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'Out in the Open': new publication about West Lothian's Public Art collection

Date uploaded: May 8, 2013

Out in the Open, the first comprehensive and fully illustrated book about West Lothian's extensive Public Art collection, will be launched on Thursday 9th May and available for purchase. The 100 page hard cover book traces the history of West Lothian through Art and will be on sale at Howden Park Centre, Livingston, Linlithgow Burgh Halls and various other locations. For educational purposes copies will be made available to all local libraries in West Lothian and a low resolutation downloadable document is available below.

This was truly a collaborative project between a contemporary writer – Wendy Ball, a graphic artist - Chay Nicholson, a photographer - Luigi Dipascale as well as the in house team in Community arts and planning services of West Lothian Council. Many people contributed to the co-ordination, research, editing and design the first ever fully illustrated history of public art in West Lothian. 

The book is a showcase of the legacy of public art work started by the Livingston Development Corporation and then spans outwards to encompass the entire West Lothian region. This new publication is now available in two forms, an online downloadable document and a limited edition hard cover printed book, which can be purchased through the arts venue Howden Park Centre. www.howdenparkcentre.co.uk. Contact the box office on 01506 777 666.

This body of work provides us with a unique showcase of the varying landscapes of both art and heritage which we hope will attract visitors to West Lothian.  This book creates the basis for sharing the context of public art in West Lothian to those wider audiences.   

It is anticipated that this publication will also help local residents achieve a better understanding of the history and legacy of public artworks which exist in areas in which they live. By showing the historical context of past work it will enable us, as a community, to have a more critical overview of public art provision and what it could be. With the anticipation of continued provision of future public art projects through the joint partnership working of West Lothian Council’s Planning and Community Arts service, this book is a celebration of both past works and the most recent of our contemporary public art projects.

There is clear public benefit to producing a creative and historical guide to public art in West Lothian as this information did not exist in any publically accessible format to date. These artworks are part of the social and cultural capital of West Lothian and many residents may not be aware of the artists, the meaning, the various interpretations or value of the objects that surround them. The book represents the realisation of an educational aspiration of WLC Community arts to provide a first publication that encompasses this legacy and shares this information with the local community schools and libraries as well as beyond our regional borders.

Funding and Partnership Support:
Like most projects this one could not have been realised without the finance and In Kind support of many partners.

  • Core Funding from Creative Scotland Grant for the Grassroots Public Art Grant Scheme
  • Visit West Lothian Tourism Funding
  • WLC - Community Arts , Planning & WLC-Public Art Fund
  • WLC – Archives (Partnership Support)

For more information about Public Art in West Lothian please contact:
Arts Officer- Visual and Public Art
T: 01506 773 871
E: [email protected]

New Public Art Strategy 2013-2017 due to be published this year.
This document will share exciting new plans and ideas for future developments in Public Art for West Lothian.

Click here for more information.