The team behind the scheme that put art on Dundee’s doorsteps is primed to launch a murals project that will bring colour to the city’s unloved walls.
Open/Close Dundee’s new idea will, like the doors initiative that has found fans across the city and beyond, spread art across Dundee – but on a far bigger scale than before.
Starting with a gable end on Tay Street Lane, co-ordinator Russell Pepper wants artists to create striking murals all over Dundee.
He hopes a finished trail will encourage people to explore otherwise unseen parts of the city, in the same way Open/Close has since it launched two years ago.
Russell has started an online crowdfunder seeking £3,000 to pay Fife mural painter Kirsty Whiten and The Fandangoe Kid, a London-based visual artist, to create the first artworks.
He said: “This has been the idea all along. We always wanted to make Open/Close Dundee a mural trail across the city.
“We started small with doors because they were easier to get permission to paint on, but this is how it was meant to be.
“The council is really supportive and we’ve had some funding from Leisure and Culture Dundee and local businesses.
“The crowdfunder will help to pay for two experienced artists working for a week.
“Paints are being donated by the Dulux Decorator Centre and IAS Scaffolding is providing the scaffolding for free.”
In the long run, Russell hopes to see a city-wide trail of murals unfold, in the same way Open/Close has evolved to reach new parts of the city.
Since starting with a handful of doors in the city’s alleyways and lesser-visited streets, the project has expanded to include a whole new trail in Stobswell.
A series of Eurobins were also decorated in the Perth Road area, livening up the otherwise unsightly communal bins.
Open/Close’s success has also changed people’s attitudes to street art, with building owners openly volunteering space for artists to paint on.
Among those supporting the mural is the owner of the gable end on Tay Street Lane, who has contributed a three-figure sum towards its transformation.
Guided walking tours continue to be held on the first Saturday of every month, and new supporters offering up doors and wall space are cropping up all the time.
Russell wants the new trail to join up cultural destinations in Dundee, with a long-term goal of linking up tourist attractions.
The first mural will be within a few minutes’ walk of the DCA and the Dundee Rep.
Russell wants Dundee’s murals to capture as much attention as the striking works seen in cities such as Glasgow – and to solidify Dundee’s place on the map as Scotland’s definitive home of culture and design.
“I’ve been in touch with someone at Glasgow City Council about how they approached (murals),” he added.
“They say people really enjoy them and they get people visiting the city just to see them.”
The funding page can be viewed by clicking here.