Inaugural Flying Scotsman visit commemorated with New Gateway Mural for Galashiels
Celebrating the arrival on 15th May of the iconic locomotive the Flying Scotsman to Galashiels following its exciting return to the tracks, renowned Scottish muralist Christopher Rutterford, will be onsite capturing the scene in a unique, vibrant and dynamic mural which will become a welcoming permanent threshold gateway to the town from the new railway station.
Featuring an atmospheric image of the Flying Scotsman, the mural will initially arrive during a live onsite painting event over the weekend of the 13th, 14th and 15th May when the iconic Flying Scotsman pulls into town. The planned mural will comprise of a vibrant and fun Victorian period crowd scene made up of participants from the Galashiels and Borders community.
Chris specialises in epic large scale crowd murals often with a historic theme. He has a number of murals displayed all round Scotland including a centrepiece at the Bannockburn Heritage Museum and a prominent Edinburgh city centre Mural factory. This however is his first Borders project. Residents and visiting enthusiasts will be added to this brand new artwork for a modest financial contribution to fund the cost of the production, finishing and final display of the mural when it is planned, subject to all required approvals, to be mounted on the gable end of Douglas Bridge, adjoining the brand new Grapevine restaurant and café. The hope being that this mural will both embrace the heritage and history of the town and help write a brand new story for Galashiels.
Commenting on the project, artist Chris Rutterford said: “It was a real honour to be asked to support the ongoing improvements to Galashiels’ town centre. So far I’ve been helping by displaying my artwork within Galashiels’ Douglas Bridge shopfronts. I am convinced this new project can help in the town’s journey towards regeneration. The crowd murals that have become my speciality are full of humour and vitality. I just can’t make them up, for the project to succeed I am really relying on the energy and enthusiasm of the town and their desire to take part and pose for a fun photo so I can paint them in.
The new station really marks a momentous phase in the development of Galashiels and this visit by the Flying Scotsman seems like the perfect occasion to launch an artwork that will hopefully help this whole area to take off. This really is a once off opportunity for Galashiels residents to take their place in history.’’
Following the departure of the train, the mural will be removed to the artist’s permanent factory in Edinburgh’s Tron Kirk on the Royal Mile not far from Waverley for completion. Galashiels residents will just have a short hop on the train to visit and see progress as Chris paints in the portraits of all the participants. The plan is for the mural to return to be hung permanently in Galashiels later in the year.
Galashiels will host a number of events around the visit of the Flying Scotsman on the 15th May, including live music and dancers, craft markets, bouncy castles, film footage and model train exhibitions with extra buses running between Galashiels and Tweedbank to optimise visitor access between the train and the town.
Chris Rutterford has completed a number of large scale crowd artworks which have graced high profile public spaces such as Bannockburn, Edinburgh’s Grassmaket and the Tron Kirk itself. His epic projects commemorating significant events bring history to life in his uniquely creative, humorous and expressive style.
He has a track history of conceiving and delivering on these projects.