This latest display can be found on the site of a former Glasgow theatre.
It can get a little hectic at Glasgow Central and many of us have simply grabbed a sandwich and coffee to go before sprinting to the platform with a few mins to spare, but there’s actually more to this station than trains and takeaway food and drink. Particularly, if you venture to the low level of Glasgow Central…
A new art installation known as ‘Angled arm and hand signals’ has taken centre stage at Glasgow Central Low Level station, which is a display paying homage to its heritage. This part of Glasgow Central sits on the site of the former Alston Street Theatre (1764-1780), and the tragic fire which destroyed the theatre.
The artist behind the project, Stephanie Black-Daniels, took inspiration from the tale of George Anne Bellamy, who defiantly refused to cancel her performance after an angry mobbed torched the theatre, and all of its costumes and props, in protest of the theatre’s morality.
In an act of solidarity, the women of Glasgow rallied round and replaced Mrs Bellamy’s wardrobe and she performed as promised. The theatre was repaired and was in use until 1780 when it was again burned down.
Glasgow-based artist, Stephanie, was awarded £4,926 in funding from the Cultural and Arts Fund to install the art at Glasgow Central Low Level. A total of £196,029.58 has been awarded to groups and individuals throughout the country since 2015.
The ScotRail Foundation is part of the ‘ScotRail in the Community’ initiative and aims to empower residents making a positive difference in their local community. Applications were taken from groups or individuals across Scotland looking to fund arts, community recreation, or sports activities in the vicinity of a train station, or with a travel or safety theme.
Kathleen Mcgee, ScotRail General Manager at Glasgow Central, said: “It’s great to see a tribute to the heritage of Glasgow Central Low Level station paid in such an artistic way, and I’m sure the artwork will brighten up our customers’ journeys. We know how important the railway is to the communities we serve, and we want to do all we can to strengthen and support that link.”
Alston Street was at the heart of Grahamston, the village that disappeared almost completely due to the construction of Glasgow Central Station more than 140 years ago. The street in line with where platforms 3 and 4 of the station are situated now, almost equidistant from Hope Street and Union Street.
Stephanie Black-Daniels, Artist, said: “When the opportunity arrived to respond to Glasgow’s iconic Central Station, I was particularly drawn to the history of the Alston Street Theatre, as it really struck a chord with my own arts practice.
“I utilised my background in sculptural, performance based and collaborative art to create a series of photographic prints for the station, working with a range of women from Glasgow to pose in various imagined theatrical tragic poses. It’s a great achievement and honour to present in such a historic building and I hope it will be a talking point for the visitors of the station.”