Glasgow City Chambers unveils Gerard M Burns painting ahead of COP26
A SUPERB painting was unveiled at Glasgow City Chambers with a unique artistic and musical event ahead of COP26.
Six students from St Anne’s Primary School were chosen to appear in an oil on canvas, titled Our Future, by renowned artist and songwriter Gerard M Burns.
Gerard, who has painted two prime ministers and a series of prominent celebrities, came up with the idea for the painting in August and finished it just two weeks ago in time for the climate change conference.
He said: “My intentions were clear.
“First, the painting had to talk about children, pure and simple.
“If this lecture is about anything, it’s about the future and it’s about their future, so the painting should be about children.
“It was also very important that the painting reflected the multicultural nature of the city of Glasgow. ”
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The children in the painting are Nadia Ripley, 6, Alisha Khaliq, 7, Lewis Lennox, 9, Fifi Falaye, 9, David Lin, 8, Ella-Mae O’Brien, 7.
The graffiti behind them relate to COP26 and feature some of the children’s own words.
Gérard said the painting should be a “challenge” for those who see it during the conference and that it should stay with them.
He said: “I think they might be a little confused when they see it at the start and I hope that once they are able to engage with the symbolic layers behind the paint it will help to get the message across “,” the time is now, no time to waste ‘
“And I hope every time they think about COP26, it’s somewhere in their mind.”
Gerard also wrote a song, called Mother Glasgow, which was performed beautifully by an East End School choir before the unveiling.
The song underscores the urgency of making efforts to act on climate change during COP26 with the chorus declaring: “the whole world is watching, it’s time to decide”.
He says he wrote the song after being inspired by the students at the school and after a conversation with vice-principal Marie Hamilton.
He said, “On my way back from that first meeting at the studio, by the time I got home, I had the song.
“I had the chorus, and I had the bare bones of the verse.
“So for them too, normally it would be months and months of rehearsal, they managed to put that together in about five weeks, which is really remarkable.
“As far as I know nothing else has been created that is specific to Glasgow, specific to COP26, so hopefully this song is a huge hit, it should be a Glasgow anthem.”
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Marie, who also led the choir while they performed the song, said, “The lyrics of the song are wonderful, and they really sum up what we want for our children.
“Sometimes to kids what is going on with world leaders can seem quite far away, and it’s great that they know, by doing things like this, that their voices are being heard.
“This is their chance to be heard.”
The painting will be on display at Glasgow City Chamber during the conference while a print will be on display at Glasgow Airport.