Legendary gig venue Glasgow Barrowland inspires major public artwork for Glasgow 2014

By Robin Valentine | 27 June 2014

Jim Lambie will make a large-scale public art installation based on gig venue Barrowland for Glasgow 2014

a colour photo of the exterior of a sixties office style building with a large sign saying Barrowland across its front
Glasgow Barrowland© Copyright GaryReggae and licensed for reuse under a Creative Commons Licence
The legendary Glasgow Barrowland is to be celebrated by a public artwork being installed at a new temporary public park next door to the venue.

Artist Jim Lambie is producing the piece, The Album Pathway, by setting cast granite letters into concrete, representing a vinyl record collection.

One hundred metres long and three metres wide, the piece will feature every one of more than 2,000 bands to have played at the Barrowland between 1983 and 2013.

The artwork has been commissioned as part of the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme, working alongside the Glasgow 2014 XX Commonwealth Games.

Comparing the artwork to the rows of vinyl records he would scour on visits to the Barra Market, Lambie, who is also showing at Glasgow’s Fruitmarket Gallery as part of the Generation project, said the pathway resembles “the side view of a vinyl record collection, placed on a shelf at home.”

“It is an image familiar to most people, and an image which connects both conceptually and emotionally with the Barrowland Ballroom, the Barra’s Market and most importantly the local community and the people of Glasgow.”

The Pathway will form part of a new temporary park which will act as a gateway to the east end of the city, on a key route to Commonwealth Games venues.

Describing The Glasgow Barrowland as a "legendary" place,  Ellen Gallagher, the Independent Director of Glasgow 2014, said the new artwork would provide a lasting legacy of the Games.

"It will be seen and enjoyed by the many people of Glasgow and beyond as they head to and from Games venues, to the Barrowland or as they enjoy the city’s latest public space," she added.

Five to see as part of the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme

  • The Home Nations Festival: Between July 17 and August 2, the Tron Theatre in the heart of Glasgow’s Merchant City will be hosting a series of four theatre shows, including a dramatic reading of Beowulf, adaptations of the stories of the Brothers Grimm and a humorous and surreal production of ‘Under Milk Wood’ by Dylan Thomas. Visit tron.co.uk for details.
  • The Devil’s Music: A celebration of Britain’s underground music scenes featuring everything from rockabilly to northern soul to classic rhythm and blues, held from 7pm until 2am on Sunday July 27 at the Wild Cabaret/Wicked Lounge. Visit glasgow2014.com/culture/event/the-devils-music.
  • Generation: A series of exhibitions celebrating the remarkable development of contemporary art in Scotland during the past 25 years, featuring more than 100 artists displayed at dozens of galleries and venues across the length and breadth of the country. Visit generationartscotland.org.
  • Ebb Tide – Short Films on the Tall Ship: On July 22, The Tall Ship at Riverside will be showing a collection of short films made by Shetland filmmakers inspired by stories of Shetlander seafarers’ journeys to far-flung destinations. The venue itself is an original tall ship moored outside Glasgow’s Transport Museum, and attendees are invited to explore it once the event has finished. Visit glasgow2014.com/culture/event/ebb-tide-short-films-on-the-tall-ship/1.
  • Phil Collins – Tomorrow is Always Too Long: July 19, Old Rose Garden, Glasgow. A new large-scale film work conjuring up a distinctive vision of Glasgow from the perspective of institutions that describe the scope of human experience and define us as social beings. Visit thecommonguild.org.uk/2013/09/phil-collins.

Explore the visual arts in Glasgow at visualartsglasgow.co.uk

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

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