Monday, 11 August 2014

Barrowland Park

Over the past couple of weeks, the city of Glasgow has been buzzing even more than usual due to being the host of the Commonwealth Games 2014.
Unsurprisingly, in true Glasgow spirit, the people of Glasgow rose to the occasion and welcomed visitors with open arms.

I was delighted to see the improvements that were made to the roads and public spaces around the city, none more obvious that by Glasgow Green.

The other night I was walking back from my studio to my flat when i noticed that the hoardings had been removed from an area of land that had been out-of-bounds wasteland for a few years. The area had been cleared, landscaped and a colourful path had been installed running through the centre. 

Album Pathway is a new artwork by Jim Lambie, commissioned as part of the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme, working alongside the Glasgow 2014 XX Commonwealth Games.

The stripy path was, at first, a pleasure to the eye, yet on closer inspection it became more significant. Lambie's piece draws on the history of the famous gig venue, The Barrowlands, which is located a short distance along the Gallowgate. Created by setting caste granite letters into pigmented concrete, the one hundred meters-long and three metres-wide path features the names of nearly every act that has played at the Barrowland since 1983, and includes the date they performed.

Lambie said the pathway resembles “the side view of a vinyl record collection, placed on a shelf at home.”

Perhaps that is one of the reasons why it is so popular - it is a sight so recognisable in many a home. Strolling along the pathway, it is difficult to think of anyone who is not familiar withat least a few of the bands, from Simple Minds & Blondie to Motorhead, and Foals. It has been wonderful to see a real mixture of people engaging and spending time with the work.
This makes it all the more disappointing to read that the Barrowland Park is a 'temporary urban greenspace'. I find it difficult to understand why such a place would be temporary, and hope that the public response encourages the council to reconsider its status and make it a permanent feature.


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