Retailers and shoppers had more than the re-opening of non-essential shops to brighten the outlook recently, as two new street art murals were unveiled in Channel Street.
Following a successful application for funding, Energise Galashiels Trust commissioned installations on the façades of Channel House and 50 Channel Street, (occupied by WhyNot? at street level).
Working with Cameron, Strachan and Yuill Architects, several visual concepts were created and discussed with a variety of stakeholders, before the final designs were selected.
The ‘Gatherings’ mural, which was designed by Energise Galashiels Trust, and installed at 50 Channel Street by Signal VGA, is intended to be instantly visible to visitors arriving in Galashiels from Douglas Bridge. The design depicts silhouettes of the iconic Braw Lads’ Gathering with colourful detail provided by the mixing of the roses and the Burgh flag. The images are presented on a green background, reflecting the town’s surrounding countryside.
With input from local business owners who occupy the building, the design for Channel House has a more amorous focus with the artwork named the ‘Romance of Textiles’, with ‘Weave the Magic in Your Heart’, written as words of encouragement to passers-by.
Local artist, Julie Logan, who was commissioned to carry out the work on Channel House said: “It’s been a really interesting project to work on and great opportunity to learn a bit about local heritage, as well as getting to meet and work with local businesses in developing the design. I’d also like to express special thanks to Duncan Peace who worked with me on the mural to create the beautiful lettering.
Debbie Paterson, whose business Kinalba Cashmere is based in Channel House said: “We’re thrilled that the previously imposing battleship grey colour has been replaced with something much brighter and more welcoming. Observing how the artists took the original designs and scaled them up to decorate our building was awe-inspiring.”
The project was funded by the South of Scotland Enterprise and Scottish Borders Council. Energise Galashiels Trust would like to thank all involved, in particular the owners of Channel House and 50 Channel Street for allowing the cultural and textile heritage of Galashiels to be visually realised, and the local contractors who carried out the work.