Media Release: Govan training project to unveil Matisse-inspired statue for Glasgow School

THE GalGael Trust have just completed a commission to fabricate a life size crucifix for Cardinal Newman High School in Bellshill.

The sculpture was designed by the schools art department and inspired by the work of French post-impressionist, Matisse.

The design was fabricated in stainless steel at the workshop of the GalGael Trust in Govan and involved staff and volunteers one of whom was a former shipyard worker.

Says a spokesperson: “The school wished to commemorate the last weeks Papal visit and the sculpture was delivered to the school as the Pope made his way to Bellahouston.

“Staff and pupils are also delighted with the beatification of John Henry Newman who was  formally made a saint by Pope Benedict while in the UK.

“The work will be mounted on on an external wall in the next week or so for a forthcoming celebration where all involved in the project will be in attendance. Cardinal Keith O’Brien will bless the sculpture when it is unveiled.”


1. GalGael Trust, describes itself as a ‘cultural anchor point around which local people are re-kindling skills, community and a sense of purpose’. From its base in Govan, Glasgow, the Trust works with communities across Scotland.

2. One of their main achievements has been the development of a unique learning project; Navigate Life. Based in their workshop, the project provides a place where people can navigate away from a broken sense of self and live life with dignity. Over the past four years, 246 people have started this journey. The project has been particularly successful in working with people in the criminal justice system, from addiction backgrounds and those experiencing mental health issues such as depression.

3. The project also helps promote a sense of physical fitness, healthy lifestyle (both mentally and physically) as well as an understanding of the importance preserving the environment through the use of sustainable materials and the development of transferable skills amongst participants.

4. GalGael is part of a wider network of traditional events including Sail & Oar Festival (an international celebration of traditional boat building), Orcuan at the Crinan Canal Festival and the Glasgow River Festival.

5. GalGael Trust was co-founded by the late Colin Macleod in the mid 1990s along with his wife Gehan Macleod, project co-ordinator. Colin Macleod, together with a group of unemployed people, set about trying to re-establish a sense of ‘people-hood’ and ‘belonging’ and this led to the founding of GalGael.

6. Contact Details: By email:  By telephone: 0141 427 3070  By post: GalGael, 15 Fairley Street, Govan, Glasgow  G51 2S

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Contact: Gehan Macleod
Phone: 0141 427 3070