The artist who made the superb Flying Scotsman mural in Galashiels has been shortlisted for the Selkirk Flood Protection Scheme Community Arts Project.
The Edinburgh-based painter also has a mural at the Battle of Bannockburn visitors’ centre, and if selected for zone three (Riverside Road), he would produce what he describes as his “most ambitious painting” – a massive 150-metre mural depicting the Selkirk Common Riding.
He has a novel approach to ensure that the Selkirk community feels part of the process. The spine of the painting will depict the events of the Common Riding, with massed horses galloping across the countryside, splashing through the Ettrick and arriving in Selkirk.
In addition to professionally painted sections depicting the Selkirk pipe, brass and flute bands, spectators in the crowd scenes would be made up of ‘selfies’ painted by the local community.
Selkirk schoolchildren and willing members of the public would be invited to participate in creating the masses.
The local schools would also help with backgrounds, in turn learning how to visualise and build massive artworks.
Chris said: “This would be the most ambitious painting I’ve ever made. The aim being to build a picture that really celebrates the Common Riding and its important place in Selkirk’s heart, and we would engage with a broad spectrum of the community in the creation of the artwork.
“In an ideal world, everyone in Selkirk would be depicted in the mural in some way. The aim is for the community to feel ownership and pride in the project.
“It will be a huge picture and there is plenty of room for everyone to participate. I really want the people of Selkirk to help me reflect their enthusiasm for the event and put themselves and their families in the mural.”
If Chris is successful in his bid, he will begin workshops with schools in April and May and will set up a series of temporary studio spaces in various locations throughout the town.
At the end of the project a video featuring time-lapse footage would be released to reflect the journey the painting has taken and to celebrate the efforts of the community.