Cumbernauld’s natural environment immortalised in town centre artworks

Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 16:33 on 10 September 2014.
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The artworks are throughout phases 1,2 and 3 - as well as the Antonine Centre.                                                                                                    Picture: Cumbernauld Media.

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FORMERLY vacant shop units throughout both the Antonine Shopping Centre and Cumbernauld Town Centre complexes have been given a radical design change – after Cumbernauld Living Landscape took over the empty units to celebrate Cumbernauld’s remarkable landscape.

Cumbernauld – a town made famous for its quick access to natural environment and open green space – with the area’s town centre being 50 per cent being made up of natural green and open environmental space.

To celebrate Cumbernauld’s connection with nature, the Cumbernauld Living Landscape project – a project being spearheaded by the Scottish Wildlife Trust has immortalised a select number of green spaces and environmental projects throughout Cumbernauld in a unique set of window displays. 

As part of the project, parks including Cumbernauld Community Park, Cumbernauld House Park are featured, as well as Ravenswood Nature Reserve and Cumbernauld Glen. 

Various vacant units across the Antonine Shopping Centre and Cumbernauld Town Centre have been taken over for the display – with each artist installation reflecting the experience of an artist collaborating with a local community group at one of the town’s many green spaces.

The so-called ‘Living Windows’ – which will be in place for another five weeks - were opened to the public late last month, with a family fun day across both shopping malls; a day which encouraged local residents to make the most of the natural environment which snakes through Cumbernauld. 

Funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Sharing Heritage programme has allowed the Cumbernauld Living Landscape initiative to grant local community groups the chance to work with some of Scotland’s best young contemporary artists and illustrators. Together, they have crafted bespoke artworks which capture the essence of these natural places, as well as the pride people take in them.

Commenting, Cumbernauld Living Landscape Project Manager, Ian MacKenzie, said: “The town’s green spaces provide vital clean air, water and areas to relax for the 50,000 people that live in Cumbernauld.

“By creating these engaging works of art, the Cumbernauld Living Landscape wants to make people more aware of the nature on their doorstep.

“The Scottish creative studio Pidgin Perfect has done a fantastic job orchestrating the collaboration of community groups in Cumbernauld and three contemporary artists David Galletly, Emily Shepherd and Gabriella DiTano to craft these spectacular Living Windows.

“The artists’ approach was to create something out of the ordinary within the shopping centres that would capture the imagination of people as they walk past.

“These six Living Windows reflect six green spaces in the town and were modelled on Cumbernauld Glen Wildlife Reserve, Cumbernauld House Park, Cumbernauld Community Park, Palacerigg Country Park, Langriggs and Ravenswood Local Nature Reserve.

 “The Cumbernauld Living Landscape is also interested to find out how people incorporate the town’s parks, woodlands and gardens into their daily lives. Everyone uses these areas in different ways for commuting, recreation and inspiration.”

“The project is asking for people to share pictures of how they use these areas by posting to the Cumbernauld Living Landscape Facebook page or tweeting @ScotWildlife with #LivingWindow.”

Cumbernauld Living Landscape is enhancing, restoring and reconnecting green areas of the town by protecting and improving woodland, restoring lowland peat bogs and connecting communities to their local wildlife.

Cumbernauld Living Landscape is a partnership project led by the Scottish Wildlife Trust, North Lanarkshire Council and Forestry Commission Scotland, supported by community partners across the town.
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