Published On: Tue, Jan 29th, 2013

Off the Wall



By John Latimer


Crime or art form, streetscapes have sparked debate since the Banksy effect of 2006, when the Bristol born artist brought graffiti to the fore.

But you don’t have to travel to England to see urban art, like every city, Glasgow has its own movement.

Immersed in this culture is the Recoat Gallery.  The organisation, based on North Woodside Road, makes and shows photography, graphic design and street art.

It also runs Recoat Workshops, painting large scale murals for commercial companies and local councils.

But it’s not all business; the workshops also teach young people how to paint murals in their own communities.

This philanthropic root is close to the hearts of its founders, Ali Wyllie and Amy Whiten. Having met at Art School, thirteen years ago, the couple wanted to start an organisation that gave something back.

Whiten said, “We want to support, promote and give a platform to local artists as well as those from overseas.

“Often talent can slip under the radar for various reasons, some of which can be attached to lack of belief or self- confidence.

“When opportunities are presented to people who may otherwise have gone unnoticed, it can give them an avenue and a chance to turn their lives around.”

Combining this ethos with business experience, the pair forged relationships with local councils and communities.

Soon Recoat began work in projects across Scotland, from Glasgow to Johnstone and Renfrewshire.

Wyllie said, “For me it very much feels like a lifestyle. I have always had a passion for a variety of creative elements.

“In my early years, strong influences include graffiti art, graphic design and skateboarding.”

Their combined passion took Recoat across seas, to the Fool’s Gold exhibition. Teaming up with London based artists, Insa and Inkie, the pair travelled to Warsaw creating pieces to show at their journey’s end.

Keen to bring this international influence back, the artists ran Rudimentary Perfection, a project that brought foreign artists to Glasgow, to paint murals around the city.

This was just one of over fifty shows Recoat has staged, since opening its doors in 2007.

Continuing the showcase, Recoat has announced its spring programme for 2013.

Kicking off February will be David Galletly’s solo show, Wee, which will run until March 3.

Then Kirsty Whiten will take the reins with her show, West End Bestiary, running from March 8, to April 7.

For more information about shows or projects visit