There are eight artists/groups working to create artworks for the project. Over the winter, we’ve been busy! Community engagement has included workshops in clay, drawing, poetry – some in person, some virtual.
I’m now working on the final designs for the river. Part of the design is using different fonts, typefaces, and lettering. Today, I’ve been gathering some of the special images I’ve found and selecting which ones to include.
Deep in design/contemplation process at the moment.
I’ve gathered over 1,000 names that I would love to put in the river. But of course, this is far too many. So this month hard decisions are going to have to be made about which names to use.
In the course of my research and consultations, I’ve discovered some wonderful stories and many forgotten names of people, places and events that remain just as slight memories, glimpses and fragments.
I recently heard about the ‘Lost Children of Maryhill’, and there are the memories and ghosts of so many of the people who lived, worked and passed through the area around Stockingfield.
I’ve been thinking about names, how they endure, how some are ‘written on water‘ and some are ‘carved in stone’.
After working on designs and considering the river deeply over the past few weeks, I’ve started to think that a central poem is needed to flow through the river. I’m now working on that – a poem that hopefully can evoke the memories and echoes of all of those people, places and lives that have woven around the site and created the place.
This week, I’ll be thinking about all of these things and starting on the poem.
This week has been busy with workshops at Glasgow Women’s Centre and a zoom chat with Maryhill Together, as well as conversations about street songs, puffers and buddhism.
The art projects for the bridge are all intended to reflect and involve the local community – it’s great to hear from local people what they value about the canal and the area, and what they’d like to see included in the artworks and the River of Names.
We’ve heard lots about how local people use the canal, the memories of playing and swimming in the canal, and also about people’s concerns and hopes for the future of the canal and the whole surrounding area.
Do follow ‘Maryhill Together’ on facebook for updates on the artworks’ progress and ways to get involved.
Follow this blog for updates on the ‘river of names’
While working mostly on research, I’ve also been developing the design for the ‘river’*.
I’ve sortedthe names gathered so far into about twenty ‘streams’ – ‘nature’, ‘built environment’, ‘sport’, etc. These will then flow and weave and intertwine along the piece. It should make for a stronger visual, and hopefully produce some interesting combinations and meetings.
This will mean designing will be like making several complex curved, elongated jigsaws intertwined with each other. A challenge!
I am now deep in researching for names to add to the ‘river’.
One of the nice things is discovering people (and places) connected to the canal and local area.
Hilda Goldwag was an artist recommended to me by the Scottish Jewish Archives centre. She lost her family in the Holocaust, coming to Glasgow as a refugee in 1939, and living the rest of her life here.
The canal, its boats and buildings were one of her main subjects – you can see some of her wonderful paintings here.