The ‘Big Man’ is a huge piece of public art work proposed for Stockingfield Junction designed by Andy Scott, a Glasgow-based artist, whose work includes The Heavy Horse and The Easterhouse Phoenix.
The event was aimed at encouraging the North Glasgow community to find out more about the regeneration of the Forth and Clyde Canal and to collect their thoughts about the proposal. It was centred around the community of Maryhill, highlighting its heritage and influences over the years.
The detailed objectives of the event were:
- To deliver a celebratory community-focused event for the residents of Maryhill
- To celebrate it’s rich heritage and cultural history
- To raise the profile of the regeneration plans for the canal
- To complement current local initiatives, including the ISIS masterplan, canal lighting strategy, redevelopment of the Whitehouse Bar
- To encourage greater use of the canal, enjoyment of the local environs, promoting the canal network as a safe and attractive environment
- To provide a showcase opportunity for the canal regeneration partners and local community initiatives
- To encourage participation and engagement of local community members
The brief, outlined by The Waterways Trust Scotland, was to create an event which was celebratory, fun and informative, through a range of activities, entertainment and participation.
The Maryhill Locks provided an excellent setting for the event making for a truly canal-base experience.
On the day the range of great activities included canal boat trips, canoeing, kayaking, angling, an exhibition, refreshments, arts and crafts activities, face painting, mountain biking, model boats, apple-pressing, fitness testing, storytelling and live performances in the form of music, dance and circus skills, featuring Nikitta Angus ( form the X Factor), Punjabi No 1, and Bright Night International.
- British Waterways Scotland
- The Waterways Trust Scotland
- Glasgow Canal Regeneration Network
- Maryhill Local Housing Association
- Cube Housing Association
- GHA Queen’s Cross Housing Association and Sustrans
The visual arts and events elements comprised of the following:
T-Shirt printing with the ‘Big Man’ consultation theme and stencils featuring text which said, “I’m the Big Man”
Badge Making with special focus on wildlife – trees, birds, animals, waterways and Big Man theme
Japanese Koi (hanging goldfish). The Koi were made of recyclable materials and were especially aimed at children
Community Acts: Nikitta Angus (singer), Punjabi No 1 (dancers, musicians), Bright Night International (street performers, acrobats, fire poi)
In addition, we were asked to undertake a community consultation over the proposed plans, taking advantage of the opportunity to engage with a large number of community members. On the day, this included a Wishing Tree, questionnaires, a consultation gazebo, and roving film crews interviewing people.
This culminated in a DVD of the event and interviews but we also extended the consultations to a number of local schools and groups in the weeks preceding the event, engaging them in arts-based consultative activities. We undertook a full consultation workshop with Cleveden Secondary School and also held a fun competition: Watercrafts of the Future.
This was a model making competition involving primary schools and youth groups from the community. Impact arts provided an artist and assistant to help the groups design and create a futuristic watercraft which they would like to see on the canal.
The groups thoroughly enjoyed their experiences which included brainstorming, developing their model making design and art skills and being as creative as possible.
The artists consulted with Gordon Morlan of the Model Boat Club prior to the workshops regarding design for buoyancy of the crafts.
On the day of the event we held an entertaining Sink or Swim finale where the watercrafts were put to the test.