January update

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.

Also holding an open zoom on Wednesday – do join me!

Get involved!

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’

Sign up to Scottish Canals’ newsletter about the project here.

We’ll be hosting another zoom chat in January – meanwhile please feel free to get in touch to suggest names, ask questions, download resources and activities here or just for a chat.

Chats and workshops

This week, along with Louise Nolan of Maryhill Together, I’ll be chatting via the wonder of zoom to local groups, and holding an open zoom chat on Wednesday the 1st of December.

All are very welcome.

The zoom meeting link can be found here.

It’s a great chance to hear more about the project, ask questions, meet some of the artists and make suggestions for names to add to the ‘river’.

Hope to see you there!

Streams in the river

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!

*strictly speaking ‘watercourse’, of course.

Hilda Goldwag

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.

Goldwag, Hilda; Along the Canal; University of Strathclyde; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/along-the-canal-155758

Community Artwork plans unveiled

John Smeaton’s plan of the canal

Scottish Canals have issued a press release regarding the artwork for the Stockingfield Canal site.

Work is now starting on community engagement, with all the following artists and groups planning various activities and consultation:

Lambhill Stables

Louise Nolan

Boom! Community Arts

Louise McVey


Nicola McHendry

David Galbraith

And of course, I am looking for names for the ‘river of names’! Do please get in touch if there’s a person, place, wildlife or event you think should be added to the river.

The ‘River of Names’

I’m one of 8 artists/groups commissioned to create artworks for the site. My plan is to etch names onto the lockstop stones – 20 granite slabs making a path alongside the canal.

I hope to let the names flow from the community into the artwork – and am asking the local community to nominate names to be included.

These may be the names of people, places, events, wildlife, plantlife, songs or poems. Any name that is meaningful for the local community, has resonance or importance for local people.

Suggestions will be submitted anonymously, and all considered for inclusion. I welcome names from different languages, alphabets and cultures, and hope to show the layers of history, community, and society from round about the site of the bridge.

Nominations will be open until mid November 2021, when I will gather all the names and start to consider the design.

The project will go into production in spring 2022, and the bridge should be open in 2022.

How to get involved

As part of a programme of community engagement, I am looking for your nominations! Please use the contact form to send your suggestions for names to be included in the River.

Please also include a few words about why you are nominating the name or names.

I am conducting a programme of events to seek the views and input of local people – these will take place throughout September and October 2021.

Activities include poetry writing, artwork making and worksheets are available. If you’d like to get involved and/or ask for some of the worksheets, please contact me using the form here.