Queens Cross Church in the Maryhill Area of Glasgow is the only church that Mackintosh fully built. Thats may be why locally we call it The Mackintosh Church. It’s located at the cross road of Maryhill and Garcube roads next door to Partick Thistle football grounds in a really popular area of Glasgow. Locals remember going to the services there and for them its a popular buildings.
So strange… as for the rest of the world this is the headquarters of The Charles Rennie Mackintosh Society… and for me … my very first job when arriving in Glasgow almost 30 years ago !
And there is a small triangle of land in the middle of it. Thats where #thebigrose project was happening this Sunday. With visitors to the city, Mackintosh Society members and many local children from the Queens’ Cross Area My volunteers and I spent the Sunday stencilling large roses on the ground. The weather was gorgeous as it often is in October a bit like it feels guilty for all the rain its been throwing at us all through the summer and it needs to make peace before the cold winter arrives…
It was only right that this project had a day there… After all this is where everything Mackintosh wise starts as The Charles Rennie Mackintosh Society has its head-quarters in the church building. A Squarish looking red sand stone building with a turret and a beautiful stain glass quite modern in the shape of a heart but so blue !
So we arrived first thing and planted our table in the middle of the triangle and traced a rectangle carpet 3.5 m x 6 x on the ground… getting ready for participants to turn up and fill it up with roses.
And they came, from China, Japan, Balloch, the South Side and … on the other side of the road. We had young and old on their knees, applied with their large brush and enormous stencil making sure the brush stayed dried to avoid mess. Many small children with their mums crossed the road from Springbank street to try their hand at stencilling on paper first then on the ground, in pairs sometimes three of them around a rose made sure to cover every area in pink paint.
A friend from an up-cycling class came along to have a go, a volunteer who was not on that day brought her daughter to have a try. A mature couple came along to try, both of them held the brush and left so satisfied to have had a go. An older lady who was sorry about having bad arthritis did not try but came to have a chat about the good old days in that neighborhood.
Had I missed something there. So busy thinking about the Mackintosh fans I had forgotten to speak to the locals. And they were so very keen to take part. Shame on me, I will need to address the local Housing Association at Queens Cross. I hear they are always very opened to new experiences and I bet the local children would love to have another go.
Thats the thing about Art projects as those. They are for the people not for the purists. They are for the little people like me and you to try their hands and be so happy to have tried. Those projects are not for the galleries and the posh openings.
#thebigrose project is all about exchanging and being nice to one another. They are for sharing and taking part. And they did share their roses when then were stencilling. Will you do this in pair? off course we will…. and there you are… two individuals who did not know one another are seating on the pavement stencilling a flower on the ground…
What can I say, its Glasgow and its pure dead brilliant !
cant wait to bring #thebigrose to The Lighthouse this week end. Another day, another rose…
I hope to see you there.
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