Poetic Pathways – The Big Art Mural on the Cycle Path
Poetic Pathways is an interactive walk on Route 7 of the cycle path, starting at George Street in Paisley, and finishing at Morrisons in Johnstone.
The brainchild of Karen Herbison of H-Arts and Sally Logan, Health and Wellbeing Co-ordinator for Sheltered Housing in Renfrewshire, this intergenerational project celebrates the artwork, poetry, stories and quotes from school pupils and older adults across the community.
Poetry and art punctuate the path on small boards tied to trees and posts along the route, taking you on a journey through the senses and embracing the themes of wellbeing, relaxation, environment, memories, local heritage, wildlife and social history.
All the creative work has been inspired by ‘walking workshops’ on the path, with small mixed groups of older and younger participants immersing their senses in the sights and sounds, while collecting nature’s ‘treasure’ such as leaves, twigs, and pine cones, while sharing stories and memories from their lives.
And now the Big Art Mural has been unveiled!
This latest installation celebrates the seasons we know and love, featuring artwork created by pupils at Glencoats Primary School in Paisley, Fordbank Primary School in Johnstone, local Sheltered Housing tenants, and volunteers from Corseford Tara Housing Association.
Incorporating beautiful trees, falling leaves, flowers, rainbows, butterflies and bees, snow, sunsets, blossom and even textures created using some of the natural ‘treasure’ itself – think leaves and pine cones dipped in paint – this largescale artwork really captures the spirit and joy of everyone involved.
The mural also features some ‘take-out’ words from the poetry workshops to capture the essence of the feelings evoked and identified while walking the path, such as ‘joyful’, ‘save our trees’, ‘fluttering leaves’, and ‘bonnie’.
The aim of Poetic Pathways has always been to encourage more people to use and enjoy the path, while engaging with and enjoying the beautiful natural surroundings, increase fitness levels, and spark a sense of fun and relaxation.
At the midpoint of the route, you will find the ‘Giving Tree’, offering small free gifts in the form of knitted and handmade crafts made by the community to brighten your day – take something, and perhaps be inspired to pop back another day and leave a gift in return?
This sense of community, kindness and togetherness is a key theme of the project.
Rebecca Johnstone of Dainty Dora Surface Pattern Design + Print led the art workshops and curated the art for the mural, while Karen Herbison delivered the poetry workshops and brought together the final poems.
Poetic Pathways was funded by Sustrans Artroots Project, and ran from September 2021 to April 2022.
The project won ‘Creative use of Space and Place’ at the recent Generations Working Together (GWT) Excellence Awards in March 2022, announced during the GWT Virtual Conference.
Thank you to all participants for their energy, enthusiasm and creativity, and in particular to Sally Logan, for coordinating and inspiring us all throughout, and to Jane McTaggart, Activity Officer, for leading on the creative crafts, ongoing within the Sheltered Housing units. We very much look forward to seeing everyone on the path!