical taxi? In imagination, anyway. This mural was created by the artist Rogue. You will find it on Mitchell Street near to Buchanan Street.
Cats are poplar subjects in the murals of Glasgow. The murals range from panthers to tigers
to cozy sleeping house cats.
Charles Rennie Mackintosh was a native Glaswegian, an artist, architect, and designer who worked in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. His work was fundamental to what became known as the Glasgow style. It’s only fitting that he be one of those who appears in a Glasgow mural.
It is near the Clyde, and the site of the former Clutha Bar, and not far from Saint Enoch Centre. The mural was was commissioned by the Radisson RED Hotel to mark the 150th anniversary of Mackintosh’s birth in 2018. It was created by Rogue and Art Pistol, and includes designs referencing Mackintosh’s art. In recent days, Mackintosh has also acquired a mask.
There are many more murals in Glasgow. You will find some by following the City Centre Mural Trail . Keep your eye out for others, as they do come and go as well, and there are plenty to find beyond the city center, too.
Stay with us here, too: I’ll always have things to tell you about music, arts, and history in Glasgow, and in Scotland.
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