A POPULAR Southside restaurant is raising funds to help underprivileged kids access the arts - by selling its balustrade columns restored by local artists. 

The Battlefield Rest is calling for Glasgow artists to restore the 150 columns making up its roof balustrade to raise funds for Articulate Cultural Trust, a local charity supporting young people facing barriers to access creative activities. 

Owner Marco Giannasi came up with the idea to repurpose some of the materials from a £150,000 restoration work taking place over the next six months, involving sustainably sourced wood from Uruguay. 

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He said: “The restoration is just a basic restructure but it developed when our carpenter introduced this Eucalyptus wood from Uruguay.

“There I learned about the issues with sustainability, all the processes and all the damage to the environment, so I thought, 'Okay, so I've educated myself, I was as ignorant as many people are sometimes, we just don't think about what's happening’.

“And because of that, and obviously with COP26 coming up, I thought it made sense to save these columns from going to waste and that someone can revitalise them and make a point at the same time.”

Glasgow Times:

The bistro will see its balustrades above the roof area and its canopies demolished and completely rebuilt in the spring, with an initial 30 columns being repainted - or sculpted - and repurposed over the next few months. 

Mr Giannasi is planning an evening early next year for artists to present their work, where customers will be able to purchase the restored columns, with all proceeds going to Articulate.

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He said: “They thought it was a smashing idea and one of the columns has been amazingly turned into this wooden cup made by the husband of the director of the charity.

“When I received the sample, I thought, 'Wow, that's amazing, from one column to turn into that.' Artists will start coming in to collect more of the columns and everybody can create their own sculpture or representation. 

Glasgow Times:

“We will try and sell them to raise funds for the children's charity and also make a point of what can be done with all the materials that are used and give them another life.”

With a lot more columns to be reworked over the coming months, Mr Giannasi is inviting all Glasgow artists and anyone with creative flair to come forward. 

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“We’re also organising a competition with Battlefield Primary School, which will receive a few columns so that the kids can decorate them and build something exciting from a piece of wasted wood,” he added. 

Glasgow Times:

“The more artists are involved, the better. Any groups or individuals who might be interested can join in the project, anybody with ideas is welcome. You just contact me and say ‘Can I pick up a couple of columns?’ It's as simple as that.”

One of the artists involved is Glasgow illustrator Adrian McMurchie, who collaborates with national newspapers and businesses and has painted several Glasgow landmarks and restaurants, including the Battlefield Rest.  

He said: “I’ve known and worked with Marco for several decades now and always interested in his latest projects. It’s always interesting and challenging to work with different mediums when asked to create a piece of art and this is no different.

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"It’s also more rewarding to know it is using materials that would ordinarily be thrown into landfill. Instead we can hopefully sell the artworks to help fund the fine work done by the Articulate charity.”

Iona Craig, chief executive at Articulate Cultural Trust, said: “We are absolutely thrilled that Battlefield Rest have decided to run this project. It’s a beautiful gesture that they will donate the proceeds to us to support children in accessing creative activities.”