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Scottish Bridge Gets Unorthodox Paint Job

Friday, September 9, 2016

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A bridge in Scotland just got a new coat of paint, but it wasn’t a standard job involving a crew of bridge painters and a three-coat system. Two artists set out to give the underside of Dundee’s Tay Road Bridge a pop of color to celebrate the structure’s 50th year in service.

Artists Martin McGuinness and Fraser Gray
University of Dundee

Martin McGuinness and Fraser Gray spent about a month working on their project, bringing brilliant colors to concrete pillars under the Dundee side of the structure.

The Tay Road Bridge, which connects Dundee with Newport-on-Tay across the Firth of Tay, was opened in 1966. It’s a 2,250-meter-long haunched girder bridge, constructed of steel and reinforced concrete. The bridge is arguably the best-known structure designed by architect William Fairhurst.

About the Murals

A tribute to Fairhurst is part of the mural project two graduates of the University of Dundee’s Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design undertook with a £20,000 (about $26,600) grant coordinated by the Tay Road Bridge Joint Board. Fraser Gray and Martin McGuinness, according to the university, spent about a month working on their project, bringing brilliant colors to concrete pillars under the Dundee side of the structure.

The murals—consisting mostly of abstract color splashes and large letters—are meant to make locals think twice about the bridge they cross or pass so often, the artists explain. The typography helps bring to mind Dundee’s history as a bastion of printing and journalism, and bridge-related figures like Fairhurst are represented pictorially in the murals.

'Discover New Viewpoints'

The art is designed for “the people who commute over the bridge to actually discover new viewpoints later on, so it’s something that didn’t die as soon as you saw it,” Gray explains in a video about the project. “It couldn’t be read all in one go, couldn’t be seen all from one viewpoint.”

The mural was unveiled as part of a celebration of the bridge’s anniversary in August.

"This is a great way to begin our 50th anniversary celebrations of the bridge that has meant so much to so many people over the years,” said Tay Road Bridge manager Alan Hutchison.


Tagged categories: Architects; Artists; Asia Pacific; Bridges; Coating Application; concrete; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Latin America; Murals; North America

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