A TEENAGE girl’s message of hope during the coronavirus pandemic will feature on a billboard in the city’s London Road.

Barrowfield resident Abbie Steven, 14, designed the ‘Happier Billboards makes Happier Lives’ using a popular rainbow motif to create a positive message for the people of her community.

Now her design will remain on the billboard until the end of the year and she has also been given 100 A4 prints to encourage residents to also share the message on their window displays.

Abbie said: “People are dealing with the same problems and during these tough times we all have to stay strong.

“I hope that when people see my billboards it will brighten up their day, especially when they see the positive quote and the bright boat, to show that everyone is in the same boat together!

“I hope this helps people that I know, friends or family or strangers, people that want to be loved a little more than they already are. I want to thank everyone for helping make my idea come to life.”

Abbie’s design came to life thanks to an ongoing arts project supported by Glasgow Life and Clyde Gateway.

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It is spearheaded by Karen McGrady Parker who has been an artist-in-residence for Glasgow’s East End since 2018 as part of the Velocity Artist in Residence Programme.

During the Covid-19 lockdown, Karen’s ‘Newsdesk 2040’ online project encouraged East End residents to imagine the future and show ‘how the planet can be healed – to create their invention for the future’

In response Abbie came up with her design. With support from Karen, designers Farrell Ink, photographer Paul Hampton and illustrator Dani Labrosse, Abbie’s design was scaled up and brought to the streets of Glasgow with the support of Clear Channel UK and Mostly Media North as part of their #PlatformforGood initiative

Karen said: “Everyone donated their skill and time; all believing in Abbie’s idea and with a desire to be happily distracted during lockdown.”

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Councillor David McDonald added: “The Creative Communities: Artists in Residence programme connects artists with local groups and individuals to find out what they want from an artist’s residency. Coming from a huge range of disciplines, and using a whole variety of art forms, they have enabled conversations with thousands of Glaswegians of all ages, abilities and backgrounds.

“It’s wonderful to see how Karen and Abbie have worked together, despite the challenges of Covid-19 and lockdown, to create a meaningful and inspirational public artwork that sends such a positive message of hope to Glasgow’s East End and the city more widely.”