Dennistoun-based workers collective unveil massive community mural in the East End of Glasgow

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When worker-owned business Greencity Wholefoods started discussing the idea of a mural for the front of their building, they knew they wanted an original outcome that both brightened up their ‘wee corner of Dennistoun’ and one that raised the profile and presence of their worker-owned business

From humble beginnings - a cooperative vegetarian business started by four friends in a Glasgow tenement back in 1978 - Greencity Wholefoods have grown to become Scotland’s most well-loved ethical wholesaler.

The workers therefore felt this eye-catching artwork should reflect the vibrant and eclectic mix of people working within the business, along with their love of nature and their cooperative values.

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Once the collective decision was made to take this idea forward, the search for artists began and through a democratic decision-making process, Cobolt Collective were chosen. Cobolt Collective were formed when Glasgow-based mural artists Erin Bradley-Scott, Chelsea Frew and Kat Loudon joined forces with a vision to instil positive change within communities, a viewpoint that aligns very strongly with Greencity Wholefoods’ own.

Cobolt’s collective painting power is responsible for a great many other fabulous murals around Glasgow so Greencity Wholefoods were delighted when Cobolt Collective agreed to bring their brushes to the brief. The resulting mural features extracts from a poem by local writer Sorley Mackay, written in Scots and commissioned especially for the project by the artists, while the artwork features a plethora of symbology to represent the collective ethos, essence, feelings and characteristics of the Greencity Wholefoods team and business.

Erin Bradley-Scott had this to say about why Cobolt Collective pitched to take on this job –“COBOLT are consistently searching for ways in which we can use our skills as artists to contribute to positive change within society. With Greencity being a worker’s cooperative championing progressive values around fairness, equality, and social justice, we imagined this to be a dream project to work on - and we were right.

“It was an absolute pleasure getting to know some of the dedicated team members of Greencity, who kindly shared stories and memorabilia from the company’s impressive gras sroots history, and of their personal experiences working there. Their stories provided a wealth of inspiration which we captured through the use of bespoke poetry (written by Sorley Mackay), playful illustrations, simple geometric shapes, and a contrasting colour pallet. The result is an authentic portrayal of Greencity’s bold, progressive, and impactful presence in the food industry. From COBOLT to Greencity, more power tae ye.”

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Heather McDougall, Artworker and Buyer for Greencity Wholefoods, succinctly sums up for Greencity Wholefoods the colourful outcome you can now see on the front of their premises - “With more than 50 members to please, Cobolt Collective had a tough brief on their hands, but they’ve managed to create a fantastic mural that brings together all of the things that make Greencity such a unique workplace. The mural we created together represents not just our diversity and creativity as a workers coop, but also the beauty of collaborative efforts. It’s presence in our wee corner of Dennistoun is a daily reminder of the importance of working together towards a common goal.”

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