In Scotland, more people live in smaller urban areas (population between 10,000 to 124,999) than in cities or rural areas. Following the stay-at-home requirement during the 2020 lockdown, many sought to make sense of and find worthiness in their ordinary place of living.
Away from the floodlight of the city (grabbing the headlines) and the moonshine of the countryside (feeding aspiration), how do we find value in our smaller urban places of living?
Prompted by two themes often associated with John Byrne (painting and Paisley), this piece explores the relationship between creativity and localism. The story describes what it means and what it feels like to go on a walk in a smaller urban place as an observer of its urban life.
As the story develops, a narrative picture (of Paisley) emerges along the dynamic interaction between the town’s features, the body of a wanderer, her subjectivity as an observer, and her work of creation as a painter.