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.
Hip-Hop Marionette is the name of the mural. 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, and is 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. But I have not found anything to verify this.
The Land Ship
This mural, The Land Ship, depicts a mock-up 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.
But 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. However, 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. Teneu 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. St. Serf raised Kentigern and called him Mungo, which means “dear one”.
Patron Saint of Glasgow.
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. Then some boys killed the robin and tried to blame it on Mungo. But it’s said that St. Mungo restored the robin’s life.
The kindness expressed in his face is what first drew me in. It was 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. After that, 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 continuously 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.
Still, I did not know he was a Saint.
But he did speak to me up on that wall.
Above all, 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.
30 thoughts on “Murals of Glasgow”
That was a fun mural to stumble upon. 🙂
My goodness those photos are amazing. Great detail. Lots of colour. Very eye opening.
Thank you. 🙂 I was thoroughly impressed by art created on such a large scale!
Wow. Amazing photos. What incredible murals. Thanks for sharing them! xx
Amazing photos, you really captured expressions of Glasgow.
Thank you! I really enjoyed seeing them. I’m hoping that someday I’ll be able to see the others.
The kindness of his face is very moving. So very well said about this special mural, Amy. 🙂
Thank you Amy! 🙂
I love the last mural, too. The puppeteer comes second. Wow! It seems like in each street corner a pleasant surprise awaits a visitor to Glasgow. 🙂
I’m glad that you enjoyed them Imelda. I think this is an amazing endeavor that they’ve undertaken. It really adds a exciting element to the city. 🙂
It does. It also gives people a sense of community and pride. 🙂
These murals are gorgeous. And I’m impressed they are still in good condition (considering the exposure to humid elements in Glasgow).
I enjoyed all the murals, but I keep returning to stare at the Wonderwall. The perspective and selective use of color is brilliant!
I loved the virtual trip, but I’m with you, I love Glasgow! (Gonna have to take my wife soon)
I hadn’t even considered the element factor, but they appeared in beautiful condition.
I loved the selective use of color as well. I think I read that perhaps on the lecture theatre that was chosen as a blending of old school days and new school days, conveying the passage of time, since they were celebrating their 50th anniversary.
I hope you and your wife get to Glasgow soon! I think my husband would love it as well. See… I have another reason to return. 😉
Amazing Amy. At each one I would think…well that’s my favorite…and then the next one would pop up. Thank you for sharing these images with us. As much as I’d love to say I’ll make it there someday…one never knows. So I appreciate you sharing all that you experienced with us! 🙂
I’m glad that you enjoyed them Nikki! 🙂
We never know what twists and turns life will take, so you may indeed visit there someday!
They made me want to search out some of the street art that exists in other cities that I visit…and the one I live in!
I love the Saint Mungo mural. I’ve always been fascinated with street art – probably because I also like comic book artwork.
I think street art is so amazing! I’m fascinated with most “drawn” art… maybe because it’s a skill I’m lacking and have always wanted. 🙂
I really like those Hop-on-Hop-off buses the first day or two of a new city. They really help me get my barrings or lay of the land.
Those murals are so big and wonderful. The artists are so talented. I loved the last one too, being very fond of birds, and the girl blowing the seeds was really neat, and I smiled when I saw the Tardis! 🙂
Looking forward to more images, and tales from your trip.
I thought the buses were wonderful for giving me a sense of direction and also seeing where I might like to focus my time!
I love a good city mural and to come across so many was a giant plus for my time there! 🙂
Each one of these is a gorgeous work of art. I am in awe of the artists who can visualize and creative these masterpieces on such a huge scale.
Now I know that if I ever get to Glasgow one day, I must take the City Centre Mural Trail. I’m often researching things after the fact and wish that I could have a do-over.
I’m in awe of the huge scale as well. I’ve found that researching things after the fact seems to be my modus operandi…something I’ll slowly be working to change 🙂
hehehe – I keep saying that too 😉