Galloway artist takes rural murals to heart of Berlin
Scottish artists, collaborating with a well-known German duo, have created a large-scale mural inspired by the idea of flags for a world without borders.
The painting, which is a gift to the city, is on a large scale, covering the side of a five-storey building.
Amy Whiten and Ali Wyllie of Glasgow’s Recoat urban arts agency, and Rory Laycock from Dumfries and Galloway, spent a week painting the bold new mural on the wall at Kurfürstenstraβe.
Their partners were Kreuzberg-based artists and designers Sebastian Bagge and Julio Rölle, of the renowned 44 Flavours.
The Spring Fling Rural Mural (SFRM) project is organised by the Upland arts agency in the Scottish region of Dumfries and Galloway and is being staged as part of Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design. The central theme for SFRM 2016 is exchange – and this has been reflected by exchanges between artists and countries and between city and country.
Julio Rölle said: “We liked the idea of imagining the flags of a world without borders. With all that is happening in the world right now the issue of borders is hugely important – and it’s something that everyone will have their own ideas about. And it’s not even necessarily about borders between countries – there are also the borders within our own minds and creativity. So we hope people will imagine their own stories about the flags and what they mean.”
Phase 1 of this year’s SFRM saw teams of street artists from Scotland, Germany and Italy coming together to create three large murals on buildings in the Dumfries and Galloway countryside. Phase 2 involves the same teams going urban and creating three more murals – as gifts to the cities of Berlin, Newcastle and Glasgow.
Clare Hanna of Spring Fling said: “Art is a wonderful way to bring people together, and we hope this mural will bring real pleasure for people in Berlin.”
“We have been incredibly fortunate to be able to bring street artists like 44 Flavours to Dumfries and Galloway to help create murals in the heart of the Scottish countryside. It’s great to be able to respond by coming over to Berlin and working with them again to create this fantastic new mural as Scotland’s gift to the city.”
Amy Whiten said: “SFRM has been a wonderful experience for us where we have worked with some very talented artists who have strong work ethics and a dedication to creating multi-layered beautiful murals. The artists have all learned a lot from the cultural and artistic exchange.”
Rory Laycock, who is an emerging Scottish artist, said: “This collaboration has been amazing for me. It has raised my skill set and made me think about scale and my artwork in a whole new way. I found it really interesting to create permanent artworks that become a dialogue between you and the viewer.”
SFRM is part of Spring Fling, Scotland’s premier visual art and craft open studios event, which will see 94 artists and makers across Dumfries and Galloway throw open their doors to the public from 28 to 30 May. The Scottish murals will be one of the main attractions as visitors from all over the world travel between studios.
Spring Fling has close links with Newcastle, Berlin and Glasgow, having previously held events and exhibitions in all three cities.
SFRM is supported by EventScotland, a team within VisitScotland’s Events Directorate and by Creative Scotland.
Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: “The purpose of the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design is to celebrate some of the most important aspects of Scottish culture, and Spring Fling’s Rural Mural project does just that in some of our most important neighbouring markets.
“We’re confident that the creation of these stunning works by internationally-renowned artists will be an important showcase for Spring Fling and will encourage many visitors travel to Dumfries and Galloway for the event next month.”
It is hoped that people who like the urban murals may want to visit Dumfries and Galloway for the Spring Fling weekend. The Dumfries and Galloway sites are:
The Mossburn Animal Centre, Hightae. On the side of a large, stone farm building at this centre for ill-treated and abandoned animals. It is visible from B7020. The creators were Berlin-based arts duo 44 Flavours (Sebastian Bagge and Julio Rölle) and Dumfries and Galloway visual artist Rory Laycock.
Meiklewood Farm, Ringford, Castle Douglas. Tellas, from Rome, teamed up with Kirkcudbright-based Morag Macpherson to create a mural on a large steading near the A75.
Craigdarroch Arms Hotel, Moniaive. Amy Whiten and Ali Wyllie from Recoat in Glasgow collaborated with Morag Paterson from near Thornhill. Their mural is on a gable end at a pub renowned for hosting arts events.
Visitors to Spring Fling can also still see some of the 2014 murals. The original project included created artists like 1010 and Will Barras.