Homage To The Shale Workers
Size: 15 feet long, 10 feet high
Site: Uphall, West Lothian
Client: Shale People Project/Artichange
From the guide book
‘Homage to the Shale Workers’ Mural’, positioned on a central gable-end in Uphall is by internationally renowned mural artist Andrew Crummy. Commissioned by Artichange as a result of his continuing works as lead mural artist for the Prestoun Grange Mural Trail in East Lothian, he has subsequently lead the creation of both ‘The Battle of Prestonpans’ tapestry and ‘The Great Tapestry of Scotland’. The mural was visualized in 2010 and produced in early 2011. The artist wanted to pay homage to the ‘backbone’ of the local communities- the people who worked in the shale industry. From informative and lively creative workshops with the pupils of Broxburn Academy, the artist included three key aspects relating to the industry and lives of the shale workers- the family as community, local historical place names many of which have became embedded through still used street and estate names, and finally facts, products and dates associated with the shale industry. At the onset of production- the story becomes more interesting- as the artist worked on the developing mural day after day many locals stopped to chat. They relayed stories of their links to shale mining and many assisted by correcting facts and dates- and made suggestions for inclusions. The mural expanded in content over the three months that the artist worked in this key central position. The artist concluded that this was one of the most enjoyable projects he’d worked on “as a result of the content coming from the many aspects of the community, the colour palette devised from the ever-changing hues of the Bings as they hovered over the skyline, and the daily interaction from the locals”.