Glasgow City Heritage Trust’s exciting new exhibition explores the development of the city since Sulman’s legendary map, now transformed by artist Will Knight.
Photo Credit – Will Knight
‘The Knight Map of Glasgow: Tracing The Transformation’ is an exciting new contemporary artwork by artist Will Knight. The piece was commissioned by Glasgow City Heritage Trust as part of their ‘Gallus Glasgow’ project. The project grew from the famous Thomas Sulman’s illustrated map of Glasgow, The Bird’s Eye View, in 1864.
Knight’s new map of the city takes a view from the South Side, with, just like Sulman’s, intricate detail of life in the city. Displayed alongside the original map and with the exhibition featuring interactive elements, it’s an ingenious way for visitors to see the city then, now and possible to consider what the future of Glasgow may look like.
Rachel Kacir, Heritage Manager, said ‘We’re really excited to have commissioned this map, following in Sulman’s footsteps, and leaving behind our own impression of Glasgow in 2022 for people to explore in another 150 years’ time.’
Knight’s artwork has taken 6 months to achieve and Rachel is delighted with the detail he has captured.
’Sulman’s map captures Glasgow at a turning point in the industrial revolution. Cargo laden ships pack the Clyde, its banks lined with cranes, warehouses and smoking chimney stacks. Fast forward to the present day and high rise flats punctuate the skyline where the chimneys once stood… And yet, the historic built environment still gives the city much of its character. Some areas, such as Glasgow Green and the Necropolis, have changed little.’
Rachel rightly points out that the buildings are indeed a testament to Glasgow’s world famous architectural legacy, as present and relevant now as it was then.
The Knight Map
And the Glasgow-based artist at the centre of the new work, couldn’t have enjoyed the process more. Glasgow-based Will Knight secured the commission following a competitive application process. A graduate in architecture at GSoA, he has spent much of the last 10 years on interpreting architectural structures that are very familiar to we Westenders; from Alexander ‘Greek’ Thompson’s oh-so-loved design features to the the tenement closes many of us call home. Through every minute observation, measurement and record, Will has painstakingly hand drawn and given fresh interpretations of the environment around us.
He says ‘I have thoroughly enjoyed creating a new contemporary map drawing of Glasgow… I have researched, traced, marked and overlaid my contemporary map on the detailed map left by architectural illustrator Sulman. In doing so, it is possible to see the dramatic ways the city has changed in the intervening years.’ And like Rachel, Will agrees that there continues to be areas of the city which time has preserved, ‘we can also see how much of the fabric of the city has remained the same; landmark buildings, public squares and parks are recognisable along street patterns that are largely unchanged.’
Will Knight and Rachel Kacir at the launch night
Such an exciting project truly cements Glasgow Heritage Trust as integral to the preservation and care of the historic buildings around us. The Trust gives almost £1 million in funding each year to protect, repair and promote our historic places. For more information on the fantastic Gallus Glasgow project Glasgow City Heritage Trust and The Knight Map, visit –
The project, funded by Norbulk Shipping UK Ltd, Hugh Fraser Foundation and Culture & Business Fund Scotland
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