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In pictures: New gallery at Glasgow’s SWG3 to celebrate street art and graffiti

© SWG3Priestcorp is among the artists to have work on display
Priestcorp is among the artists to have work on display

A new urban arts gallery in Glasgow will celebrate street art and graffiti from the city and beyond when it opens next week.

Yard Life, which opens at SWG3 on May 27, marks the first step in a wider plan to create a new street arts district in the surrounding area.

Brought to life by the team behind the Yardworks Festival, the first exhibition will display new works by a group of emerging and renowned artists, from sign-makers to illustrators, cartoonists to sculptors.

The gallery will open Wednesdays to Fridays from 12pm to 6pm, welcoming people to discover, own and collect the pieces exhibited.

Andrew Fleming-Brown, MD of SWG3, said: “We’re delighted to be launching this new space with a genre that is truly ingrained and part of the walls at SWG3. Our ambition is to create a new Street Arts District and Yard Life Gallery is the first exciting step in these plans.

“We look forward to welcoming everybody down to experience the incredible variety and talent from the urban arts community.”

The gallery forms part of a broader plan for a new street art and graffiti district sprawling across Govan, Yorkhill and Partick. At the heart of it will be an innovative studio for emergent graffiti and street artists, which will be built in the Galvanizers Yard at SWG3.

The Yard Works Studio will offer a purpose-built home for street arts, providing space for hundreds of artists to create work in, as well as using the art form to support social change through Yardworks’ extensive community work. Construction work will begin in December 2021.

Alongside a heated workshop, complete with a 12m high wall for the creation of large-scale artworks, the studio will have specialist equipment and flexible working spaces for artists, youth, and community organisations.

With a glazed wall at the front, the activities in the building will animate the street, letting people travelling through Eastvale Place see inspiring artworks being created.

Gary Mackay aka Gaz Mac, SWG3 Studio Director and co-founder of Yardworks, said: “Yard Life Gallery has risen from the success of Yardworks Festival and the talented artists that adorn its walls.

“From grassroots to the more established house-hold names that we see on our day-to-day travels around the city, Yard Life and Yardworks will interact with groups and individuals to realise their creative ambitions.

“The gallery will allow us to work alongside our artists on a day-to-day basis, pushing the boundaries and breaking the barriers that are commonplace for this exciting artform.”

Further work aims to link Partick, Yorkhill and Govan, grouped together as the Glasgow Riverside Innovation District (GRID), into a striking graffiti and street arts district with gable ends illuminated with new, large-scale murals, an open-air gallery trail, visitor attractions.

In addition to supporting creative industry career paths and nurturing skills in those furthest removed from the job market, the project will provide leadership for communities to revitalise their neighbourhoods through street arts.