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Display Celebrates Glasgow's Journey from Delhi Flag Handover

Glasgow Life launches a new display at the Riverside Museum
30/06/2014

In the run up to the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, Glasgow Life has launched a new display at the Riverside Museum, celebrating Glasgow’s part in the Closing Ceremony of the Games in Delhi in 2010.  The handover of the Commonwealth Games Flag marked the beginning of the city’s journey toward hosting the Games and the Opening Ceremony of July 23rd.

More than 300 volunteer performers from all 32 of Scotland’s local authorities took part in the flag handover ceremony. The day after the Closing Ceremony, the Times of India said “Glasgow steals the show”, as the performers made their way home.

The Road from Dehli also explores the common links between Delhi and Glasgow and celebrates cultures and associations between both cities.

This display is set in both the recent past and the present. It takes the Delhi Flag Handover ceremony as its starting point to offer a timely reminder of the moment when the cultures of Northern India and Scotland met and Glasgow’s dream of hosting the Games turned into a reality.  To evoke the present and maximise anticipation for the 2014 Games, the display also highlights aspects of Glasgow ‘now’ and seeks to capture a sense of the city today with 2014 as the primary backdrop.

The colourful display will feature costumes from the Closing Ceremony designed by Glasgow artist and textiles designer, Jilli Blackwood and cycling objects from members of the 2010 Scotland squad including the track bike and skin suit used at Delhi by John Paul (the youngest Scot to represent his country in cycling).  John Paul will be competing at Glasgow 2014 as part of Team Scotland’s track cycling team.
While the Queen’s Baton Relay nears the end of its 118,000 mile journey, the display features a prototype of the Baton, which was designed and fabricated in Glasgow, using a 3- D printer and is accurate in every detail – even to the rolled up message from the Queen.

These pieces are contrasted with objects which symbolise aspects of culture in Delhi and Northern India including a highly decorated bicycle rickshaw from the Punjab area and  colourful and richly evocative works of recently commissioned Indian Truck Art, including a unique Kashmiri style facsimile of a traditional truck headboard. The truck art was led by a team of craftsmen and artists, led by Arjun Singh from Punjab Body Builders in the Punjabi town of Sirhind.

The museum has worked with members of Glasgow’s Indian community, together with Glasgow-based volunteers, who were involved in the Delhi Flag handover, to create audio-visual content that reflects the close relationship between Delhi 2010 and Glasgow 2014 and the cross-cultural influences that exist in Glasgow.

A new film presents the stories of two individuals originally from Delhi for whom Glasgow is now their home. The film combines footage of the Delhi handover and their excitement in advance of Glasgow 2014.

Councillor Archie Graham, the Chair of Glasgow Life and Executive Member for the Commonwealth Games said:  “This display reflects on an event of the recent past, some 4000 miles away, which would change the face – and landscape – of Glasgow. The Delhi Flag Handover of 14th October 2010 symbolised the meeting of cultures of Scotland and Northern India. It also made the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games more real and within reach – and no longer a distant dream.

“In a matter of weeks, all eyes will turn to Glasgow as we welcome the world to our great city and it’s of crucial importance that our welcome reflects the nations and cultures who make up the Commonwealth.”

Artist and designer, Jilli Blackwood, who designed both the costumes for the handover event in Delhi and Team Scotland’s full parade uniforms, including a new tartan, for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games,was on-hand to help launch the new display.

Commenting on the Delhi costumes, she said: “In my design for the costumes, I wanted the colours to be reflective of the warm personality of Scotland and capture the bright colours of India. So thinking about this visual impact, I tried to interweave both into these costumes. I hadn’t seen the whole display until today and when I saw the ‘Hero Piper’ costume I felt a rush of excitement. I had forgotten just how much detail I had embroidered into it. Revisiting this work, which had such a high profile in 2010, brought back the memory of many hours of labour intensive work which I fully enjoyed creating.”

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