Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Cat murals abroad are different (from ours)

I caught some local ‘official’ murals in Glasgow some time ago (3 years ago!), as seen in Glasgow’s graffiti cats, and they’re still there – and I rather like the term that has been coined by some to describe them online, ‘murder mittens’.

Here’s s reminder:

Glasgow Dunlop St cats

Glasgow Dunlop St cats

One thing I’ve noticed is that our murals tend to the realistic, and that’s not a complaint. As a failed artist (despite being told by an art teacher I could and should paint and draw as I had the ability, I still think anything I attempt is fit only for the bin) I love the realism and accuracy of the work, and believe another thing my teacher told me, that cats are a real test of ability – and if you can portray them realistically, you are lucky and talented.

That said, I was browsing through a photo site that just collates random pics it thinks are great, and I spotted a couple of cat murals in a recent dump.

Unfortunately, it just collects the pics, not any of the details, so I have no idea where these are located, but from the ‘feel’ of their environment and surroundings, I’d say they lie on foreign soil.

But it’s really the stylised nature of their depiction of cat faces that caught my eye.

While I love the realistic murals that have appeared in Glasgow over the past few years, and are ‘Tourist trails’, even hidden in odd places so they are hard to find, and a surprise when they are spotted, I also think our artists need to develop some imagination too, and dare to move outside the borders of pure reality, and move into some more stylised and abstract work:

Foreign Cat Mural 1

Foreign Cat Mural 1


Foreign Cat Mural 2

Foreign Cat Mural 2


Foreign Cat Mural 3

Foreign Cat Mural 3

It’s not that we don’t have them at all, but this example (the only one I have of such a thing) is located on a wall facing AWAY from the road AND behind a wall. It’s only visible to people walking the path along the side of the River Clyde, or who may happen to look across from the opposite bank, from a place that is largely deserted.

Big Fire Cat Clyde

Big Fire Cat Clyde

April 22, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

A quality mural near The Barras

While this is an unfair comparison – and it’s not actually meant to be taken as a comparison since this is NOT a shutter mural – it is still a fair example of what can be produced.

I came across this one quite a while ago, but used the pic in another forum so had forgotten to mention it here.

If you were at Bill’s Tool Store at the Barras, you could turn around and look behind you. If it hasn’t been removed or replaced then you’ll see it.

It really is rather good, and worth at least a glance for real.

Bain St St Luke's Mural

Bain St St Luke’s Mural

I’m afraid I don’t know the significance of the winged bull (oops, sorry ox), but I do think it’s safe to say the mural has some connection with Tennant’s – I see at least 4 references to that particular Glasgow brew.

Note: See comments below for more info 🙂

April 17, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | 2 Comments

Hope the spray tans are better than the spray mural

I thought I’d caught most of the shutter murals around here, but since they can usually only be seen at night, after the shops have closed, it’s hard to make sure I wander along all the appropriate streets so late in the day.

This one surprised me recently, as I’d not seen it before.

It may be just be me, and maybe I am being overly critical or demanding, but I thing the quality of the artwork shows a steady decline since the first of these shutter murals appeared, and the idea caught on.

Maybe the earlier murals were produced by artists or talented people, while the later or more recent efforts are from others making ‘best efforts’, and avoiding the cost of employing someone.

Just curious.

Spray Tanning shutter mural

Spray Tanning shutter mural

April 16, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | Leave a comment

Vaguely Soviet Shettleston mural

Not that noticeable as it is not located near the road, this mural on a wall behind a church always strikes me as being reminiscent of the old Soviet murals often seen Russian settlements.

That said, the characters and colours are too ‘soft’ and not as stylised or perhaps aggressive as they would be if they had actually been created in that era. The feeling would have to be a little more Art Deco too, so I’d say that despite the subject, this is just too modern in appearance.

Shettleston Wellshot Road mural

Shettleston Wellshot Road mural

April 11, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | Leave a comment

Crail Street mural in Parkhead

I don’t know what it is about this mural, but it took me years to grab a pic.

Either I totally forgot about it (Crail Street is a side street, and the mural is slightly hidden down it), or when I remembered… no camera.

Glasgow now has many PROPER murals (as opposed to the mindless splatterings of most graffiti vandals trying to emulate the worst one of all – name starts with a ‘B’ and I’ll give no more publicity to), but this one is notable for the amazing level of detail it contains – the more you look, the more you see. This is quite different from many of the others which, by way of contrast, are large versions of their subject, visible from a distance. View Crail Street from any significant distance and you’ll see very little.

Worth finding and taking a closer look at.

The BBC featured it in a programme – but I didn’t see it. I don’t watch enough television now (and I used to watch too much).

Crail Street mural

Crail Street mural

There’s clearly a story and plan behind this mural and its content – I just seem to be too thick to find it.

What I can say from looking closer is that it features representations of industries and businesses established in the area, icons that represent Glasgow, and illustration of many buildings from the surrounding area.


March 28, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | Leave a comment

Mountain bike mural

I seem to have collected a range of murals spotted while wandering around various places, and should really give them a mention.

I don’t mean the grand offerings now being given publicity and turned into tourist trails in the city, but simpler offerings just intended to brighten up local areas.

This one’s on the side of a container alongside a play area in Barlanark.

MTB container mural

MTB container mural

March 23, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , | Leave a comment


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