Almond art project brings splash of colour to Livingston community

A series of murals painted in West Lothian have been given the thumbs up from local residents.

Almond Housing Association was delighted to give the go-ahead for the West Lothian Youth Action Project (WLYAP) and the design team at Bespoke Atelier to improve open spaces around Craigshill, Livingston.

After community consultation, tropical-style designs were painted on three alcoves overlooking the pathway along Hobart Street to Shiel Walk. And the paintings have gone down well with local residents. Feedback on social media included “love them”, “brilliant” and “definitely look forward to seeing more artwork around”.

The project was funded by the Community Arts department of West Lothian Council through its Grassroots 2 Public Art Grant. Community Arts contributes to the wellbeing and lifelong learning of the people of West Lothian by providing opportunities to participate in the arts.

George Webster, chief executive at Almond Housing Association, said: “These murals have brightened up everyone’s day, and been a roaring success.

“Almond Housing Association welcomed this opportunity to enhance the neighbourhood. And it seems our tenants agree that they have had a positive effect on the community.”

Helen Davis, project director of WLYAP, said: “A core group of young people, predominantly from Craigshill, were involved in looking at the designs and themes. It was great experience for them to work with professional artists to see something go from concept to reality.”

Yvonne Elliott-Kellighan, joint founder of Bespoke Atelier, said: “It is really important to create a beautiful design but also to produce an artwork that responds to the environment and the community.

“This project has provided a fantastic opportunity for young people and residents to work together with professional artists and local partners to improve part of their community.”

Commissioned by and working in partnership with West Lothian Youth Action Project, Bespoke Atelier consulted the community to create the designs – combining Scottish influences with the Australian origins of some street names around Craigshill. Inspiration was also taken from the original Livingston public artworks in the 70s which included a concrete menagerie of animals.

Murals were hand painted and spray painted on the alcove walls and will also be applied on the path surface using line marking techniques. The designs evolve from one alcove space to another whilst retaining a visual link.

Almond Housing Association owns the alcoves which have been given a new splash of colour, while the pathway is owned by West Lothian Council.

Once implemented, the path patterns will complement the murals and encourage a playful route along the pathway leading from one mural to another further enhancing the link between the alcove spaces.

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