Sadler Green was commissioned by Scottish artist and writer, Alasdair Gray to work on an ambitious project to create an impressive Ceramic Tile Mural for the Glasgow Hillhead Subway station, which was being renovated by the Strathclyde Partnership for Transport as part of a regeneration scheme to prepare the transport infrastructure for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, which are to be held in the city.
Alasdair Gray, with strong links to the Hillhead area and Glasgow’s West End, was the ideal candidate to capture the very essence of the locality in a creative, yet dynamic way. The artwork within the ceramic tiled mural was based on a view of Hillhead created by fellow artist, Nichol Wheatley, on an advertisement panel for the now defunct Grosvenor Cafe. Gray borrowed the ideas from Wheatley’s work and created a more complex design, which evolved into the finished masterpiece.
The custom ceramic tile mural, a consummate work of art, which now dominates the main wall of the refurbished station, is a detailed, panoramic sweep of the West End area, from Byres Road, looking east towards the centre of Glasgow. The ceramic tiled mural showcases well-known landmarks such as Glasgow University, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Hillhead Library and the Botanic Gardens. Once the design had been finalised, Gray, along with Wheatley and his team from Perfect Circle Art, worked on developing a pioneering method of working with ceramic tiles to deliver the artists vision.
It was the most complex work undertaken by Sadler Green, after many years of experience in the ceramic decorating field. Our company was chosen by the artist to supply the tile transfers for the ceramic tiled mural and we worked very closely with the with the Perfect Circle Art Team to produce a very precise detail in both the scale and colour of the tiled mural artwork. The nature of the artwork, particularly with it having complete buildings in the piece, had to be cut around as individual ceramic tiles. This resulted in a large ceramic jigsaw rather than a standard piece of repeated tiling.
In order to produce the transfers to fit perfectly, each hand-cut porcelain tile set new standards in terms of accuracy and fit as well as in the consistency of fired colour for digital ceramic technology. It is thought that digital ceramic transfers of this scale has never before been utilised, making it a major coup for Sadler Green; knowing that this work will be seen by thousands of commuters on a daily basis for years to come. The project, unveiled on 16th September 2012 and which took over two years to complete, has become a landmark of the city’s underground network and continues to delight the public and workers alike, whilst enhancing the the station environment.
Client: Strathclyde Partnership for Transport
Artist: Alasdair Gray
Project Manager: Nichol Wheatley for Perfect Circle Art
If you are interested in commissioning a Bespoke Ceramic Tile Mural for an interior or exterior space, contact Sadler Green to discuss your personal requirements.