On Saturday 30th November 2013 the Open Museum worked with Scotrail, The Hidden Gardens and Friends of Maxwell Park to create Round in Circles, a one-day festival on Glasgow’s only circular train line: the Cathcart Circle.
This route loops around the southside of Glasgow, trains travelling alternately clockwise then anti-clockwise. We celebrated its cyclical nature by using four objects from Glasgow Museums’ collections (a robin, a calabash dish, a ceremonial spade and a station master’s lamp) to inspire a day of collaborative drawing at three of the line’s stations: Pollokshields East, Cathcart and Maxwell Park.
We set up pop-up artist studios at the train stations, each starting the day with an artist, some blank paper, drawing materials and a museum object. While waiting for their trains, passengers were invited to make a drawing inspired by the museum object, their journeys and the train station.
Every hour, the museum objects moved onto the next station, travelling on the anti-clockwise trains, while the drawings moved in the opposite direction. Passengers were encouraged to continue and contribute to others’ drawing inspired by these new objects.
Over 300 people of all ages got involved: some briefly made a mark before jumping on their train, while others came along specifically for the event. Feedback from participants suggested that everyone had a great day, praising the innovative idea, enjoying drawing together and coming across museum objects in a day-to-day situation.