Every so often in cityscape I find myself very pleasantly surprised by unusual and arresting artwork. It’s best when this happens in unlikely places -there’s a bit of graffiti on the wall of a tunnel in Cupar which I particularly like- and that’s what happened when I spotted this primary school gate in Broughty Ferry, Dundee. Now, I will sing the praises of the free primary Scottish state education system quite enthusiastically (and not just because my husband is a primary teacher!) but I have to admit that their buildings and outside spaces are usually unimaginative. They’re often cobbled together from the original Victorian school with portacabin extension -intended to be temporary ten years ago- with maybe the odd splash of colour here and there courtesy of the Gardening Club. But this gate breaks the mould and makes me feel happy every time I see it.
It was, I believe, created from the designs of the children as their own school building closed down and they were moved to this site, and hopefully serves to make the new site ‘theirs.’ I love its papercut feel and whimsical graphics, and the way the ‘O’ of ‘Once upon a time’ is so enormous! I don’t think it was without controversy, mostly relating to cost, but it has to be worth it to belong to a school with such forward thinking, brave artistic perspective.