The mural was originally installed on the walls of the Westburn underpass in the 1970s before it was taken down and replaced by a new public artwork.
The painted tiles depict a street scene of Greenock in the days before the construction of the town’s Oak Mall. Shops and businesses of the towns past - including Westburn House, the Regal Cafe and Sheila Simpson Wool - were all part of the artwork.
Before the initial building work could begin, 6274 Public Art took photographs of each section of the underpass mural. There was a large amount of graffiti and damage to the tiles which had to be digitally touched up. The next stage was to hand illustrate the street scene as close to the original as possible. Once completed, a few modern Greenock landmarks were added, including references to the Tall Ships Festival, Clydeport Cranes and the soon-to-be constructed Beacon Theater.
Andy Nicol from 6274 said, “We really wanted to do the original mural justice. It was a very popular part of the town, which local people thought had been lost. We were delighted to be part of the restoration project and we hope the public enjoys having it back, with a few new additions, of course.”
Once the artwork was approved by Riverside Inverclyde, the 23 meter 2 (approximately 248 square feet) street scene was ready to be transferred onto full color, frost- and fade-resistant graphic tiles. Only after each tile was approved were they individually numbered and packaged for installation.
“During our time working on community projects within the public realm,” Nicol added, “we have found this unique tiling process to be the best solution for public art projects that must last the test of time. The graphic results speak for themselves and the tiles will be around for years to come.”
The installation, completed by Billy McGuiness and his team of experts from Dunoon-based M and M Ceramics, installed the six-section mural over a period of 10 days.
Nicol concluded, “We hope the project will raise a few conversations in the town. Any information and stories about any of the places within the mural especially from the 60s and 70s could make an interesting news story in itself. We'd like to thank everyone involved in the project and welcome any comments or feedback."
For more information about 6274 Public Art, visit them here.