Walls have ears

Share this article
Have your say

I hear that you printed an article (15 October) stating that I was “pleading” with Strathclyde Partnership for Transport for permission to improve the ceramic mural installed last year which they commissioned from me.

It implied that my wishes were being cold-shouldered by a great big quango. The truth is less melodramatic. Like most artists, I never complete a big work without seeing some flaw in it.

My Hillhead Subway mural is no exception. The main flaw is obvious grouting lines in the panorama’s top right corner, due to a mistake I made in the original design.

They will become almost invisible when tinted with acrylic, which cannot be done without special arrangements, because health and safety regulations now need this to be done when the station is closed to the public.

That will be eventually arranged through my colleague, Nichol Wheatley. Most of Strathclyde Transport’s partners have probably never heard of the matter. When complimented on the appearance of the mural (which often happens) I always apologise for the defect, which hardly anyone has noticed.

I may even have spoken of it to journalists, without expecting them to make a public fuss about it. But I seem to have become an artist about whom folk want to hear stories, so must talk less openly in future.

Alasdair Gray