Shuggie Bain mural unveiled in Glasgow

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Shuggie Bain muralImage source, PA Media
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The artwork was created by the Cobolt Collective, which is made up of three Glasgow School of Art graduates

A mural inspired by Douglas Stuart's Booker Prize-winning novel Shuggie Bain has been unveiled in the city where much of the book is set.

The writer described his pride as the artwork was revealed on a wall of the Barrowland Ballroom in Glasgow.

Stuart last year became only the second Scottish writer to win the prestigious award for his debut novel.

It follows the life of Agnes Bain, who is struggling with alcohol after the breakdown of her marriage.

All but one of her children have been driven away by her deterioration, and that child, Shuggie, struggles to help Agnes while suffering huge personal problems of his own.

The mural features Shuggie dancing in the street and a quote from the book: "You'll not remember the city you were too wee, but there's dancing. All kinds of dancing."

Image source, Clive Smith
Image caption,
Stuart says his novel is "a love story looking at that unconditional, often tested love that children can have for flawed parents"

Stuart, who was born in Glasgow but now lives in New York, said: "It is beyond my wildest dreams to see my words adorning the city that inspired them. Glasgow, and the Barras, are at the very heart of Shuggie Bain.

"The novel is a portrait of a working-class family from the east end, and their resilient Glaswegian spirit."

He praised the "beautiful artwork and lettering" created by the Cobolt Collective, which is made up of Glasgow School of Art graduates Erin Bradley-Scott, Chelsea Frew and Kat Loudon.

It also features "Flourish", a specially-designed typeface created by two final-year GSA communication design students, Jack Batchelor and Ellie Bainbridge.

Stuart added: "I hope the mural inspires other weans to dream big with their creativity. It's definitely one of the proudest moments of my life."

'Beautiful novel'

The 30ft high by 60ft (9m by 18m) wide mural was commissioned by his UK publisher Picador to mark the novel's publication in paperback.

The Cobolt Collective said: "Having read Shuggie Bain at the start of this year, we were beyond delighted to be asked to paint a mural to celebrate the powerfully-beautiful novel set in our beloved hometown of Glasgow.

"The book is rich in vibrant visual stimuli and depicts nostalgic imagery of Glasgow in the 80s that has inspired the content of the piece."

They added that the featured quote came from a section of the book where Agnes is telling her son, Shuggie, about the "brilliance and the beauty of Glasgow".

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