Shouldn't Have Let the Art Class Do It…

Every so often I like to take a run up to Bellahouston Park via National Cycle Route 7 which is carefully hidden at the back of the M8 and Bellahouston Academy. It’s a hundred times safer than trying to brave the Paisley Road West at peak time. To use a somewhat convoluted metaphor, it’s like the difference between taking a quiet paddle in a canoe down the  lazy River Seine and taking a run down the a piranha infested white water rapid run in a river unknown to science somewhere in the Belize rainforest.

While making the journey past Bellahouston Academy I’ve often had a chuckle to myself at the mural that adorns the outside of the building. I assume it’s supposed to show how culturally diverse the place is, but what it really shows is either how bad the artist was, or how much his models have in common with Joseph Merrick. According to an article I found in the The Extra from 2008 the mural is the work of some of the school’s pupils. I suppose in it’s own way it brightens up a rather dreary late 1970’s concrete building, but to be brutally honest the artwork isn’t good at all. Seemingly it was a dry run for a further mural on the nearby footbridge over the M8. I had a look, but I don’t see any artwork on the bridge so I assume they never quite got round to it. In the meantime I think some of them might want to rethink taking Standard Grade art.

Behold the evidence:

The black woman seems OK, at least as far as the rest of the examples go, but the guy with the blonde hair is hilariously badly done. Not only does he have some kind of horrible kink in his neck like it was broken and reset by a blind one handed witchdoctor, but he seems positively amused by the anal probe he’s getting off that badly painted Gerry Anderson-esque UFO in the background. I assume it’s supposed to be one of the big spotlights that float above the M8, but I can’t be entirely sure. Incidentally when I went past this morning the black woman in this picture had some interesting graffiti added to her forehead proclaiming that she was “Robyn’s Real Maw”. Not sure if this is true or not, but I’m sad that I forgot to take the camera with me to capture it.

The Bellahouston painted on the side the fire exit is actually quite colourful, but it reminds me far too much of the helter-skelter from Jamie and the Magic Torch. I’m still not sure if the diver next to the Glasgow 2014 badge is supposed to be baldy and featureless or if they just forgot to paint her face on. I’m assuming it’s a her, cause it’s too thin to have such well developed moobs.

The black guy would probably have been OK, but they’ve managed to incorporate some kind of vent into his head which makes it look like he has some huge cancerous growth beside his ear. NASTY. I assume the pair of random naked legs, and the chakram, are supposed to be related to the cryptic abbreviation of GSOS (Glasgow School of Sport) that’s being batted about by the tennis racquet in the upper left corner.

As an aside I’m somewhat bemused that the pupils of Bellahouston Academy, which is south of the river, have chosen to paint the Squinty Bridge as it would be seen from the northern bank. The fact that they also managed to make it look like a giant pokemon looming over the road is neither here nor there.

Last, but by no means least, we have this gem. I may have a racist eye, but I assume the guy with the rubber giraffe neck and sunglasses is supposed to be Asian. Either that or he’s one  of the bad guys out of the dark crystal wearing a Peter Choa mask. The blonde woman seems to be suffering from a similar neck breaking ailment as the other characters, but given that she looks like her face is melting off I think that’s the least of her worries. Strangely she seems to have weird snake like eyes as well.

The Asian woman behind these two freak shows seems to be the most human looking one out of the lot, but even she seems to have been leaned at a jaunty angle for reasons unknown. She also seems to be fairly happy at having been pushed into the background in spite of there being plenty of room to bring her forward to the same level as the others.  No idea what the big grey thing is supposed to be. High flats maybe, or some kind of sentient killer vending machine that’s plotting to kill them and make them into Ginsters snacks.

It’s probably a good job these things are hidden from the view of the general populace, and I often wonder if they’re deliberately painted on the side of the building that can’t be seen from the upmarket villas of Dumbreck and Bellahouston. After all who wants to get up in the morning, open their curtains, and be confronted by a group of badly painted potato heads.

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