7 Arches is a new permanent public artwork by artist Liz Peden of Gorbals Arts Project that transforms Cleland Street Underpass, giving the public a chance to enjoy unique artwork that focuses on the history and heritage of the local area.
Liz Peden has created a striking permanent installation in the Cleland Street Underpass, that celebrates figures of significance to Laurieston and the Gorbals, including renowned artist Hannah Frank, Allan Pinkerton – who established Pinkerton’s National Detective Agency – and Benny Lynch –Scotland’s first world flyweight boxing champion.
Alongside Alison Thewliss, Glasgow Central MP, the Hannah Frank panel was revealed by her niece, Fiona Frank; the Benny Lynch panel by Bryan Turnbull from the Benny Lynch Campaign and Douglas Wilson, the grandson of Benny Lynch’s trainer; and the Allan Pinkerton panel was revealed by local schoolchildren from Blackfriars and St Francis’ Primary.
Liz Peden said, ‘‘The Gorbals is a performer before an audience.’’ She describes the work as a history wall of famous people born in the Gorbals, and chose this idea to ‘‘demonstrate to our young people that no matter where you come from, you can achieve great things.’’
The artwork comprises four black and white, five-metre high, dibond panels, one in each of the four alcoves on the North side of Cleland Street underpass. Across the road on the South side of the underpass, three weathered corten steel panels carry quotations in relief that reflect each of the historical figures. At night-time the steel panels will be flooded with coloured light from a ground-based lighting system, thereby creating three slowly changing light-wells that will welcome passers-by through the underpass.
This permanent artwork has been delivered with support from WAVEparticle as part of the award-winning Art & Living: Laurieston art strategy for the area, which is being delivered in partnership with New Gorbals Housing Association and Urban Union.
The artwork has also been made possible by invaluable funding support from Glasgow City Council’s Development and Regeneration Services and fantastic in-kind support from Network Rail.
The launch of the artwork was accompanied by a retrospective exhibition of 25 years of work by the Gorbals Arts Project, in an adjacent railway Arch in Cleland Lane – with 40 photographs capturing a range of this local arts project’s rich, creative output.