An artist who has worked for clients as diverse as Manchester United and Glenfiddich is leading a new public art project in West Lothian.

Gill White has been appointed by West Lothian Council as artist-in-residence for Winchburgh and will help residents express their creative side by creating new artwork that showcases the area’s past, present and future through a collection of projects.

The position is part of the ‘Big W’ public art strategy, funded by Winchburgh Developments Ltd planning contributions, and will be managed by a Partnership which also includes West Lothian Council and Winchburgh Community Development Trust.

Locals will have the opportunity over the next six months to help shape the visual development of Winchburgh. The project has been named ‘Winchburgh Art Ways’ and Gill will hold workshops for all ages which locals can attend to create art projects throughout the village that will show off and connect Winchburgh’s strong heritage with its modern-day culture. Offering a range of visual art, film, animation, creative writing, and storytelling there is something for everyone to join in with, learn new skills and explore their creativity.

Gill White, artist-in-residence, said: “I am very happy to be joining Winchburgh as its artist-in-residence. I look forward to working with the local community to create colourful artworks that celebrate the town’s roots and growth.

“Over the next few weeks, you will see me out and about exploring with my camera and sketchbook in hand. On my travels I will be collecting inspiration for our upcoming art workshops. Each workshop will invite locals to learn new art, design and craft skills based around exploring the local landscape, heritage and stories.   

“Being based in the artist cabin in the heart of Winchburgh will be ideal for sharing our creative ideas over the coming months and I am looking forward to meeting everyone.”

Occupying a former sales cabin donated by Robertson Homes, Gill will be able to connect with the local community and harness inspiration from the evolving greenspace and infrastructure.

Andrew McGuire, Executive Councillor for Culture and Leisure, West Lothian Council, said: “I’m thrilled that art is an integral part of Winchburgh’s growing success story. I look forward to seeing the impact from a series of unique and creative workshops delivered by the new artist-in-residence, Gill White, and how these will make many positive impacts on the village going forward.”

Hazel McLeod, Winchburgh Community Development Trust, said: “Winchburgh Community Development Trust are thrilled to have been invited to be a partner in this very exciting project. The residents have a wide range of creative thinking and specific skills that will make an invaluable contribution to this public art strategy.”
John Murphy, Managing Director, Robertson Homes, said: “It is fantastic to see such an inclusive and inspiring public art initiative in Winchburgh that everyone can be a part of.

“Using our former sales centre from the Glendevon Grange development as a studio will give as many people as possible the opportunity to be involved in the project and we were more than happy to provide Gill with a base right in the heart of the community.

“I can’t wait to see the new artwork produced which will celebrate Winchburgh as a great place to live.”  

John Hamilton, Chief Executive, Winchburgh Developments Ltd, commented: “It is a privilege to have Gill White join the community in Winchburgh as the first artist-in-residence. She will be a real asset to Winchburgh as the community continues to develop. 

“We all look forward to seeing the community spirit come to life through Gill White’s work, engaging the locals and school pupils. It will be fantastic to see the legacy of the community’s creativity in years to come.”