Rural Mural project brightens up the area

Artists Will Barras and Amy Winstanley, pictured taking a break from painting a "Mural Mural" on an old barn at East Knockbrex Farm, near Newton Stewart.
Artists Will Barras and Amy Winstanley, pictured taking a break from painting a "Mural Mural" on an old barn at East Knockbrex Farm, near Newton Stewart.

Huge murals have appeared on houses, barns and even a disused electricity sub-station across Dumfries and Galloway as part of the Spring Fling Rural Mural project.

Rural Mural has seen leading street artists from the UK and Europe teamed up with artists from Dumfries and Galloway to create colourful paintings designed

to intrigue and entertain.

The project is being led by artists, Amy Whiten and Ali Wyllie, managers of Recoat, a Glasgow-based arts organisation which specialises in mural projects.

Amy said: “The murals are big, colourful and fun – they really stand out in the landscape and we hope that people will enjoy seeing them. We’ve got an amazing combination of nationally and internationally-known street artists working with some incredibly talented people from the region to

create the murals – and the results are fantastic.”

Spring Fling got responses from all across south west Scotland when it invited people to offer buildings – or other items – to be painted. Among them is a large corrugated iron hay shed at East Knockbrex Farm near Newton Stewart, which is familiar to drivers along the A75 and that is due to be pulled down in November.

Owner Iain Service said: “I have a real sentimental attachment to this barn, it’s been here all my life and I remember stacking the hay in there on hot summer days when I was a boy. But it had reached the end of its life and I was about to knock it down when I heard of Rural Mural.

“I thought this would be a great way to give it a big send off, a real final party. I’ve encouraged the artists to be as bold and bright as they want so the old

hayshed can really say something – make a big statement – before it finally goes. It deserves a final fling! It’s also a bit of a local landmark, so I hope it will give drivers a bit of fun when they see it from the road.”

A team of artists, led by Will Barras from London and local artist Amy Winstanley, worked on the barn and painted it using everything from spray cans to household mops. The scenes they created include ones showing how farming has changed – one shows a horse and rider another is of a farmer.

The former electricity sub-station on the sea front at Stranraer has been specially clad and painted with an abstract ocean scene by Amy, Ali and D&G artist Hope London. After the Spring Fling main weekend on 24-26 May the cladding will be removed and used to help brighten up an alleyway in the town.