Find out about this new initiative from Matthew Jarron, Museum Curator.
The Public Art Dundee project began in 2018 with the aim of identifying, researching, recording and promoting the amazing wealth of public art across the city. Dundee has a long history of creating and commissioning public art and was particularly pioneering in its approach in the 1980s and 90s. Many of these works were made by graduates or staff from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design (DJCAD), one of the most visible ways in which the Art College has positively impacted on the city.
The project has had various outputs over the years including several exhibitions, public talks, walking tours and (earlier this year) the launch of the long-awaited Public Art Dundee website at www.publicartdundee.org, where details of over 600 pieces of art are recorded.
When I first began mapping public art across the city, I spent many weekends jumping on my bike and pedalling to various parts of Dundee hunting for artworks. It was a great way to get to know parts of the city I’d rarely been to before. The walking tours that I’ve led have focused on those parts of Dundee that have the greatest concentration of artworks, but there are many more in other areas that are well worth going to visit. This gave me the idea for a cycle trail around the city, based on the existing Green Circular Cycle Route but with various deviations to take in additional artworks. The map was originally planned before lockdown and was the first time that we’d collaborated with the talented illustrator James Gemmill, a DJCAD alumnus who went on to work with us on both the Dundee Discoveries map and the Wonder Women of Science exhibition.
The map had just been completed when lockdown hit and everything got shelved. We’ve now been able to update the map to reflect new additions, most notably Lee Simmons’ amazing Tay Whale sculpture at the waterfront, which makes a wonderful end point for the route. We were also delighted that the Dundee Cycle Hub has recently opened beside that, giving us a great place to have the maps available for people to pick up. Cycle shops Spokes and Nicholson’s have also agreed to stock the map.
So what are you waiting for? Get on yer bike and seek out some wonderful public art!