Art organisation WAVEparticle was commissioned by St. Enoch Centre to create a suite of permanent public artworks for their newly refurbished Food Court.
The artworks that evolved did so in close consultation with the Centre’s Management Team and through consultation & engagement with the public who use the Centre, as well as a local school and other organisations throughout the city.
WAVEparticle occupied a space in St. Enoch Centre over a 3-week period in February and invited passers-by to pop in and tell them their favourite Glaswegian word, phrase or place. They were delighted to see that people of all ages, genders and cultures visited the space to offer their favourite words, phrases and places. Alongside this, WAVEparticle collected a multitude of local words and phrases, related to Glasgow, from the pupils of Gowanbank Primary School, the attendees at the Scotswoman Of The Year Event, visitors to Glasgow’s Women’s Library in Bridgeton and contributions from the Evening Times readers.
WAVEparticle has celebrated these words and phrases across all the artworks listed below.
Art Position 1 - The lift - Waterfall of Words/ VernacRuler
For the lift WAVEparticle created the artwork Waterfall of Words. Emergent themes in this work are the flow of life, water, thought, the ripples and reverberations of memory.
WAVEparticle placed the names of the four waterfalls that feed the Clyde into propinquity with extracts from poems that celebrate waterfalls – specifically Corra Linn by Robert Burns and other works by Thomas Campbell, Hugh MacDiarmid and William Wordsworth.
In addition there are Gaelic phrases related to water, Scottish words related to weather and the translation of the word ‘waterfall’ in the other languages that represent the significant historical migrations to the city.
WAVEparticle connected the theme of waterfall to the image of the prow of a boat by bringing it to the nose of the St Enoch Centre lift and dividing it in a series of increments that measure the actual height of the lift. These increments create the VernacRuler, a measurement of all the words in Scots/Gaelic that describe size, from tiny to large. The list begins and ends with the word ‘benmaist’ that means both innermost and outermost.
Art Position 2 - Buried Treasure – Is this the largest wordsearch ever?
On the mid-section of the wall beside Hamleys, WAVEparticle made a game to celebrate all the suggestions we received on Glaswegian children’s games and past-times and buried these in what may be Scotland’s largest wordsearch! Buried Treasure anticipates the fun children and adults can have in trying to unearth and decipher all the entries here.
Art Position 3 – Concentric Circle of Scottish Phrases
Glaswegian and Scottish phrases were a favourite. It was interesting to see how many elected words and phrases related to the favourite sayings of people’s parents (it’s like people carry their mums and dads with them in those words). Some of the phrases are historic like “It’s a braw, bricht, moonlicht nicht the nicht!” A lot of the phrases reflect the Glaswegian personality and that great Glaswegian humour!
Art Positions 4 & 7 - Two artworks by internationally renowned artist Jacki Parry, ‘Women in the City’ and ‘Saint Enoch’
We hit gold when leaving our suggestions box for words and phrases at the Glasgow Women’s Library, discovering their publication 21 Revolutions, celebrating 21 years of the Glasgow Women’s Library and finding within wonderful artwork by the Internationally renowned Glasgow-based artist Jacki Parry.
Art Position 4 - Women in the City
This artwork re-draws a map of Glasgow using women’s names.
Art Position 7 - Saint Enoch
This focuses on the many names that have been used throughout history for the mother of Glasgow.
Art Position 5 – Concentric Circle of Words from Gowanbank Primary School
The whole project kicked off with a creative workshop delivered by WAVEparticle with P4 and P5 pupils at Gowanbank Primary School. With the help of a big floor map of Glasgow and gold stars, pupils were invited to talk about and mark their favourite places in Glasgow and also come up with their favourite Glaswegian words, sayings and phrases. The pupils then ‘drew’ the words and phrases they’d chosen. Their fantastic contributions are now permanently on display in this bespoke Concentric Circle of Words, specially dedicated to Gowanbank Primary.
Art Position 6 - The Ceiling Compass
The theme of vernacular place names, along with treasured places in the city, generated a rich vein of responses and WAVEparticle wove these into the work we call the Ceiling Compass, selecting contributions that represent the compass points.
Art Position 8 – Concentric Circle for Food & Drink
Again, words for food and drink and celebration probably topped our contributions and we’ve crafted a special ring of concentric circles based upon this as a perfect ‘echo’ for the refurbished Food Court.