COP26: Mural inspired by Glasgow primary pupils to be painted opposite school

A mural inspired by artwork from pupils at Hillhead Primary is to be painted on a wall facing the school to highlight the need to care for the planet ahead of the COP26 summit.

The mural will be painted opposite Hillhead primary school.

Glasgow City Council has approved plans for the design, created by artist Tragic O’Hara, who worked with the schoolchildren earlier this year.

The project has been set up by Hillhead Primary’s parent council to deal with a graffiti problem and help children learn about “how we need to care about our world”.

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It will be painted on the side of Lifestyle Express, a ground floor shop on Gibson Street. The shop has had issues with a “recurring cycle” of graffiti, and it is hoped the art will help to prevent further problems.

Artist Tragic O’Hara has previously worked on projects including a 10ft flat-pack Santa sculpture and a temporary Argyle Street shark mural.

The application to the council, from Nayanika Basu, of Hillhead Primary Parent Council, stated: “This mural design was created by artist Mr T O’Hara, in direct collaboration with the primary school children of Hillhead Primary School, who worked on this project in May 2021, in anticipation of the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26).

“The children discussed how we need to care about our world and look after biodiversity. They submitted over 100 pieces of artwork while thinking about these themes to help design the mural for this wall.

“The message conveyed is that our world is beautiful and can be as fragile as paper. If we rip apart ecosystems and fail to look after our world, what will children draw in the future?”

Hillhead’s parent council has raised the funds to cover the cost of producing the art, and sent a letter to neighbours to ask for their support.

The application added: “This wall is frequently defaced with graffiti and needs regular repainting by the owner and tenant of 37 Gibson Street, with the assistance of the city council.

“Because of this local problem with graffiti, we approached the owner and tenant as well as local residents and businesses to ask if a community mural as described above would be welcomed.”

In the letter to neighbours, the parent council said the aim of the project was to “beautify the wall and reduce graffiti tags” as well teach the children to “contribute to their community and care for the world around them”.