Community Artwork Project Launches with Living Bench

24th June, 2024
General News
Community News
Living Bench. Perth

The first in a series of four public artworks which will be situated within the Cross Tay Link Road site is almost complete, heralding the next stage of the project which is due to open in Spring 2025.

Artist Louise McVey’s “Living Bench” has been inspired by its location on the Green Bridge, an important element of the CTLR project, which joins up wildlife habitats, connects colonies, and acts as a crossing point for walkers, cyclists and wildlife.

The Living Bench has been fabricated from Ferrocement, an environmentally friendly alternative to concrete, and is adorned with handmade mosaic tiles which include designs by pupils from Perth Academy. The bench design includes space for a tree, as well as shrubs, mushrooms and other bug friendly pollinators.
Louise commented, “In creating this sculptural bench, designed to support plant life, I have sought to extend the purpose of the Green Bridge into the artwork. I was thrilled to integrate design work from the pupils of Perth Academy, which has been transferred onto the hand-fired mosaic tiles.

“It has been made especially interesting, as we have been beholden to planting season, both on the bridge and within the sculpture, and therefore the making and placement of the bench has happened really quickly. It is wonderful to see it in place and I hope all users of the Bridge will enjoy sitting for a moment of peace in this beautiful natural environment.”

Following a series of community engagement events in 2023, the brief for the artwork project identified eleven possible locations, and themes ranging from biodiversity to active travel, history and local geography.

The final three projects have now been approved, as well as a Green Bridge mural and a significant waymarking project. In addition to this, tiles created by members of the public during the CTLR Community Open Days in October 2023 and April 2024, will be used to decorate benches along the improved path network.

The souterrain project, led by artist Kate Robinson, follows the excavation of a souterrain during the archaeological dig at the commencement of the CTLR project; the Wetlands project, led by artist Louise Kirby, is also underway with a free family workshop on July 3rd offering local families the opportunity to get involved; and the mural project with Shona Hardie will add colour to the underside of the Green Bridge.

Jillian Fergusson, roads infrastructure manager commented, “The Community Artwork project is an excellent example of how the Cross Tay Link Road project connects people both physically and socially to the project. We're delighted to be supported by so many experienced Scottish artists and to open up the opportunity for local families and schools to be involved.”

On completion, these four projects will form points of interest on the Active Travel Path Network, which will see significant upgrades to existing paths, as well as a series of new paths installed across the footprint of the CTLR site.