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Johnson Tiles to Redecorate Underpass

Johnson Tiles ceramics have been used as the canvas to illustrate pieces of art and photography in a Motherwell underpass as part of the regeneration of the town centre.

The Motherwell Town Centre Approaches project has seen three underpasses and an archway undergo significant renovation. A total of 14,500 tiles have been used on the walls of the walkways.

Each of the walls were assigned a different visual theme relating to Motherwell, through its history, local residents, travel and locations around the globe. Chosen images were transposed onto tiles using Johnson Tiles’ revolutionary Artile technique, a digital transfer process which allows artwork, designs and photography to be replicated on ceramics.

Sharon McAllister, Senior Planning Officer of North Lanarkshire Council, explains: “The renovation is intended to make the underpasses welcoming and attractive rather than dark and gloomy. Using tiles to recreate images was the perfect way to achieve this. They have helped produce a striking visual impact and really brighten up the area.

“Each walkway now has a positive theme based around inclusion and togetherness. For the archway, a number of Motherwell residents had their portraits taken, which were transferred onto tiles using the Artile process. Having local people on the walls helps to foster a genuine sense of community. The walls are much less likely to be vandalised now that they feature clean, attractive images that reflect a town we can be proud of.”

The West Hamilton Street underpass has a travel theme, one wall has stunning photographs from pastoral locations along the West Coast Mainline from London to Glasgow and the other has photographs from attractive scenes along the River Clyde. The Barrie Street underpass has a more local theme. The council commissioned oil paintings by a local artist depicting historical scenes from Motherwell. The Merry Street underpass features photos from around the world, each of which is linked to Motherwell. Images include Rio de Janeiro, Venice and Rome.

Sharon continues: “The final product looks very impressive, we’ve had many positive comments about the images and scenes that have been portrayed.”

Artile tiles are created by digitally mapping images onto Johnson Tiles’ high quality, glazed wall tiles, which are then fired at very high temperatures to create finished tiles which are scratch and frost proof, have high impact resistance and are easy to clean and maintain. To ensure ease of installation and correct positioning, each tile is assigned a reference number which matches up to a detailed key plan. The method facilitates the application of the tiles and also the maintenance process, if any tile is broken a replacement individual tile can be easily ordered according to the reference number.

Sharon concludes: “As this was such a large and complicated project it was important for us to be in control of each individual aspect and to be confident that everything would go according to plan. Johnson Tiles’ knowledge and expertise made it very easy for us to manage the installation of the tiles using a keyplan for each mural. This combination of uplifting artwork and photography has brought back to life an area that was previously uninspiring and dull, the new tiles look amazing.”

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