Yardworks Festival 2018

Round two! In the lead-up to the second Yardworks Festival, SWG3 commissioned a piece by Madrid duo PichiAvo, who created a piece fusing Classical art and graffiti that can still be seen to this day on the back of the hallowed Galvanizers space.

The GCC Twin-City fund provided our first opportunity for Yardworks to build direct connections with artists based in cities that are twinned with Glasgow. In 2018, that meant bringing Marseilles-based artist Giuseppe Gütan, and Nuremberg-based artist Hombre (SUK), to the festival to do what they do best.

We also opened with a truly fascinating talk from author, photographer and subway artist Martha Cooper, who shared stories from her days during the graffiti revolution as well as inspiring many with her skills as a fine art photographer and sheer determination to share the graffiti phenomenon across the globe. 

Meanwhile, inside the Galvanizers, young ones were invited to get messy and get expressive through stencilling on cardboard (led by Edinburgh-based 303Arts) and through the interactive Cube project, by Stirling-based artist Mia McGregor.

The festival’s success was in the figures: in 2018, Yardworks received 155 applications from artists, representing a total of 17 different countries. In total, 120 artists took part in Yardworks 2018, comprising 24 guest artists and 80 Scottish-based artists, and offered 6 masterclasses by two Glasgow-based artists Knox and Vues, SUNE from Newcastle, Nerks based in Bournemouth and SHUK and Easi-Peasi from Ireland.

About Yardworks Festival

Since launching in 2017, it’s safe to say the word is now very much out, with the annual Yardworks festival now attracting the global elite of the street arts and graffiti scene. Highlights so far have included the graffiti maze (200 metres of super smooth concrete and steel, painted live in front of the audience), Mia McGregor’s global-participation art project Cubes, a talk from author, photographer and subway artist Martha Cooper, and the commissioning of the huge, Classical-art-inspired mural by PichiAvo that you see today in our Galvanizers.

Then there’s the guests. 2019’s international artist list included Smug, Does (Netherlands), Insane51 (Greece), Saturno (Spain), Mr Baker (Germany), Balstreom (Denmark), Wellin (Denmark). From the UK, we had Voyder, Rogue, Mark Worst, Gent, Ziner, Bonzai, Sled, Soda, Curtis Hylton and Philth.

For local artists, it’s a chance to learn from the best, meet their heroes, and get inspired by what people are doing elsewhere. For the audience, it’s a weekend of witnessing murals being created live, from scratch, in front of you, child-friendly art workshops and activities, or just drinking it all in with a pint and street food in hand. For Glasgow, it’s a visual celebration of the city’s artistic ambition, its style, and the importance it places on nurturing — and sharing — the joy of creativity.

Outside of the festival, it puts the city on the map as a stomping ground for international artists, who drop in to SWG3 year-round to mark a piece of our territory in their own inimitable style. For local artists, it represents something absolutely essential to the community: a place to express themselves in a safe and legal space.