I’ve already shared that I absolutely loved Glasgow.
But in case you missed it… I loved Glasgow.
My time there was much too brief.
If you are new to my blog, during my week in Scotland, two days were to be spent in Glasgow. However, they were mainly to be a home base for some genealogy interests in some nearby small towns. After a train disruption, a change of plans was made for the Friday that we arrived. That afternoon my mother and I visited the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, which I shared about in this post.
The next morning we boarded a train to Shotts to watch the Highland Games. We thought that would be a nice trip because we have genealogical ties to Shotts [my 3rd great grandfather, Hugh McLachlan, who was born in 1835 in Glasgow was living in Shotts on the 1861 and 1871 census. He was listed as an Iron Miner, and a Coal Miner, respectively. I will also note that his sons Hugh, age 14, and James, age 12 are listed as coal drawers on the 1871 census. A coal drawer, or hurrier, transported the coal that had been mined to the surface.]
Upon our return to Glasgow, we decided the best way to see as much of Glasgow as possible was to take a sightseeing bus. We chose the hop-on hop-off version. I’m not big on tours where there is no escape. And that was when I discovered that some of the buildings in Glasgow have Street Art murals.
From atop the bus, I was only able to capture this giant mural in two separate shots.
The mural is called The Swimmer by the artist Smug. It was commissioned to commemorate the 2014 Commonwealth Games. It’s located at the Kingston Bridge.
Just a teaser, but Smug is also the graffiti artist who painted my favorite mural.
However, I’m saving that mural for last.
We exited the bus at St. Mungo Cathedral because I love a beautiful, old church. As was the case in two out of the three churches that I tried to visit, I just missed seeing the inside of the church. After viewing the outside, my aunt decided to catch the bus back to our starting location. I convinced my mother to walk through part of the Necropolis with me. The Necropolis is the cemetery next to the church. Modeled on the Peré-Lachaise, it is estimated that 50,000 burials have taken place here.
But I’m getting sidetracked, and those places are a different tale.
We decided to head back to George Square to meet my aunt. We opted to walk…and I’m so glad that we did!
I did not know that Glasgow has numerous murals painted around the city, so each one was a delightful surprise for me.
My walk only included a few of what I later discovered was an entire trail of murals throughout the city.
I’m taking you in reverse order because I’m saving my favorite for last.
The mural above is called Hip-Hop Marionette. It’s located on John Street and the artist is Rogue-One, in collaboration with Art Pistol. It draws its influence from the Beastie Boys and Run DMC.
The University of Strathclyde commissioned Wonderwall to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of its Royal Charter, which conferred its university status. Covering more than 1,000 square meters and several stories, it is the UK’s largest mural.
The artists are Rogue-One, and EJEK, in collaboration with Art Pistol.
This mural is on the Graham Hills building at 40 George Street.
This particular mural is titled The Lecture Theatre.
I spent some time trying to research the murals that I came across, but was not able to find the details for the mural of the acrobats?? to the left.
The mural, which is a collage of sorts, across the front of the building caught my eye with its many layers. I’m sure that the portraits are of notable people, but I’ve yet to discover who they are.
If you look across the bottom portion of the mural, you will see the T.A.R.D.I.S, which is a nod to the fact that the university archives hold papers of Verity Lambert, the founding producer of Dr. Who. The wall itself has its own hashtag listed on the mural, #strathwonderwall.
This girl blowing wishes upon a dandelion is what originally stopped me to photograph this mural.
I probably am just not looking for the right search terms, but I have not found what this represented. I will state that I thought she was blowing seeds that appeared to be the “X” on the Scottish flag and that the colors were the same as the Scottish flag. However, I have not found anything to verify this.
This mural, The Land Ship, depicts a mock up navigation bridge which was once used to teach at the School of Navigation in the Royal College.
Up next, is my favorite mural. Granted, I missed so many murals because I did not know about the City Centre Mural Trail until after I returned home and looked up the names of the murals that I did see. Seeing the rest is always a great excuse for a return trip!!
I first spied this mural while atop the sightseeing bus.
Its located on High Street and the artist is Smug.
This mural captured my heart. I didn’t even know who it depicted until I began my google search. I just knew that I loved it and wanted to walk past it to get a closer look.
St. Mungo (his birth name is Kentigern) is the Patron Saint of Glasgow.
This mural is a depiction of a modern day version of the Saint.
I’m not sure which parts of his heritage are fact and which are folklore, but according to a manuscript held at the British Library his mother, Teneu was a 6th century princess. She became pregnant after being raped by Owain mab Urien. Her father had her thrown off Traprain Law, but she survived. He then set her adrift in a coracle, which made landfall at Culross, and where Kentigern was born. He was raised by St. Serf who called him Mungo, which means “dear one”.
In order to be a Saint, you must have performed miracles in your lifetime. St. Mungo is said to have performed four miracles which are remembered in a poem:
Here is the bird that never flew
Here is the tree that never grew
Here is the bell that never rang
Here is the fish that never swam
This mural depicts the first miracle. St Serf had a wild robin that he had tamed. Some boys killed the robin and tried to blame it on Mungo. Mungo is said to have restored life to the robin.
What first drew me to the mural was the kindness expressed in his face. The creases at the corner of his eyes and the indentation of the cheek, pointing to the fact that if you could see underneath his mustache, I would suspect the corners of his mouth would be upturned into the beginning of a smile.
His red nose gives me comfort because I am almost always sporting a red nose. In the winter, I am Rudolph… In the summer, the slightest bit of sun goes straight to my nose. Quite often, I am annoyed by this traitor who makes my skin tone uneven. Since I rarely wear makeup, the redness shouts to the world about my sensitive skin.
He reminds me of a fisherman that you might see upon the docks on a cold, winter day. He looks like a hard worker… weather-worn, a bandage on his finger and yet has a soul gentle enough that a bird would alight upon his finger.
I did not know he was a Saint.
But he did speak to me up on that wall.
I recognized a man full of compassion and kindness.
And isn’t that the type of person that we should all strive to be?
Let your light shine!
* You can read about the other miracles here. This was my source for his birth story. Google will yield numerous sites with similar information. I have included links to those that I found to be consistent with all else I read.