My main task for Concrete Dreams is to draw the Town Centre and its people, a project that is going to test my abilities to the limit. As the rooftops sketch shows even before you start to explore its insides, the megastructure is hugely complex. Nevertheless, if I have any hope of ‘cracking’ the Town Centre, I need to get a sense of where the people who pass through its labyrinthine insides are coming from – in both the figurative AND the literal sense.


In other words…what is this building the centre of?

To that end Alison Irvine and I joined Diane Watters, an architectural historian who was raised in the town – and still holds it high in her affections – on a personal walking tour of Cumbernauld’s outlying residential areas.

This was something of a sequel to an earlier expedition were all three of us at Recollective met with Diane to explore Kildrum. This time, we turned our attention to Carbrain, Abronhill and Ravenswood, each neighbourhood proving to be highly distinctive. I found handsome town houses, hanging gardens, leafy villages and that icon of Cumbernauld, underpasses. My pencil worked furiously as I tried to get a feel for these environments and their people.

And we met a lot of those; whether passers-by just curious about what I was sketching, residents keen to share information on planned changes to the neighbourhood, or just an old chap with wisdom to share.

The images that follow is a selection of some of those encounters.