If you’re a fan of street murals, then a trip to Glasgow should be on the cards. It’s very likely that even if you’re not actively looking for these artistic gems you’ll stumble across at least a couple of Glasgow street murals.
Glasgow City Council first commissioned an artist to regenerate one of its rundown spaces back in 2008. Since then, a collection of works of art has appeared across the city, some in prominent positions, others tucked away down narrow alleys. The council has put together a city trail map which helpfully includes suggestions for attractions nearby. Whether you rent a bicycle, walk the route or take the car, these murals are definitely worth a closer look. Here are a few of our favourites.
Magnificent Glasgow Street Murals
The floating taxi
Tucked away at the Argyll Street end of Mitchell Street, this fabulous design is a stone’s throw from the Style Mile. Artist Bobby McNamara, better known to art lovers in the city as Rogue-One, wanted to create a work that stood out from the brick wall on which it is painted. To do so he painstakingly added hundreds of painted bricks to add definition to the work. Look closely and you’ll see that the taxi’s license plate bears the artist’s name: RO6U31.
Continuing the eco-friendly theme, a girl blowing on a dandelion can also be found in Mitchell Street. As she blows, the seeds turn to wind turbines. This Rogue-One mural was commissioned to coincide with Doors Open Day in 2014 and focuses the attention on Scotland’s commitment to diversifying energy production. The rubbish carts in front of her remind you that street art isn’t always given the reverence it deserves!
Girl with magnifying glass
Across the street you’ll find a huge piece adorning the end wall of another building in Mitchell Street. This one’s a four-storey high masterpiece. It was painted in 2012 by Smug and features a girl peering down into a huge magnifying glass to pick something up from the ground. Australian artist Sam Bates is the talent behind the piece; you’ll see his tag in the girl’s necklace.
Up near the cathedral, this enormous face is waiting to greet you on the gable end of a building on High Street. Smug’s responsible for this one too. St Mungo is Glasgow’s patron saint and he was said to have performed four miracles. One is depicted here: the bird that never flew. St Mungo brought a robin back to life and you’ll see it here, perched on his hand.
Ingram Street’s wildlife
The Merchant City gets the Smug treatment in a massive mural stretching the length of the Ingram Street car park. The artist aimed to represent Glasgow in all seasons, depicting cute creatures in a style that’s almost as clear as a photograph. Locals say you should be able to experience all four of those seasons during one visit – and you’ll only need to stay for a day. While you’re here, look out for the photo-bombing squirrel!
Guido van Helten is the talent behind this huge mural of Scottish badminton player Kieran Merrilees. You’ll find it around the corner from the Ingram Street animals. It celebrates Glasgow hosting the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Merrilees made it to the quarter finals of both the singles and the mixed team events of those Games.
Intrigued? We hope so. There are plenty more on the trail to admire, including the fabulous finger puppets at the Cowcaddens Underpass, a clutch of famous faces adorning the Clutha Bar and at least one tiger, panda and crocodile. Let us know which Glasgow street murals are your favourites.