Take A Walk On The Clydeside

During the lockdown many galleries have closed, some are re-opened, some with limitations.  But there are places around that we often walk past, works of art in public view, there to be appreciated.  Bella’s newest feature is a monthly look at art that you can see for for free.

This month I look at sculpture on the banks of the Clyde in Glasgow in A Walk on the Clyde Side.

A relatively short stroll can reveal some stunning works on our streets.  I would start on the Broomielaw. Between Jamaica Bridge and the “suspension Bridge” to the Gorbals is a tribute to those from Glasgow who volunteered in the International Brigades in the Spanish Civil War. La Passionara is a celebration of Spanish republican politician, Dolores Ibárruri, by Sculptor Arthur Dooley.

From there, cross the footbridge to The Gorbals to see “Gorbals Boys”, a three piece statue in Bronze and chrome by Liz Peden, based on Oscar Mazarolli’s famous photograph of boys playing in their mother’s high heels.

From there, head West on the Southside to the BBC Scotland offices at Pacific Quay to see Toby Patterson’s Poised Array, a tribute to the industry that once stood on the site.

From there, cross back over the Clyde on the footbridge and carry on West to the recent Glasgow Harbour development to find Andy Scott’s Rise. Scott is the artist behind the Kelpies and one the country’s best known and best loved sculptors. Rise is one of his less viewed works, tucked away in the waterside housing development.

This is just a glimpse of what is available on the street of our cities, just four of my favourite pieces in my city. As you walk you will no doubt come across other works, statues, sculpture and murals.  Do you have a favourite piece of public art that we can see for free? Let us know in the comments below.





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  1. Alasdair Macdonald says:

    I know these sculptures well and enjoy them most days when out on my cycle. If you go as far as Clydebank, on the main street, there is the memorial to the victims of asbestos, and, further west, “Head of a Polish Worker” and, out at Dalmuir (near the Golden Jubilee hospital which is on the site of Beardmore’s yard) there is Tom McKendrick’s monumental tribute to shipbuilding.

    Relatively close to the Clyde, at the junction of St Vincent St and Argyle St there is a huge ststue of Charles Rennie Mackintosh seated on – what else? – A Mackintosh style chair. On Woodlands Road there is the ‘equestrian statue’ of Lobey Dosser and Rank Badjinn.

    1. John S Warren says:

      I am the last person who should nit-pick over typos; but this is about Bud Neill and Woodlands Road, after all. Rank Bajin, please. Sculpture with a Glasgow sense of humour; takes me back in an instant ….. I love it.

      1. Alasdair Macdonald says:

        I had not noticed what autocorrect had done to Bajin! Apologies for such a lack of editing on my part. I am standing in a corner with a dunce’s cap on!

  2. Ray Bell says:

    If you go to Edinburgh Park not far from the Gyle Centre in the west of Edinburgh, you can see the sculptures of twelve poets including the likes of Jackie Kay, Sorley MacLean and Naomi Mitchison. There are a few other sculptures in the area, but they’re hard to track down. There’s a big Paolozzi sculpture just down the road at the end of South Gyle Crescent.

    It’s weird to see these in the middle of a business park and I think most folk are unaware of them because of that. The MacDiarmid sculpture is right outside Sainsbury’s Bank. I wonder what he would have made of it.

  3. Devine says:

    Outside the city centre there isn’t a great deal of public art or sculptures I can think of straight away. Hardly any on the southside of Glasgow for an area with grand and monumental architecture from Pollokshields to Shawlands and Govanhill-Queens Park-Mount Florida to Battlefield-Cathcart and Muirend. Although there’s the John McLean memorial stone at Riverford road next to the old shopping centre in Pollokshaws. If you include Govan in the southside there’s quite a few there: the best known being Sir William Pearce- there’s also the new Mary Barbour one at bus station/ also John Elder at Elder Park and the founder of the Park, his wife Isabella – and the Cormorants outside Fairfields/ there’s also the Aitken Memorial. There’s the ‘Govan Angel’ at La Fiorentina in Kinning Park. There’s a few in Rutherglen area such as the Mercat Cross at Rutherglen Burgh Hall-Library and the Overtoun Park Bandstand/ and strange ones at Victoria Street on a wall Burgh primary school.

    There seems to be more statues, monuments, fountains, memorials and public art in Glasgow parks than on the urban street network- which I think is a great disappointment’s as more people would appreciate them in the street and they often act as a meeting place/landmark that define places. One can think of PAN by David C Laurie in Glasgow Green/ the newish James Watt one in GG and the various fountain sculptures around McLennan Arch. Bellahouston has a dedicated Sculpture park/Garden in mainly around Mackintosh’s House for an Art Lover- and there are some lovely marble sculptures in Botanics and of course the Kelvingrove ones of Carlyle and Kelvin.

    Outside the ubiqutuous monuments at George Square such as the Cenotaph by Burnett there is the sculptures at the palazzo in the Italian Centre appropriately named ‘Thinking of Bella’ by Shona Kinloch. There’s also the ‘Diagram of an Object’ by Dhruva Mistry at the Hunterian entrance in West End. Two of Glasgow’s oldest portrait statues, these monuments were constructed in the 17th century by mason and builder James Colquhoun, one of the finest Scottish sculptors of his day. The stone statues were made to commemorate the legendary Glaswegian philanthropists George and Thomas Hutcheson. Hutcheson Hall in Merchant City- two scupltures of Mercury are also nearby at John Street. There’s the weird post-modern one of the ‘Citizen Firefighter’ outside the Central Station. George Wyllie is represented by the ‘Clyde Clock’ at Buchanan Street Station- the newish one with girl and boy embracing inside the Bus Station ‘meeting point’. There’s also the new ‘Homeless Jesus’ at Nelson Mandela Place. And the mad blue, pink, grey etc ‘Blobs’ at the BT HQ in IFSD. The St George statue defeating the dragon at St George’s Cross is also a fascinating and unusual sculpture. Another unusual and rarely known one is in the East End at Dennistoun called ‘The Community’ in Whitevale Street by Stanley Bonnar…and of course further along the East End at Paradise there’s the sculptures of Jinky, Stein, Billy MacNeill and Brother Walfrid at Celtic Park.

    1. Alasdair Macdonald says:

      There is another George Wylie in the Strathclyde University Campus between George St and Cathedral St on the site of the old maternity hospital on Rottenrow – It is a giant safety pin!

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